DEA Upskill Exam


As you will know there is a requirement for all DEAs and HIs to pass an ‘upskill exam’ by 1 April should you wish to continue lodging EPC reports in England and Wales after this date.

If you have already passed the exam and sent a colour copy of your certificate to us, thank you.  If you have passed the ABBE exam and we registered you for the exam, you do not need to send anything further as ABBE will have told us that you passed the exam.

If you still need to take the exam we would urge you to do this as soon as possible. Below is some further advice telling you how to do this.

Training material

Please study carefully all of the free online material in your NES Learning account – We have modules available to explain the forthcoming changes and requirements under the following titles:

• RDSAP 9.91 Overview Part 1
• RDSAP 9.91 Overview Part 2
• RDSAP 9.91 Competency Test
• RDSAP 9.91 New Technologies
• RDSAP 9.91 Conventions
• RDSAP 9.91 DEA Professional Requirements
• RDSAP 9.91 Detailed Roof Room Assessment
• RDSAP 9.91 Construction
• RDSAP 9.91 The New EPC

You have limitless access to these modules and successful candidates have told us that they read the material at least once.

Please also visit the ‘RDSAP 9.91 Update’ section of Useful Documents in your NES one account where these study documents are available for you to view:

• ABBE Level 3 Award in DEA Professional Development Qualification Handbook
• Appendix S document
• Appendix T document
• DEA SORs v3.0
• DEA Technical Bulletin Issue 29
• English Heritage Guidance Documents
• Sample ABBE exam paper
• Sample EDI exam paper
• Sample of expected v9.91 EPC format

We strongly recommend studying all of the material before taking the exam.

Face to Face Training

We have trained over 500 assessors on our face to face training over the past few months and are running further courses at our training centre in Milton Keynes over the coming weeks.

Please click here to book or see a full list of the dates we are running.

Face to face training is not mandatory but will give you the opportunity to go through some of our technical revision material in more detail, ask any questions you may have and trial our new software. Please note that this face to face training does not cover all of the required knowledge.

To book online you will need to use Internet Explorer. Please add the course to your shopping list, press ‘proceed to checkout’ and enter your email address and membership number. The email address will be the one that we have sent this email to. Then click on ‘select dates and venues’ and enter how many spaces you would like to book on the available dates. If you press ‘continue’ you will be asked to enter your payment details and will receive a confirmation email once the booking has been successfully completed.

The Exam

You must pass the upskill exam offered by ABBE, City & Guilds or EDI in order to continue lodging EPCs after 1 April. As an ABBE assessment centre we are able to register you for the ABBE version of the exam.

We have also listened to feedback from members about wanting to take the exam with an alternative awarding body and have recently received approval to become an EDI assessment centre. We will therefore continue to work with both ABBE and EDI to ensure we can offer different exams based on member preference. We will work closely with both awarding bodies to offer member feedback on any concerns or questions.

EDI Exam

We are now able to offer the EDI exam. We can only offer the exam at our offices in Milton Keynes at this time as we need to host the exam on our laptops and invigilate the exam.

The cost to register for the EDI exam is £60 + VAT and this includes one attempt. If you require a re-sit this will be charged at £10 + VAT. The exam fee is non refundable. If you want to register for the exam please call us on 01908 442240.

We need at least 24 hours notice to book you on a date next week and you must arrive 30 minutes before the exam starts. Please bring photo ID with you such as a driving licence or passport. We will be able to tell you a provisional result over the phone within an hour of you completing the test and EDI will send us your official result within 7 days of the test.


If you want to register for the ABBE version of the exam, please click here to find out more. ABBE works on a system of issuing voucher codes and once you receive this, you can enter the voucher code into their website to book the exam. ABBE issues voucher codes to us twice weekly. You must register with us no later than 4pm on Monday to receive a voucher code on Tuesday afternoon and no later than 4pm on Thursday to receive a voucher code on Friday afternoon. We are normally issued the vouchers very late in the respective afternoons so will forward on details as soon as possible.

The ABBE exam costs £90 + VAT for your initial registration and one attempt. The ABBE exam can be taken at a Pearson Vue test centre of your choice and they have centres around the country. Re-sits costs £60 + VAT. Please be assured that we have not added any additional fees to this price and it is charged at cost to you.

If you have already received a voucher code we would urge you to book in a date as soon as possible so you know when the next exam date is available. Please look at the availability of all the centres in your area as a possibility. We have written to ABBE to ask that Pearson Vue make as many tests available as possible in the next few weeks but please feel free to email us at if you are having any difficulty finding an available slot. We would advise leaving enough time to schedule in a re-sit just in case this is needed.

Please also note that you need to take valid photo ID with you in the form of a passport or photo driving licence. If this has expired or you do not have this ID, please email us once you have booked the exam as we will need to inform ABBE before you take your test.

How do I tell you I have passed?

If you have registered for the ABBE exam with our assessment centre, we will be informed of your pass and you do not need to do anything further. This will also be the case for any EDI exams that we host in house.

If we have not registered you for the exam and you have a certificate from ABBE, City and Guilds or EDI, please email a colour copy of this to

What will happen if I do not pass the exam by 1st April?

On the evening of Saturday 31st March, we will be required to change your status to ‘not active’ on the Central Register if you have not passed the exam. You therefore will not be able to start, edit or lodge any further reports until you have passed the exam. Once you have provided evidence that you have passed, it will take up to 24 hours for your details to appear on the Register and you will not be able to work until this time.

The exam is available until October 2012 and if you have not passed by this time you will be required to complete the full DEA training again. We will provide further details of this as soon as we are advised.

If you work solely in Northern Ireland or Scotland you are not required to complete the upskill test. Northern Ireland will still change to RDSAP 9.91 in April so we would recommend studying the online material if this affects you. We have been advised that Scotland will make the change to RDSAP in October 2012.

We do hope that you will choose to complete the upskill exam by 1 April so you can continue to lodge reports without interruption. Please email us at if you require further assistance with accessing the training material or booking the exam. Please email if you have any queries of a technical nature.