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Who should represent you?

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 14-Jul-09 03:44:10 PM

There’s an interesting poll going on at the Home Inspector Forum (HIF) at the moment (ends Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:10 pm), entitled Does your Accreditation Scheme represent you?

There are six questions in total asking members who they believe should represent their voice to Government and stakeholders.

Two questions in particular caught my interest:

3) Do you want to be represented by your Accreditation Scheme? 20%
4) Do you want to be represented by a representative body (IDEA, IHI, ProDEA, Union)? 20%

Interesting – I wasn’t expecting the accred schemes to perform so strongly, if I’m honest.

In the first 48 hours the accreditation schemes raced ahead by quite a margin, but in the last few days they have been head-to-head with the representative bodies.

For a while now I’ve held that accred schemes are currently best-placed to represent the voice of industry, simply because they’re much closer to DEAs and the workings of the market - They also have the data, staff, and access to the CLG.

I think many now recognise that whilst there is more than one representative body chasing the same dollar, and causing (bitter) divisions within the DEA community itself, they will all remain impotent, wasting members' money and resources in the process.

But the ongoing problem accreditation bodies face has been in coming together to form, or join, a single trusted entity through which they can aggregate data and views without compromising commercial sensitivities.

Another technical problem, as Joseph Pestell points out on the HIF, is that accreditation bodies are not truly representational because members cannot elect the chairman or board (Well, IDEA members can’t elect its chairman at the moment either, but hey-ho).

Nevertheless, the accred bodies are, de facto, the best-serving mechanism at the moment, IMO.

What are the accreditation bodies doing?

But what are the accred bodies doing on the representational front?

Well, some are more active than others, seemingly. But I don’t pretend to know all that goes on behind closed doors.

If we look at which of them responded to the CERT and CESP consultations, for example, we find:

  • National Energy Services (NHER) - CESP
  • BRE - both CESP and CERT
  • Northgate - both CESP and CERT

And recently, of course, NHER produced its much publicised report into non-compliance, albeit on the commercial side of things, and it also took the opportunity, in its annual report to the CLG, to make several calls on the Govt to improve various aspects of EPC implementation and standards, including the use of data collectors and the need for stricter guidelines for accreditation schemes.

I’m sorry if I’ve missed the noble efforts of your accred scheme to improve the lot of your fee-paying DEAs and industry alike, but that’s what we see – so please share, the silence is deafening.

The responding reps

By way of fairness, I was both surprised and pleased to see two of the rep orgs respond to the consultations too: 

Well done to all who took the time to pitch-in with that; and if anyone has the respective links to their responses, I’ll happily include them.

Notwithstanding any of the above, though, the poll does show, at the time of writing, how split the DEA community is over who should - or can - represent them, which should be seen as a shot across the bow of the rep orgs.

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