Too many Home Information Pack assessors and not enough houses

The government’s botched introduction of Home Information Packs (HIPs) means there are too many qualified energy assessors, with some training providers accused of misleading candidates about salary expectations.

The packs must contain proof of title deeds, local searches and an energy performance certificate.

Initially, HIPs will only be needed for properties with four or more bedrooms, but the government intends to extend the requirement to all properties in the future.

Howard Garde, managing director of pack provider HIPs Direct, said there were about 2,300 accredited domestic energy assessors (DEAs), double the number needed for the proportion of the residential market made up of four-bedroomed homes.

“If and when the government introduces the scheme to the whole of the residential property market, then about 3,000 assessors will be necessary. Government figures show there are already about 7,000 in training,” he said.

Garde said he knew of many people who had quit work to become home inspectors and were now in a difficult position. “There are going to be a lot of disappointed DEAs, and I predict that things will become fiercely competitive very quickly.”

He also accused training providers of over-selling the potential earnings available, with some claiming that DEAs could achieve salaries of more than £170,000.

“There is no job I know of where you can train for about £2,000 in two weeks, carry out six inspections per day and earn a gross income of £172,800 a year,” he said.

But Mathew Culnane, communications executive at National Energy Services, one of the chief trainers of DEAs, said Garde’s figures were inaccurate. “The course costs £3,250 and lasts about eight weeks. We would never rush anyone through the training and accreditation process in two weeks. It simply isn’t possible,” he said.


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