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To work as an operational ratings assessor (ORA) producing display energy certificates (DECs) for public buildings which have a total useful floor area over 1,000 square metres, you must be suitably qualified and a member of an accreditation scheme which covers that type of work and is approved by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

In order 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.

There are two routes to accreditation as an ORA. One is accreditation of prior experiential learning - if you already have experience of energy management or energy assessment you must show how you meet the NOS in full. 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 be required to hold a professional qualification.

The other route is by qualification by obtaining a level three diploma in display energy assessment.

In addition some schemes may require you to obtain a Criminal Records Bureau check if you are to carry out work in schools or care homes for example.

You must register with a scheme that provides accreditation for ORAs.

In order to become accredited, you will have to:

  • show that you can carry out consistent and accurate energy assessments in an independent manner
  • show that you are a fit and proper person who is qualified (by education, training or experience) to carry out energy assessments
  • prepare DECs and advisory reports using a standard form for each type of document
  • follow your scheme’s code of conduct
  • enter DECs and advisory reports produced by you onto the relevant register


As an energy assessor you may only conduct inspections in areas covered by your current qualification and accreditation system, ie if you are qualified and accredited to carry out domestic energy assessments you must not carry out commercial energy assessment unless also qualified and accredited for this area.

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

  • the person who commissioned the certificate, or any person 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

You must carry out energy assessments with reasonable care and skill. After assessing the building, you must also issue an advisory report containing recommendations for improvement of the energy performance of the building.

You must ensure that any DEC or advisory report that you issue, and the data which was used to calculate any operational rating, and to produce the document, is entered onto the relevant register kept by the DCLG before you give the document to the person who requested that it be issued.