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Green Deal Training Bonanza to Start

Accreditation bodies are gearing up for a training bonanza as the first candidates for Green Deal Advisor status prepare to begin training courses within days.

The first cohort of candidates will start training as ‘go early’ Green Deal Advisors in July, in readiness for the introduction of the Green Deal within a few months.

The government has begun putting in place the final elements of Green Deal, and is still looking at 1 October as the launch date, though the Department of Energy and Climate Change is now openly talking about a ‘soft launch’, and the actual launch seems unlikely to take place until the new year.

The training programme is part of a joint project by Asset Skills, the sector skills council for energy assessors and advisors, and the Department for Energy & Climate Change that will deliver a £1m package that includes training for up to 1,000 Green Deal Advisors. There is also a separate Asset Skills project to train another 50 GDAs in Wales.

I understand that all the candidates being offered a training subsidy of up to 70% by Asset Skills have now been informed.
Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, said:

‘We need to get people properly trained up and ready to advise homeowners and businesses on the best way to improve the energy efficiency of their properties under the Green Deal.’

‘Using money from DECC / Asset Skills is really driving this forward and has now got skilled training providers in place ready to start training up to 1,000 people from July. This will play a key role in informing the wider market roll out of Green Deal Advisor training in the coming months.’

Asset Skills said the project will train Green Deal Advisors across Britain in both domestic and commercial property, though as far as I am aware no commercial GDA training is available in England or Wales at present. City & Guilds has a commercial GDA qualification, but at present it seems to be offered only by a college in Edinburgh.

GDA qualifications are available from several awarding bodies, and are being offered by a number of accreditation bodies. ecmk claimed earlier this month to be the first to be awarded ABBE approval for delivery of the Diploma in Domestic Green Deal Advice.

It has been a busy month at DECC for Green Deal announcements, as it lays the foundations for its flagship policy on energy efficiency.

It has announced that energy sector consultancy and service provider Gemserv will run the new Green Deal oversight body, and will be responsible for the registration of assessors, installers and providers, and monitoring compliance with the Code of Practice.

Gemserv, with their partners REAL (Renewable Energy Assurance Limited), have been chosen to provide these services for the next three years following an open competition. Gemserv and REAL currently operate the MCS scheme for DECC, overseeing renewables installers.

The service will commence in early August, ahead of the staged introduction of the Green Deal later in the year.

In addition, DECC has announced the appointment of Ombudsman Services Ltd as the provider of the Green Deal Ombudsman and Investigation Service. This will be a free service for customers who cannot reach an agreement with their Green Deal Provider over a complaint.

DECC has also set out a raft of secondary legislation that will give industry the green light to bring the Green Deal energy efficiency market into operation.
Energy Secretary and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: ‘I am determined to make sure that, in addition to creating huge opportunities for Green Deal providers and businesses along with thousands of new jobs, this new market in energy efficiency will deliver the very best deal for consumers.’

Written by Terry Wardle, Editor of Energy Assessor Magazine

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