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Do we need an exam in common sense?

by mel starrs on May 2, 2006

in Part L

Apparently so. More details are emerging on the register of Low Carbon Consultants:

“The criteria for joining the register will include detailed knowledge of the Building Regulations for energy efficiency requirements in the UK. Entrants to the register will have to undertake an examination. An examination syllabus will be published later in the year and CIBSE will be offering training courses beginning in July.

Candidates should note that there will be a reasonable amount of preparation in advance of what will be an intensive course. The syllabus and course content are currently under development.

To remain on the register, consultants will be required to undertake continuing professional development and to make annual ‘carbon saving returns’ to demonstrate how much carbon they have saved through their work as low carbon consultants. CIBSE will use the carbon returns to demonstrate that its low carbon consultants can deliver and operate buildings at a consistently higher standard than the minimum required by the building regulations.”

I’m torn on this. In essence, I think it is a good idea, as clients will know that the advice they are getting is coming from a creditable source, and anything which helps engineers and consultants differentiate from the rest of the field has got to be a good thing. But part of me thinks that being up to date with Part L is a building services engineer’s job, low carbon is common sense and we shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to prove our knowledge.

Is this the beginning of the revolution? Are we going to see two streams of CIBSE members in the future? Are traditional ‘pipes and ducts’ engineers going to diverge away from ‘sustainability experts’?

image (c) Judith Bartos