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QCTO Accreditation for EPC Practitioners to assist building owners

The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) has registered the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Practitioner qualification and three Skills Development Providers (SDPs) have already successfully been accredited. The EPC Practitioner qualification is aligned with the Regulation for the Mandatory Display and Submission of EPCs for certain categories of buildings which was Gazetted for implementation by 7 December 2022.

The qualification was developed through a capacity building programme by the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and the Institute of Energy Professionals Africa (IEPA), which was co-funded by SANEDI and GIZ Skills Development for a Green Economy ll (SD4GE II) programme, a German Technical Cooperation Programme implemented on behalf of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the DMRE.

Private buildings and government operated, occupied, and owned buildings by law must have an EPC displayed in the building’s foyer by 7 December 2022 if the building falls in the categories of offices, entertainment and public assembly, places of instruction, and theatrical and indoor sports facilities. The sizes of buildings in the categories that must comply is privately owned buildings of 2,000m2 net floor area or larger, and for government 1,000m2 net floor area or larger.

Building owners must contract a South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) accredited EPC Inspection Body to verify the collected data and information of the building and sign the EPC Certificate. The Regulation creates significant employment opportunities for SANAS accredited EPC Inspection Bodies, but also for EPC Practitioners to support the implementation of the Regulation by providing services to collect and collate the data required for the building owners ready for SANAS accredited EPC Inspection Bodies to verify. The nature of EPC’s data and information collection has allowed the QCTO’s EPC Practitioner qualification to become an entry level qualification for technically qualified employees and college students to embark into the energy industry which will allow them to learn the basic knowledge and skills required to start contributing to a greener economy. Upskilling opportunities for buildings owner’s current staff are also possible by taking the qualification.

EPC Practitioner qualification of the QCTO consists of 10 days of theoretical modules that can be done online, and 5 days of practical with a facilitator to embed the knowledge. This is followed by working on an actual building to complete the assignment where a building is assessed for the purposes of gathering the data and information for an EPC and demonstrating competence by issuing a mock certificate. The assignment guides the learner through a logical process aligned to the energy audit standard SANS50002:2011 and assist with understanding the EPC Regulation and the standards that support the regulation which is SANS10400XA-2021:Ed2 Energy Usage in Buildings and SANS1544:2014 Energy Performance Certificates for Buildings.

The first SDPs to receive accreditation to offer the QCTO’s EPC Practitioner is IEPA, College of Cape Town and Ekurhuleni East TVET College.

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