Retrofit Coordinator Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Level 5 Diploma in Retrofit Coordination and Risk Management?
It is a nationally-recognised and fully accredited qualification that teaches people how to project manage retrofit projects under the new British Standard BSI PAS 2035. The Award is made by the Open College Network West Midlands, an Ofqual-regulated Awarding Body.
Why should I gain the Retrofit Coordinator Diploma?
You should gain the qualification if you want to deliver domestic retrofit projects that deliver as they are supposed to. However, it will also open many doors to you as an individual, as well as helping your organisation to comply with the requirements of BSI PAS 2035.
BSI PAS 2035 is a government-sponsored Standard. It is set to become the standard approach to domestic retrofit. PAS 2035 states you need to have a Retrofit Coordinator overseeing each retrofit project and that you must hold the Level 5 Diploma in Retrofit Coordination and Risk Management to be recognised as a Coordinator. The Retrofit Academy is the only provider of this qualification.
PAS 2035 will be the mandatory standard on all ECO projects from July 2021. It is also required on all Local Authority Delivery Scheme Projects (LADs) and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF).
Once you have gained your Diploma, you can apply to join one of the TrustMark Retrofit Coordinator Accreditation Schemes. There are currently six of these provided by ECMK, Elmhurst, Stroma, the IAA, Quidos and Retrofit Works.
How long does the course take?
The course takes between 100 to 150 hours as a guide. This does depend on the individual in terms of how much existing knowledge of retrofit they have and even how quickly you type! The time is divided fairly evenly between learning, completing assignments and preparing for your case study presentation.
Do I meet the eligibility criteria?
There are three requirements:
- professional competences
- experience of retrofit or energy efficiency projects
You will need at least a Level 3 qualification in a built environment subject that carries at least 12 credits. It will usually tell you how many credits your qualification carries on your certificate. A university degree is usually at Level 5 or 6, but note the subject must be relevant to the built environment.
Domestic Energy Assessors usually hold a Level 3 qualification that carries sufficient credits. If you uncertain, please check with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will also need to be competent in a number of areas that we would expect a built environment professional to hold. We do not teach you these things as part of the course. PAS 2035 defines these as follows:
· Project management including programming and advising on the budget
· Assessing and managing technical and procedural risks
· Making applications for statutory approvals
· Managing a tender process to identify and appoint Retrofit Installer(s)
· Negotiating contracts
· Ensuring effective communication between teams
· Administering contracts
· Inspecting work to check progress, quality, and compliance
· Overseeing testing and commissioning
· Overseeing the handover of the project on completion
· Adjudicating any disputes
· Making defects inspections and arranging any necessary remedial works
Finally you will need to have at least two-years experience of working on retrofit or energy efficiency projects. We do not require this to be in any particular capacity.
What if I don’t meet the eligibility criteria?
If you are very experienced in retrofit and have the competences listed above but don’t have the qualifications required, you should ask us about a Pre-Assessment. We will give you access to a limited amount of course material and ask you to complete some short assignments. This usually takes an hour or two. We will then review your answers to establish whether we can be confident you will be able to achieve the academic standards required by the qualification.
If you do not have the required experience or competences, you will need to gain these before we can accept you on to the course.
How can I study?
There are currently three ways to study:
1) eLearning – study and complete your assignments online with support from a mentor.
2) Blended – study and complete your assignments online and attend a two-day Retrofit Coordinator Bootcamp with an expert tutor to go through all the fundamentals. The Bootcamp compliments the eLearning – it does not replace it.
3) Six-Day Taught Course – online courses led by an expert tutor, covering all of the teaching element. Learners then complete their assignments at their own pace.
When should I complete my Bootcamp? (Part of the Blended Learning)
You can complete the Bootcamp sessions at any time during the course. But most learners usually attend it after completing the first two modules.
When are the Bootcamps?
There is more information about course dates here.
Do I need any additional qualifications to be a Retrofit Coordinator?
The Level 5 Diploma is the only qualification you will need to be able to join one of the TrustMark Retrofit Coordinator accreditation schemes.
How is the qualification structured?
The qualification is divided into 12 modules, each addressing a key topic. Each module contains learning, resources, case studies and exercises. Learners should work their way through each module in sequence, completing the assessments as they go. Don’t leave them all to the end!
How is the qualification assessed?
Each module has two forms of assessment – a multiple-choice test (MPQs) and written assignments. You can repeat the MPQs if you do not achieve the required pass mark of 70%.
There are usually 4-5 written assignments per module, varying in length from 100 to 1000 words (as a guide). Each assignment relates to one of the Assessment Criteria required by the qualification. You must successfully pass all of these in order to gain the qualification. If you do not pass first time round, your assessor will provide feedback to you and you will be asked to resubmit.
Can I get a discount on my training?
If you join the Centre of Excellence, you can receive a 10% reduction on your training fees (if you are an organisation, the discount can be applied to each employee). You not only get this but an account on Retrobook; an app that will show you available jobs in your area, plus loads of other benefits!
For more information, please click here.
Will I be able to find work as a Retrofit Coordinator once I have graduated?
There is a lot of demand for Retrofit Coordinators at present – both for independent consultants and for those wanting full time jobs. This demand is largely driven by the retrofit funding schemes like the ECO, Green Home Grant, LADs and SHDF – all of which require Retrofit Coordinators.
The Retrobook App is designed to connect you to the marketplace for your services. Social landlords seeking Retrofit Coordinators can post their opportunity free of charge, and Retrofit Coordinators based within 100 miles of that job will receive a notification asking them to express interest.