CERTIFICATION SCHEME TO ENCOURAGE CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF EPC PRACTITIONERS
The Certified Energy Performance Certificate Practitioner (CEPCP) is an individual who performs an assessment of a building facility to compile and collect data and information required for verification towards an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for buildings. This is in terms of the EPC Regulation signed into effect in December 2020, and effective for compliance in December 2022, by the Minister of the Department of Minerals Resources and Energy (DMRE) in terms of Act number 34 of 1998.
South African building owners are required by law to submit their building data for the National Building Energy Performance Register (NBEPR) and display an EPC in the foyer of the building. In the case of public buildings owned, operated, or occupied by Government, the accounting officer carries this responsibility. This must be done through a South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) EPC Inspection Body in accordance with the EPC Regulation requirements, and the relevant standards.
The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) – the body responsible for the NBEPR, in partnership with the Institute of Energy Professionals Africa NPC (IEPA), undertook a Skills Programme in the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) registered EPC Practitioner qualification code SP220323 at the beginning of 2022, to develop skills to meet the requirements of the EPC Regulation. IEPA is a QCTO Skills Development Provider (SDP) and was the Development Quality Partner (DQP) for the EPC Skills Programme together with a Steering Committee. With the necessary skills available, the DMRE can strive to meet the goals set with the implementation of EPCs. There are currently eight SANAS-accredited EPC Inspection Bodies, with a total of xx Technical Signatories and over 40 EPC Practitioners who are ready to serve building owners and assist with getting buildings ready for inspection, or to inspect buildings and issue EPCs for you. In addition, a lot of training is available, a qualification is registered, and many building owners are already using these platforms to upskill their own building managers, facilities managers, electricians, and other staff members to get their own buildings ready for EPC Inspection Bodies to issue their EPCs for them. There are many ways to approach this as a building owner yourself or using the skills already available to you on a part-time basis, through the various programs developed.
More recently, to give assurance to skills available, a Certification scheme has been developed to firstly verify that a person is able to perform the work of assessing or auditing a building for an EPC through the correct data and information collection in a logical systematic manner, and secondly to ensure such persons remain knowledgeable on the topic by requiring continuous professional development towards remaining Certified as an EPC Practitioner.
There are many training options available, the Certification scheme looks wider than that into the existing qualifications of a person, their experience relating to EPCs, and whether they have had formal training in the EPC Regulation and related standards as well as safety requirements for energy auditing, and whether they understand the South African National Accreditation System(SANAS) requirements for Inspection Bodies. They also need to be able to logically produce an EPC report and certificate, and be able to solve problems when they encounter them whilst performing an EPC building assessment or audit. These are all qualities a Certified EPC Practitioner must demonstrate and maintain throughout their career.
The Certification scheme for EPC Practitioners has been tested, and the first five candidates have achieved their Certification as EPC Practitioners. This includes TM Lesetla, from Tshebo Facilities, an Energy Services Company (ESCO) providing services to clients to get their buildings ready for SANAS-accredited EPC Inspection Bodies. “The training received through the Institute of Energy Professionals Africa, an affiliate of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), together with the written examination with high pass requirements, and the assignment given towards certification, is arguably the most comprehensive in the country by far, in getting one to be a Certified EPC Practitioner. I would recommend it for anyone who would like to be involved in EPC, and have a full understanding of all applicable standards, including but not limited to SANS1544, SANS10400-XA, SANS/IEC/ISO17020,” commented TM Lesetla, CEPCP, Tsebo Energy Solutions. The other four candidates include Robert Clarke, also from Tshebo Energy Solutions, Jannie van Bosch and Ian Nel from Tolplan, and Dumisane Ndlovu from Improvair. The list of Certified EPC Practitioners is available on the www.iepa.org.za website.
The pilot of the scheme is completed, and the Certification scheme is now available for public comment by persons in the EPC industry that can contribute constructively to its success; we invite such persons to apply to comment on the scheme by completing this online application – use the QR code to access the form. Deadline: 9 September 2022 for comments.