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Soft Skills. DEA Soft Skills. To effectively operate as an Energy Assessors you will have to acquire and develop a variety of “Soft S kills” that comprise of; Communication – keep good written and verbal correspondence between you and the client.

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dea soft skills
DEA Soft Skills

To effectively operate as an Energy Assessors you will have to acquire and develop a variety of “Soft Skills” that comprise of;

  • Communication–keep good written and verbal correspondence between you and the client.
  • Time management – make sure you leave enough time between appointments for travel and assessing.
  • Continuing professional development – complete the needed amount of CPD to keep up to speed with the latest conventions and products.
  • Professional image – try to keep a professional yet practical image.

As a DEA you will work with a variety of people, due to this good communication and correspondence

skills are needed in order to;

  • To negotiate and accept an EPC instruction
  • To confirm an appointment with the owner/occupier
  • To obtain key information about a property to determine whether you are able to carry out the energy assessment.
  • To give your client completion confirmation along with the EPC
  • To accurately respond to a client’s queries about any aspects of the EPC or the assessment process.
time management
Time management
  • As a DEA it is beneficial to accurately time manage your appointments, ensuring you can make all the appointments you book in.
  • As you carry out more surveys and become more competent you will have a better idea how long it takes to do an EPC on different size properties
  • Familiarise yourself with the area you cover and travelling times, don’t forget to factor these into your diary.
  • Don’t forget to also factor in rush hour traffic into your journey times
what is cpd
What is CPD?

CPD - Continued Professional Development refers to activities undertaken by scheme members to maintain and build upon their skills and knowledge within the energy assessing environment.

This enables you to keep well informed about the industry and to continuously improve your techniques when carrying out assessments and communicating with clients

Stroma is obligated by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to ensure that all members meet their annual CPD requirements.

To aid assessors with this we have a CPD Channel, which has videos to watch and learn from.

how much cpd is required
How much CPD is required?

As a DEA, you are required to complete 10 hours of CPD a year.

If you hold more than one qualification, such as OCDEA you will be required to complete the required ten hours for DEA and a further 5 hours for any additional qualification held. In this case, fifteen hours of CPD would need to be fulfilled.

To aid assessors with obtaining the required amount of CPD Stroma have a CPD Channel, the CPD channel is comprised videos on various different aspects of energy assessing .

what is acceptable
What is Acceptable?

The following are all considered acceptable forms of CPD:

  • New product ranges
  • Particular property types in an individual’s area of work (e.g. system build, thatch)
  • Any certificated lecture/ presentation on products and services
  • New innovations that are not fundamental to the role they are undertaking
  • Renewable Technologies
  • Improvement in the use of IT skills and/ or written records

You will need to supply satisfactory evidence of your CPD such as a certificate of CPD, attendance of events or email with dates etc.

what isn t acceptable
What isn’t Acceptable?

The following are not acceptable forms of CPD:

  • Training courses (leading to certification)
  • Software changes
  • Changes in building regulations
  • Changes in DCLG guidance

These are all considered fundamental learning in order to practice as a DEA, and therefore do not count as further development


Part of your “Soft Skills”require you to work in a professional and ethical manner.

As a DEA and a lone worker you can easily be put in compromising positions and it is important you deal with these appropriately.


Study the details in the following scenarios and as a group outline how you think an Energy Assessor should deal with the situation.

scenario one
Scenario One
  • You have been asked to produce an EPC on a recently refurbished

Property. The owner (a property developer) is on site during your


He mentions that he needs a high energy rating to help the house sell


As you are completing the data form, he offers you a cash ‘bonus’ if

you enter a more efficient heating system than the one that is installed.

scenario one answer
Scenario One Answer

What would you do?

  • Reject his offer in clear terms and explain your duties and responsibilities as an accredited Energy Assessor

“If the discussion ends, consider completing the survey”

  • If he persists, politely withdraw from the situation
  • Make a clear notes in your site notes and/or property file
  • Contact your accreditation scheme and report the matter
scenario two
Scenario Two

You have been asked to carry out an EPC on a property that has a

heating system of a type you have not come across before

(see next slide)

How would you tackle this situation?

scenario two answer
Scenario Two Answer

How would you proceed?

The heating system is a gas central heating system with a pressurised

hot water tank

Take as much information as possible on site (including photos &

manufacturers details) and use this information to try and identify the system

If you are totally unfamiliar with the system

  • Research on the internet
  • Seek advice from your colleagues or Accreditation Scheme
  • Consider undertaking additional training to fill any gaps in your knowledge (CPD)

Back in the Office.

scenario three
Scenario Three

An Estate Agent has asked you to carry out Energy Assessments at

Four properties. He has arranged appointments for 10.30,

11.30, 12.30 and 2pm.

You have been given their addresses and told they are straight forward

to do.

