I am writing this intro a couple of days after a very enlightening and successful PEPA Conference. As some of you will know, I chair the association and we have been committed to an annual conference since 2018.
Under normal circumstances, that wouldn’t be a difficult commitment, but we don’t live in normal times (just yet). So, the 4th conference was delayed by 3 months and was eventually delivered as a totally virtual event for the first time.
As I can now attest, virtual events require far more pre-planning and effort than a face-to-face event and they do feel different, however the feedback we have received to date has been overwhelmingly positive, so it is a sign that there is a place for such methods of delivery. I hope the Stroma Members that attended enjoyed the event and the information imparted by the speakers. Please see further details about our PEPA conference elsewhere in the newsletter.
Back to the day job, May saw some big developments for Stroma Certification. We launched our first podcast, which was born out of really constructive feedback from our members forum focus group. This podcast allows members to listen to a version of this very newsletter, which means you can take it out in the field with you and get the same information as you would reading on your tablet, phone or computer. This is available from Apple, Google and Spotify and you can subscribe so you automatically get the next edition.
We also launched FSAP 2012 with Trimble SketchUp integration which will allow our SAP assessors to benefit from this functionality (see elsewhere in the newsletter). Additionally, Stroma Certification and Ace Wizard are now integrated to allow ACIRs to be lodged on the central register via this excellent piece of software, which can do more than just create the mandated report. Please do check out the free CPD that is available on this opportunity.
Another major development is the up and coming release of a new version of our SAP 10 Beta software. The Beta software has been in place for many months now and is based on the latest SAP 10.1 draft methodology. Whilst we await confirmation of the final version of the methodology (SAP 10.2) we have been continuously improving our Beta software and adding features to allow our OCDEA members to run compliance calculations against the proposed building regulations. Our OCDEAs should keep an eye out for the new version and the release notes. If you haven’t yet installed SAP 10 Beta, you will be able to do so for free from our website and Members Area shortly.
We have also just launched our Stroma Learning Management System (LMS), which brings benefits of great quality CPD, to your PC, iPad or phone, at a time to suit you, whist allowing you to retain your CPD records and other training in one location. Its free to sign up and you only pay when you need to do a CPD course. Keep any eye on our dedicated webpage for the full list of CPD and any new courses!
A quick word on the industry. After a fairly quiet April, which was impacted by both a staged release of lockdown and several bank holidays, May has been a busy month for all strands and Retrofit Scheme are really starting to ramp up towards the end of PAS 2030 transition date for ECO. If you have trained as a Retrofit Assessor or Coordinator and haven’t already applied to join the scheme, then please consider this. We can register you at no upfront cost, until you need to use the services to lodge on the TrustMark Data Warehouse. This means you can appear on the registered Business Portal and be available to work for ECO installers.
Finally, on Covid. Even though the news and trajectory out of restrictions has generally been positive, there are concerns around a new variant. Please do continue to keep up to date on the latest developments and maintain the excellent safe working standards that you have implemented over the last year. Overall, please keep yourself safe and follow the government guidance in your area when working in the field!
I hope you enjoy this newsletter, and/or the alternative podcast format. Please do give us your feedback on so we can continuously improve what we cover in these forums.
Enjoy the start of summer when it finally arrives.
Andrew Parkin, Director of Energy Certification
You can now listen to the first edition of the Stroma Certification Podcast, in which Director of Energy Certification Andrew Parkin and Head of Marketing John Prydderch discuss upcoming developments in the UK energy industry.
In this episode, the panel discussed the PEPA Conference, Online Training, SketchUp integration and Stroma's new Learning Management System.
You can also listen on the following platforms:
As part of our ongoing partnership with software provider ACE Wizard, which allows Stroma Members to perform Air Conditioning Inspection Reports (ACIRs) and lodge them on the Central Register. We are pleased to advertise a new CPD taster session.
Our CPD taster sessions for members who wish to learn more about the ACE Wizard software will give insight into how the software is used and the benefits versus existing AC software. The sessions will outline how to use the software and the key features as well as covering other key benefits to Stroma Non-Domestic assessors.
The taster session will be run on:
7th June - 3:00pm
If you would like to attend, please sign up here Register
If you didn’t catch us at this year’s PEPA Conference on the 25th of May, don’t worry, you can still visit our PEPA Event Hub, and see exactly what we were talking about throughout the day!
Please be aware the PAS 2030 transition arrangement comes to an end on the 30th June 2021 and from the 1st of July 2021 BEIS have confirmed all work must be carried out to PAS 2030:19 and PAS 2035:19 standards. BEIS have confirmed that they will not be considering any further extension to PAS 2030 transition arrangements beyond the 1st of July effective date including social housing, ECO, Home Upgrade Grant and any other funded schemes including future phases of the LAD scheme.
BEIS have however stated that they are looking at the mechanism for extending PAS2030-17 for work which has been acquired under the Green Homes Voucher Scheme and LAD 1a and 1b until the 31st of October 2021. This is subject to approval of the mechanism for extending PAS2030-17 for these two work strands only and in accordance with the relative rules established under the relevant schemes.
We will communicate further details as soon as BEIS have issued their formal communication.
BEIS are clear that no further extension beyond the 1st of July 2021 outside of this scope will be permitted and installers must have moved to the PAS2030-19 standard as previously required.
Here are some bullets setting the position out:
Our popular FSAP software suite, used by half of the On Construction Domestic Energy Assessors (OCDEA) across the UK now has a Trimble SketchUp integration feature.
How to sign up to Trimble SketchUp
Stroma Certification OCDEAs can sign up to use SketchUp by clicking here
The use case for SketchUp does vary from organisation to organisation, as there are many different ways to use SketchUp depending on what the user wants/needs from the system, so it is wise to make suitable enquiries with Trimble. However, in our experience, the ‘Pro’ package offers the necessary access to the package to allow OCDEAs to complete 3D plans.How to add the SketchUp importer to FSAP
Adding Trimble SketchUp to your account today - simply complete the below form and our team will add this to your profile. This will give you the ability to access the import option within FSAP.
Sign up is free and you only pay for the facility when you lodge an EPC where the SketchUp importer has been used.
You can now Book, Pay & Learn Online with us. Check out our latest training dates below. You can also view our full training calendar.
Purpose of this consultation:
We are developing a new Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland. We are consulting on policy options to achieve a decarbonised energy future for Northern Ireland.
This builds on the evidence received and the key issues identified through the Call for Evidence process, which took place in 2020.
This consultation can be completed by anyone who:
• lives in Northern Ireland, or
• belongs to an organisation or company that operates in Northern Ireland, or has a remit here
This is to inform you that changes have been made to the Level 3 and Level 4 Air Conditioning qualifications.
We have removed the necessity for unit 3 to be assessed through an examination, the form of assessment for this unit will now be Portfolio of Evidence, however, if any learners have already booked an examination, they can still go ahead and take it.
Making this change has also enabled us to review the handbooks which has led to some amendments and clarification of some points. All of the changes are listed on page two of the handbooks. The revised qualification specifications and handbooks can be found on our website.
Stroma Group Ltd
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