Training as a property professional – energy assessors express outrage

Domestic Energy Assessors are wondering if there will be ever any reporting of their industry that they feel represents ‘real’ life by the main stream journalists after an article in the Daily Express.

The Daily Express recently publish an ‘article’ by Ben West titled ‘Assess your options’ with prominent advertising and details of training companies offering the energy assessor training courses. The ‘article’ has caused widespread dismay from many existing energy assessors as they feel it does not portray an accurate picture of the ‘needs’ of the market place.

Industry bodies and individual domestic energy assessors have highlighted sections of the article which they feel could be misleading to those considering training as a domestic energy assessor; such as the first opening sentence.

“The need for all homes sold or let in England and Wales to have an EPC has created vacancies for thousands of specialist assessors”

There certainly was a need for energy assessors but whether this still applies is very much debatable. Most property professional who have dealings with EPCs in some regard will tell you there is an oversupply of energy assessors at present with numbers which seem to be still growing.

Paul Walker a committee member of the Institute of Energy Assessors (IDEA) stated that they have “received many letters and emails, from our members, commenting on the “Assess your options” article that appeared in The Daily Express on Thursday 15 October 2009. “

“Our members have already been let down by this government and wish to stop even more people wasting their money on a “promise” of work and high earnings made by training companies who are well aware that there are too many assessors already.”

The Institute find this article to be misleading on the following counts;
“The need for all homes sold or let in England and Wales to have an energy performance certificate (EPC) has created vacancies for thousands of specialist assessors”

This is very misleading to the general public. The government have stated that 3000 Energy Assessors are required to cover England and Wales. There are already over 13000 qualified assessors available.


The institute are of the opinion that this heading portrays a “suggestion” of a demand for the skills of an Energy Assessor and so employment. The only mention of demand in this paragraph is that it “Would not demand too much” of Ms Walsh’s time.

“Picture of clip board.”

The picture within the article contains the wording “NEW ROLE: Energy assessors”
Domestic Energy Performance Certificate has been required by law since 2007. Therefore the role of Domestic Energy Assessor is not new.

The Institute find this article to be inaccurate on the following counts;
“Assessors can acquire further skills to become home inspectors, drawing up home improvement packs (HIPs)”

  • HIPs stands for Home Information Packs, not Home Improvement Packs.
  • Home inspectors do not draw up HIPs as part of that qualification.

The Institute of Energy Assessors find that the article to be misleading and inaccurate. The Institute also feels there was a failure to clearly define the difference between the Domestic Assessor and Non Domestic Energy Assessor.

IDEA have written to the Daily Express expressing the Institute’s concerns over the article. We will await the Editors reply before deciding on IDEA’s next course of action.

Jonathon Parkes of Midland Assess Energy Ltd an experienced property professional, domestic and non-domestic (commercial) level 3&4 energy assessor expressed concern at the way the industry was being portrayed within the Daily Express article.

“The commercial energy assessor market place is becoming awash with assessors. Though like the DEA world there was gold in it for those that were early on the scene. Now with fees tumbling in places to very low levels, £100 plus lodgement, it is hard to see how the figures quoted by training providers can be justified. I get calls from people either newly qualified or towards their courses asking for help or potential subcontract work and I have to be brutally honest and say there isn’t much I can do for them. The deflation is almost palpable. The people selling the courses have built the hopes up far too high and reality far too low. Some of the chaps who have paid out thousands of pounds do not have the experience and understanding to pass the exams and evidence. The training companies don’t really mind though as this gives them opportunities for re-assessment fees and further training.

If you are interested in training do some market research and see if there is scope and profit for another Energy Assessor in your area, but remember the following:

  1. Most Solicitors, Estate Agents and Surveyors have been contacted many times already and unless you offer something like cheaper fees or a larger referral fee you won’t get the work.
  2. This is the busiest we will ever be with few properties already assessed and many assessors have no work.
  3. Remember all the Home Inspectors with no career after the requirement for the Home Condition Report was made voluntary?

There is a new government going to be happening next year who are already committed to the removal of Home Information Packs (HIPs), I can’t imagine they won’t make similar waves in the commercial property sector.”

Becoming and training as a property professional may seem an attractive proposition; from our experience and research it may not provide the returns one could assume and be lead to believe. You should take time and careful consideration before committing to a training course.

As ever we look forward to your views and comments below and would especially welcome comments from training providers running these courses.

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