The first house you arrive at is a 10 bedroom Mansion house

The second is 15 miles away

scenario three answers
Scenario Three Answers

The Mansion house will take longer than an hour to assess.

You will need to ring ahead and re arrange times for the survey and

confirm that the other houses are of size suitable to be surveyed in

such a short length of time.

The property owners/agents will need contacting as soon as possible

to rearrange inspection times and dates.

You should also point out to the estate agent the appropriate time scales


scenario three answers1
Scenario Three Answers

You should ensure that before accepting an EPC assessment that you have as much information about the property as possible, this can include;

  • Location
  • Size
  • Occupancy
  • Location of keys etc.
  • Manage your diary appointments
scenario four
Scenario Four

A householder has ordered an EPC on his property.

The morning the inspection is due to take place, the owner rings to say he will have to go out but he will leave his 14 year old daughterin charge to let you in so you can do the survey.

What would your response be to you client?

scenario four answer
Scenario Four Answer

Under no circumstances should you enter a property where an unaccompanied minor is left in charge.

You would have to rearrange the survey, ensuring an appropriate adult will be present and point out there may be a charge for a cancelled appointment.

occupied properties
Occupied properties

What would you do in the following situation?

  • You discover a scantily clad lady in one of the bedrooms

apologise for the disturbance, then explain who you are and why you are there, you should then leave and inform your client immediately.

  • A group of people in the sitting room with a number of syringes and substances in front of them.

Abandon the survey and inform your client, also if they are not authorised to be there inform the police.

  • A pile of twenty pound notes on a table in the bedroom and the owner is downstairs

Take a photo of the money in situ then ask the owner to remove it, this should also be photographed. For added safety you could ask the owner to write and sign to say it has been moved by them.


The Domestic Energy Assessor qualification is designed to give individuals a platform to develop an energy assessment business.

Therefore you are required to produce a range of documents and correspondence for before, during and after the survey.

What correspondence and records do you think will be required?

  • Before the survey
    • Diary
    • Contract, including Ts & Cs, and costs
    • Seller questionnaire
    • Acceptance form
    • Complaints procedure
  • During the survey
    • Site notes
    • EPC info sheet for client
  • After the survey
    • EPC
    • Completion letter
quality assurance
Quality Assurance

All energy assessors are subject to quality assurance checks.

These QA checks or audits are carried out by accredited DEA’s within the accreditation schemes.

These are minimum checks for all DEA’s of 1% of EPC’s in a quarter or a minimum of 1 audit per quarter, assuming you lodge in that quarter, plus, the schemes must audit 2% of all surveys lodged, on the scheme

These audit requirements are imposed by the DCLG and all schemes must adhere to them.

quality assurance1
Quality Assurance

Energy assessors are required to submit all their

  • site notes
  • floor plans
  • photos and any supporting evidence

when an audit is requested. There is a deadline of 15 working days to submit documents from the day the request is made.

  • There are 3 possible out comes to an audit;Pass, Fail and Re-lodge.

Most audits pass the assessment, but if the audit fails the scheme will carry out 2 additional audits.



Schemes shall ensure DEAs have a minimum professional indemnity insurance cover

  • £50,000 public indemnity for each claim in relation to any particular EPC,
  • £1,000,000 public liability insurance per claim.

Supporting documents can be found at

scheme operating requirements
Scheme operating Requirements

Overview of requirements

For Schemes to remain compliant with DCLG requirements, they shall be able to demonstrate that the following provisions are in place, and are functioning correctly:

  • 1. Ensure that members of the Scheme are “fit and proper” persons to undertake energy assessments and that they operate within a code of conduct as defined in Appendix 1.2 which is actively enforced by the Scheme.
  • 2. Ensure that members of the Scheme are qualified to undertake energy assessments.
  • 3. Ensure that members of the Scheme have in force suitable indemnity cover.
  • 4. Ensure that members of the Scheme use operational procedures that ensure consistency and accuracy of energy assessments.
  • 5. Maintain active quality assurance procedures that are calculated to ensure so far as is reasonably practical that the other provisions listed here are delivered.
  • 6. Facilitate the resolution of complaints against members of the Scheme.
  • 7. Implement disciplinary procedures in a proportionate and reasonable manner.
  • 8. Establish and maintain a register of members.
  • 9. Ensure financial probity, financial stability and operational resilience of the Scheme.
  • 10. Allow DCLG to monitor the Scheme periodically to ensure that it continues to comply with the terms of its approval and delivers compliance with the legislation.
  • 11. Maintain suitable administrative and operational systems that are applied in a consistent, fair and open way that is compliant with all relevant legislation.
  • 12. Meet other requirements that DCLG has specified from time to time, and in line with the “Approval Letter”.
the legal context
The Legal Context


What are the seven elements of a simple Contract?

