The list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below should be the first port of call if you have any queries regarding the running of the Scheme.
Why have these Energy Certification Schemes been devised?
The Schemes have been introduced in response to the requirements of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003. Certification is an optional route under the Building Standards system to assess and demonstrate compliance of Energy Designs.
What do I do if my application is not approved?
If your application is not approved, BRE will inform you of the reasons why it was not successful. You may appeal to BRE against rejection of an application for membership, this should be addressed to the Head of Certification of the scheme and will be considered by the Appeals Panel. See ACD complaints and appeals
What do I need to join the new Scheme?
Only those who meet the criteria for membership will be allowed to join. Those applying to the Scheme will have their levels of experience and qualifications assessed. All applicants must take and pass the exam.
What happens if I move Firm (Approved Body)?
If you move Firm, you should inform BRE Global of your revised contact details. If your new Firm is already an Approved Body, you may continue to act as an Approved Certifier. If your new Firm is not already an Approved Body, although you may retain your status as an Approved Certifier, you may not issue any certificates until such time as the Firm has gained Approved Body status.
What happens if a Firm is taken over by another Firm and/or changes name?
If a Firm is taken over by another Firm and/or changes its name, the Certification coordinator should inform BRE G which will advise what action is required in the particular circumstances
How do I apply as a Sole Practitioner?
A Sole Practitioner is required to be registered as both an Approved Certifier and an Approved Body. See ACD sole practitioner page joining information page.
Why would a business want to become an Approved Body?
Approved Bodies through using the Scheme will be able to offer their clients a quicker route to obtaining a Building Warrant than using the standard local authority procedure, which may be an additional service for clients. The building warrant applicant receives a 10% reduction on the warrant fee, when accompanied by a Certificate of Design.
Why would I want to become an Approved Certifier?
Approved Certifiers provide quality and high standards in building design and construction and by using an Approved Certifier building owners can be assured that they will meet their legal requirements of ensuring work done complies with the building regulations.
Benefits to the industry and building owners are:
An Approved Certifier’s comprehensive knowledge reduces the risk of errors or omissions happening in the design or construction.
Scheme members are able to differentiate themselves from competitors and gain a commercial advantage over other firms.
Use of an Approved Certifier offers a higher level of protection to customers through the indemnity insurance cover held by Approved Bodies.
Can Sole Practitioners certify?
Sole Practitioners may certify provided they are registered as both an Approved Certifier and an Approved Body.
Can the Firm that I work for apply to join the Scheme?
The Firm can apply to join the Scheme as long as they apply for membership as an Approved Body.
If the verifier is no longer checking the design, is there a requirement to submit data with a building warrant application?
Yes, raw data needs to be submitted as they were under the previous system. This is to enable Building Standards to check the construction work against that on the drawings and specifications.
It is advisable to refer to the Scottish Government web site for their Procedural and Certification Handbooks which is essential reading for all those who wish to become registered.
Where do I stand if I do not meet your minimum standards but have a vast amount of experience?
We will advise on necessary training for people who fall short of meeting our minimum application requirements. Applicants must make sure that their application states clearly the relevant skills and experience they possess in order to be considered for membership of the Scheme. Each application will be assessed on individual merit.
Do Certification Co-ordinators have to be Certifiers of Design?
Certification Co-ordinators do not have to be Certifiers of Design. One of the main duties of the Certification Co-ordinator is to be responsible for ensuring that the conditions under which the Approved Body was approved are fulfilled and maintained, which does not require them to hold any qualifications.
Is a Certificate of Design the same as an EPC?
No, a Certificate of Design is intended to demonstrate compliance of the building's design with building regulations. It is signed off by the Certifier and the Certification Coordinator and submitted to the Verifier for that purpose only.
Do the ACD Schemes cover the issue of EPCs for new buildings?
No, an Approved Certifier of Design can no longer issue a New Build EPC with effect from 01 Jan 2013. To do so you would need to be a member of a New Build EPC Scheme.
Do ACD Schemes cover the issue of EPCs for existing buildings?
No, To do so you would need to be a member of a Existing Building EPC Scheme.
Is the 3 Part training all mandatory for entry to the Schemes?
BRE requires Approved Certifiers to undertake Part 2 of the training and Part 3, the examination, as mandatory for membership of the Schemes. Part 1 (SBEM for Non-Domestic and SAP for Domestic) may be omitted if already undertaken or experience indicates it is unnecessary, however, this is an issue for individual applicants to determine. BRE will always recommend that all training is undertaken.
Is the Non-Domestic Scheme training (Part 1) and examination (Part 3) based on SBEM?
Some of the examination is based on SBEM. However, Certifiers who have been trained and have experience in the use of other software tools can use them in discharging their duties as long as they can demonstrate competence in their use. Either through Certification from others or significant experience.
What if there is a large design team and the Certifier does not have all the knowledge required to certify the design?
The Certifier can seek input and advice from third parties as required, as long as this is recorded in the logbook. A Certifier must however work within their competence at all times. Competence is defined in the Schedule of Competence.
What are the benefits to clients of Certification of Energy Design to Section 6?
Apart from the 10% reduction in warrant fee the intention is to speed the Building Warrant process. Time saved in compliance checking by verifiers will benefit the developer, it is valuable offering to a client compared with the traditional route where delays are likely to be experienced in assessing numerous or complex designs.
For more information
E: Approved Certifiers of Design
T: +44 (0)141 4474999
or via one of our local offices