Home Inspector Training – a viable career ?

Home Inspector (HI) and Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) training has had claims attached to it of large potential earnings for those qualifying and practicing in this field.

In response to a high levels of comments left on the article (at time of writing nearly a 100 comments) ‘Should I train as a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) ?’ we felt it would be beneficial to specifically explore the Home Inspector (HI) qualification and its potential further.

The Home Inspector qualification was designed to fulfill the Home Condition Report (HCR) requirement within the Home Information Pack. Initially, it was planned that the HCR would be a mandatory component within the HIP though was in fact made an optional document. Professionals within the industry and none more so than those that qualified as a Home Inspector near its’ inception will tell you that there has been very little to no demand for the HCR due to it being made voluntary.

Today, the Institute of Domestic Energy Assessors (IDEA) released research and figures that have not been widely publicised by the Communities and Local Government (CLG).

Figures recently revealed by CLG officially disclose that up until the 18th of October this year a total of 1,824 Home Condition Reports (HCR’s) have been lodged with Landmark. To put this figure in context, for the same period over 1 million Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s) were lodged with Landmark.

This figure is as most within the industry would have imagined. It is envisaged that a large proportion were undertaken in the early days of the Home Information Pack implementation.

Jim Gillespie the chairman of IDEA stated “This figure will not come as a shock to those individuals, myself included, who trusted this Government when they sold the prospect of training as a Home Inspector as a “gilt edged” opportunity back in 2005/6. When Yvette Cooper made the now infamous “u turn” announcement back in July 2006 there were approximately 3,500 individuals training towards the NVQ level 4 Home Inspector qualification and at the time Government went on record as saying that 7,500 Home Inspectors would be required. Mass confusion ensued thereafter as many trainee Home Inspectors simply walked away from this sorry mess feeling conned and duped by the Government

Based upon the figures above, only 1 in 2 Home Inspectors would have actually completed even one HCR.

However, the Home Inspector training course is still being widely advertised and this is understandably causing concern towards those considering investing substantial sums of money, in the region of £6,000.

Jim Gillespie said “An unregulated training provider regime resulted in a plethora of training companies springing up nationwide to cash in on this “lucrative” new industry. Once more the Government were reluctant to intervene when it quickly became blatantly obvious that far too many people were now being trained as DEA’s. Once more accurate figures from Government have been hard to come by but I am lead to believe that we have a situation whereby as many as 14,000 people have commenced a DEA training courses since they began. It is obvious that many of these individuals quickly learnt thereafter that the career path they had dreamed of before commencing their training was not actually the reality as only approximately 7,300 of them then went on to accreditation which is mandatory before they can trade as a DEA.

As one can imagine; many training providers are not supplying this information to those enquiring about the viability of becoming a Home Inspector and it is felt by many that some continue to ‘sell’ the course as a viable ‘money making’ possibility.

HIP-Consultant.co.uk are pleased that this issue is being brought to light further and it is evident that those that do their research prior to enrolling on the course can amongst the training providers’ adverts find the ‘reality’ of the situation.

But what else can be done?

Jim Gillespie expressed, “Unbelievably, with this backdrop of u turns, false promises and shattered dreams there are still training providers who continue to recruit and train prospective Home Inspectors or DEA’s to this day. IDEA continues to lobby Government and liaise with the Advertising Standards Authority in an attempt to stop these training providers encouraging people with no industry experience or existing professional contacts to commence training as an Energy Assessor and particularly as a Home Inspector as the fact that only 1,824 HCR’s have been carried out to date is surely irrefutable evidence that as long as the HCR remains optional the general public are simply not interested in paying for them.

HIP-Consultant.co.uk welcomes and looks forward to your comments.

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