elements of a contract
Elements of a Contract
  • Agreement

An Agreement is formed when one party accepts the offer of another and involves a “meeting of the minds”

2. Consideration

Both parties must have provided consideration, i.e, each side must promise to give or do something for each other

3. Intention

The parties must have intended their agreement to have legal consequences. The law will not concern itself with purely domestic or social agreements.

elements of a contract1
Elements of a Contract
  • Form

In some cases, certain formalities (that is, writing) must be observed

5. Capacity

The parties must be legally capable of entering into a contract

6. Consent

The agreement must have been entered into freely. Consent may be vitiated by duress or undue influence

7. Legality

The purpose of the agreement must not be illegal or contrary to public policy

epc contract
EPC Contract

In a standard contract for an EPC, what is likely to be included in

the Conditions (or Terms) of engagement?

conditions of engagement
Conditions of Engagement

These will vary depending on the nature of the organization or

individual but will usually include:

  • The description of the EPC service
  • The level of inspection
  • What will happen if the EA is unable to complete the service (i.e. no access to premises)
  • What the EA will charge for the service
  • What charges will be made where the EPC cannot be completed
  • Customer services issues (e.g. response times, delivery of the EPC, complaints scheme, etc.)
vicarious responsibility
Vicarious responsibility

Vicarious liability: is the principle by which one person can be held liable

for the actions of another. The person held vicariously liable need not

necessarily be a person who carried out the act – she/he may in some

circumstances be completely blameless.

A Typical example would be the employee who carries out a negligent act and the employer is held responsible.

  • There must usually be some sense in which the employer has authorized the acts of the party who is at fault.
  • Who would be at fault if you’re a practicing DEA?
conflicts of interest
Conflicts of Interest

Any circumstance that might lead to an actual or perceived conflict of interest must be explored by the EA with the seller and/or the person from whom instructions are received

  • EA’s must identify and disclose any financial relationships with others involved in the transaction
  • This is particularly important for organizations like estate agents who must understand the objective role of the EA
  • A statement about relationships should be made in site notes.
  • A Related Party Disclosure appears on the printed EPC.
security of information
Security of Information

Energy Assessors may come across personal or business information about the various parties, in particular the owner, occupier/s or sellers of the property, which has no relevance to the EPC

  • Such information must not be recorded in the site notes or divulged to third parties save that the EA must not treat this provision as a reason to ignore their common law duties and responsibilities
  • Energy Assessors must not use any information about the property in any other context without first obtaining the owner and/or seller’s written permission
security of information1
Security of Information

Energy Assessors must keep all information & records safe and secure

You must keep all your information relating to a survey for 15 years, it is therefore important that you:

  • Protect your premises/offices with alarm systems and don’t keep computers in public view
  • Restrict computer access to those needing it for business purposes
  • Ensure you have up-to-date antivirus software
  • Protect your network from hackers with a firewall
  • Backup information regularly
data protection act
Data Protection Act

The Data Protection Act requires all organizations which handle personal information to comply with a number of important principles regarding privacy and disclosure

  • The Act states that anyone who processes personal information must comply with eight principles.
  • These state that information must be:-
data protection act1
Data Protection Act
  • Fairly and lawfully processed
  • Processed for limited purpose
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate and up to date
  • Not kept for longer than necessary
  • Processed in line with individuals’ rights
  • Secure
  • Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection
fit proper
Fit & Proper

Stroma will ensure that a person is ‘fit and proper’ for membership with the scheme by checking a person’s basic criminal disclosure

  • This is required by all new members and has to be dated within 1 years
  • Stroma will notify member’s one month prior to their certificate expiring
  • On going a new disclosure will be required every 3 Years

Further information can be found at;

fit proper1
Fit & Proper

An application for Certification will not be successfulif a person has been convicted or cautioned for a serious offence including (but not necessarily restricted to):

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Death by reckless driving
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Firearms offences
  • Hostage taking
  • Hijacking or torture
fit proper2
Fit & Proper

An application for Certification will be rejected or membership revoked if a person has committed an offence as listed below

(which resulted in a prison sentence within the last 5 years)

  • Offences against a person
  • Offences against a property
  • Acts of dishonesty
  • Acts of corruption
  • Substantial Financial Gain
  • Serious Loss to Anyone (including theft, fraud and deception)

All other cases will be assessed on an individual basis

data gathering
Data Gathering

A ‘Data Gatherer’ is somebody who collects the property data on behalf of a qualified DEA who then lodges the report

  • A domestic EPC can only be produced by a qualified DEA, therefore the use of data gatherers is strictly prohibited
  • Before lodging the final report, you are required to confirm “I have been to site to gather data for this EPC” (Data Gatherer’s Declaration)
  • This policy is in place to ensure that the DEA who visits the property is the person who lodges the final report.