B&ES’ David Frise calls for accreditation scheme reform

In his recent evidence to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee enquiry into heat, chaired by Sir Robert Smith, B&ES Head of Sustainability David Frise said that the complexity of accreditation arrangements was undermining initiatives designed to improve efficiency in buildings.

“To install a solar thermal array on the roof of a domestic dwelling you need to be in three schemes:  the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, the Renewable Energy Consumer Code and a competent person scheme like BESCA; three schemes all requiring fees and inspections to do one thing.  Now with the Green Deal we have introduced yet another certification scheme for authorised installers.  It is hard enough for contractors to understand and little wonder that consumers are completely confused” said Mr Frise.

It has long been the Association’s contention that there are far too many accreditation and ‘qualified workforce’ schemes in the construction sector adding layers of costs and bureaucracy, and mystifying clients.

Roderick Pettigrew, Chief Executive of B&ES, comments: “David Frise, in his evidence to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, was quite correct in saying that the number of accreditation and certification schemes, just to install renewable technologies, is complex and confusing.  However, this should be viewed in the wider context of the multiplicity of schemes that now operate in the building and construction sector.

“We must accept that the plethora of stand-alone registration schemes has created confusion throughout the construction industry and among its clients.  It is essential we work towards rationalising these myriad schemes and why we have called for a set of principles common to all registration schemes to be drawn up and agreed, allowing qualified firms to register only once.”

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