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If you operate as a display energy certificate (DEC) assessor in Northern Ireland, you must be suitably qualified and a member of an accreditation scheme which covers that type of work and is approved by the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP).

A DEC assessor is qualified to assess the energy performance of large public buildings and prepare DECs and advisory reports containing recommendations for the cost-effective improvement of the energy performance of those buildings.

A large public building is a building with a total useful floor area over 1,000 square metres which is occupied by a public authority or an institution providing public services to a large number of people.

To become accredited you must meet the relevant National Occupational Standards (NOS) in full. This includes showing full knowledge of operational rating methodology and the ability to use the approved operational rating software.


To join an accreditation scheme you must either:

  • hold a current qualification in energy inspection – this forms part of a NOS in Energy Inspection
  • have approved prior experience and learning equivalent to the NOS requirements – this is gained via the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) route

For the APEL route you must include your experience of using operational rating software and may be required to produce example DECs and advisory reports. You may also need to take top-up training. You may also need to hold a professional qualification.

Qualifications or APEL may only be valid for specific areas of energy inspection, eg for certain energy assessment methodologies or types of building. You can only conduct inspections in areas covered by your current qualification/APEL.

In addition some schemes may need you to obtain an Access NI check if you are to carry out work in schools or care homes for example.

How to apply

You must complete an application form and provide any supporting documents and application fee that the accreditation scheme requests.

Each scheme has its own application form and requirements for membership, but you’ll always be required to provide evidence of your qualifications/APEL and your fitness and suitability to carry out energy assessments.

You can find a list of approved schemes on the DFP website.

You will usually be issued with an identity card and have to pay an annual membership fee to your scheme.

An assessor from Northern Ireland accredited by an approved scheme also qualifies to work in England and Wales.

To become accredited, you’ll have to:

  • show that you can carry out consistent and accurate energy assessments in an independent manner
  • show that you are fit, proper and qualified to carry out energy assessments
  • prepare DECs and advisory reports using a standardised format
  • follow your scheme’s Code of Conduct
  • enter any DECs or advisory report that you produce and the data used to produce the document or DEC onto the relevant register held by Landmark on behalf of DFP

Further information

You must carry out energy assessments with reasonable care and skill.

Whenever you issue a DEC, you must issue with it an advisory report containing your recommendations for the cost-effective improvement of the energy performance of the building.

When issuing a DEC, you must include a declaration of any personal or business relationship that you have with:

  • any person who commissioned the certificate, or on whose behalf the certificate was commissioned - or any person who you believe may have a personal or business relationship with such a person
  • any person who you believe may have an interest in the building