Public interest role makes it more independent than trade bodies, says institution

The RICS is jockeying for a lucrative position as a Green Deal accreditor and has questioned whether other industry bodies would be suitable for the role.

It has said it would like to approve installers of the Green Deal - the government’s initiative to make all homes in the country more energy efficient at no upfront cost. Its role would also be to check installers had the right skills to recommend Green Deal upgrades for homes.

David Dalby, director of professional groups for the RICS, said that its public interest role made it better suited to being an accreditor than trade bodies.

“A public interest body rather than a trade body [would give] independence to the assessment,” he said.

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB), which represents SME builders, has already said it is lobbying the government for an accreditation role.

Dalby said he feared a trade body might be more willing to approve contractors keen to encourage consumers to upgrade their homes because this would create extra work for members.

“Where does the trust stop with a body that is ultimately looking after the interests of its members?” he said.

He added that a trade body could take on the role but subject to “controls” by the government.

The government has said that up to a quarter of a million jobs could be created if all 26 million homeowners in the country take advantage of the Green Deal.

Each home would need to be assessed to see whether the improvements would pay for themselves over time. This would require a large number of assessors - and checking they were all fit to do so could create a huge amount of work for an accrediting body.

Brian Berry, director of external affairs at the FMB, said that the body was not looking for a “monopoly” on accreditation and would be regulated by the government.

“All [accreditors] will have to be approved by the Green Deal accrediting body, where consumers will have the right to redress,” he said.