Forthcoming changes to RDSAP 9.91 and the mandatory DEA top up qualification


We wrote to our members on 2 December to give notification of a communication from DCLG which describes the major changes that are being made to the content and format of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for domestic buildings. It also notes the additional training requirements that will be introduced shortly for Domestic Energy Assessors. If you are a DEA, the document can be accessed by clicking here (you will be asked to log into your NES one account and then taken directly to the document). Alternatively please go the DCLG section of Useful Documents in your NES one account and open the PDF document titled ‘New EPC format and developing skills of DEAs – November 2011’


In summary, April 2012 will see a change to RDSAP 9.91, a new style EPC certificate and most importantly, the need for all DEAs to have passed a top up qualification before you are able to offer an RDSAP 9.91 EPC.


To help you understand the changes and assist you in preparing for the top up qualification, we have put in place a series of RDSAP 9.91 training modules (online and face to face) and a timetable regarding the release of material for the top up qualification. We intend to do all that we can to help you understand the changes and complete the exam as soon as possible.


RDSAP 9.91 Online Training Modules


We are currently developing a range of free online CPD modules that outline the main changes to RDSAP 9.91. Two CPD modules and a competency test are now available for you to view in your NES Learning account. The CPD is in the form of an overview and is titled:


  • RDSAP 9.91 Overview CPD Part 1
  • RDSAP 9.91 Overview CPD Part 2


There is also a competency test available to ensure you have understood the content of the overview modules. This is titled:


  • RDSAP 9.91 Competency Test


We will also make available more detailed online CPD on the following topics soon:


  • Roof Rooms
  • New Technologies
  • Construction
  • Conventions


In addition we have updated some of our existing online CPD modules. If you have not already bought these modules and wish to do so, please go to our website where the modules are available to purchase at a cost of £25 plus VAT for members: CPD modules


The updated CPD titles are as follows:


  •          Secondary Heating
  •          Room in the Roof
  •          Room Areas and Exposed Perimeters
  •          Flats and Maisonettes
  •          Alternative Walls


If you have already purchased one of these titles in the past, the new module has been placed in your NES Learning account at no extra cost.


Your NES Learning account can be found here ( If you are not able to see the free overview modules or need a reminder of your log-in details, please email us


RDSAP 9.91 Face to Face Training


In addition to the online material, we will also run a series of face to face training courses. The face to face training will be similar to the RDSAP 2009 Getting to Grips with the Changes one day courses that we ran last year (one day training courses held here at our offices in Milton Keynes) and will be worth 6 hours of CPD. The training will be charged at £75 plus VAT for members and £95 plus VAT for non members and we will confirm dates for the training shortly.


RDSAP 9.91 Technical Bulletin and Manual


A special version of the DEA technical bulletin covering the forthcoming RDSAP 9.91 changes will be made available to all DEA members early next year and a revised RDSAP manual will also follow.


Please note, although the RDSAP 9.91 CPD will help you understand the forthcoming RDSAP changes, there will be additional training in place in order to help you pass the top up qualification.


Top up qualification


The DEA top up qualification will be known as the ABBE Level 3 Award in Domestic Energy Assessment Professional Development. The qualification is designed to cover the additional knowledge and understanding that current, qualified, practicing DEAs will need to produce the 2012 version of the Energy Performance Certificate. It will furthermore ensure DEAs have an adequate understanding of the role and purpose of the EPC within the wider context of Government policy on improving the energy efficiency of buildings, and generally raise standards in DEA practice.


DCLG has specified that all DEAs will need to achieve this qualification in order to continue to practice from 1 April 2012.


How do I gain the qualification?


In order to gain the qualification, all DEAs will need to pass an exam. The exam will consist of 40 multiple choice questions and can be taken at one of ABBE’s national examination venues. Candidates will have 70 minutes to complete the exam and each question will consist of the question and 4 possible answers. ABBE has advised that there will be a cost of £90 plus VAT to register for the exam which includes one attempt at the exam. Subsequent attempts will be charged at the standard ABBE fee of £60 plus VAT.


You will need to register with an ABBE assessment centre (such as NHER) in order to take the exam and we are able to register requests with ABBE from 1 January 2012 onwards. Please note, ABBE has advised us that the exam will not be available until February 2012 and we will confirm the exact start date as soon as we have been made aware.


If you would like to register for the exam now, you can do so by following this link. To access our booking system you will need to know your membership number and email address. You will then be charged the ABBE fee of £90 plus VAT and we will register you in January in preparation for the ABBE exam. As soon as the exam is made available, we will send you a voucher code to book the exam along with instructions of how to do this.  Should you need any assistance in registering for the exam please email us at


What material is currently available to me?


We have been sent a qualification handbook from ABBE that outlines 4 key areas that will be covered in the exam.


  • Understand the professional requirements to operate as an accredited domestic energy      assessor
  • Understand the technical knowledge required to meet current domestic energy assessmentrequirements for the preparation of EPCs
  • Understand the technical knowledge required to meet current domestic energy assessment requirements for energy efficiency recommendations
  • Understand the purpose and content of the current Energy Performance Certificate


The qualification handbook and further details of the requirements and their question weighting in the exam can be found by clicking here or by going to the General Documents section of Useful Documents in your NES one account. The document is titled ‘ABBE Level 3 Award in Domestic Energy Assessment Professional Development (QCF).


Asset Skills has been tasked with writing further material for training providers so that we can help you prepare for the exam. We have been advised that the material will be made available to training providers in January. As soon as this has been made available to us we will write to you again with further details of the training we are putting in place.


What should I do now?


We would advise that you start looking at the RDSAP 9.91 online modules and also look at the ABBE Level 3 Award in Domestic Energy Assessment Professional Development handbook. You may also wish to register for the exam now to avoid any delays next year.


We understand that you will be anxious to receive the top up qualification training material and please be assured that we will release this as soon as possible. We aim to make this process as quick and easy for you as is possible and please feel free to contact us at if there is anything we can help with in the meantime. 


National Energy Services
National Energy Centre, Davy Avenue, Knowlhill, Milton Keynes  MK5 8NA

Tel. +44 (0)1908 672787   Fax. +44 (0)1908 662296
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