Terms & Conditions of Business

Words with special meanings

  • “The Company”, relates to AccuRating Ltd – Energy Assessors
  • “The Client”, relates to the person(s) that are responsible (generally, the owners) for the property being assessed by the Energy Assessor.
  • “The Site” or “Website”, refers to the website www.accurating.co.uk


The Website

  • The site is owned and operated by the Company whose office is located at:
    Rockcliffe
    Sunny Bank Road
    Brighouse
    HD6 2AE
  • By using this website, you accept these Terms of use. Should you not accept the Terms, please leave the site immediately.
  • Please review the full Terms regularly to ensure you are aware of any changes. Continued use of the website, after changes have been posted, implies agreement to be legally bound by these Terms as updated/amended/enhanced.
  • The Company may update, enhance or alter the Terms at any time by posting changes online within the website.
  • The Website and its content (including any part thereof) may not be copied, disseminated, distributed or resold without prior written consent from the Company.
  • The Website has been designed for sole use within the counties of England and Wales as the subject matter is focussed on related legal matter pertinent to those countries. Therefore, you must not use the Website or contents in countries other than those already mentioned as the details may not meet that countries local laws, regulations codes or customs.
  • The Website contains links that may be of interest to others. These linked websites are owned by other companies that are not part of the Company, users view such sites at their own risk. The Company is not responsible for, and has no control over the content of such sites. The Company has no liability for any damage or loss (including, without limitation, financial loss, loss of profits, loss of business or any indirect or consequential loss), however it arises, resulting from the use of or inability to use the linked websites or any material appearing on them or from any action or decision taken as a result of using the websites or any such material.
  • In no event shall the Company or its employees be liable for any indirect or consequential loss or damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, loss or profits) incurred by the Client or their representative, or in respect of any claim made against your by any third party arising as a result of, or in connection with, the Clients use of the Website or its content. The Website and its content is provided ‘as is’.


Terms of Engagement

The Process

  • The Company will initially arrange an appointment with the Client. The Client has the opportunity to re-arrange with the Company via email, phone or letter, if the timing is inconvenient.
  • The assessment will take place at the allotted time – unless there are unforeseen circumstances – see section marked ‘Delays’.
  • All survey work will be conducted by the Company. The Company's employees are all accredited and certified via Government licensed agencies – for example the Stroma scheme – and will conduct the Company's business in accordance with the schemes code of practice.
  • The Assessment process will entail:
    • Property measurements
    • Access to the loft
    • Access to all rooms
    • Access to all energy appliances (boiler, fires, cylinders etc) and their controls
    • Communications with the Client (or delegated ‘responsible adult’) on site regarding the property age, heating details, glazing, installation, build and extension dates.
    • Sight of any heating, glazing or building guarantees/warranties.
  • Unless stated otherwise, the inspection will be visual only of the surface area of the accessible part(s) of the structure specified. Parts of the structure which are not readily accessible owing to height or other obstruction may need builders to raise ladders, or construct access, or additional equipment. Except where the contrary is stated this will NOT be included in the fee quoted. However, the Domestic Energy Assessor will seek the Client’s approval if the necessity arises.
  • Except where the contrary is stated, parts of the structure which are covered, unexposed, or inaccessible will not be inspected and will not be included within the report.
  • The report will not purport to express an opinion about, or advise upon the energy efficiency of uninspected parts and should not be taken as making any implied representation or statement about such parts.
  • The Company will advise the Client in report form, an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), as to the assessment of the energy efficiency for the given property and any improvements that may be made to improve the property’s energy efficiency. The Services shall produce an Energy Performance Certificate & including a Recommendation Report (“EPC”).
  • The EPC will be provided within 10 working days, although the Assessor will always attempt to achieve a shorter turn-around time.
  • The Company and the Assessor will provide support to the Client where there is a desire to discuss the findings and suggestions given within the EPC.
  • The report is provided for the sole use of the named Clients and, where the Domestic Energy Assessor is advised, for the sale of the property and is confidential to the Client and his professional advisers.
  • The Domestic Energy Assessor accepts reasonable responsibility to the Client alone for the stated purposes that the report is used. The report will be prepared with the skill, care and diligence reasonably to be expected of a competent Domestic Energy Assessor, but accepts no responsibility whatsoever to any person other than the Client him/herself. Any such person or body relies upon the Report at their own risk.
  • The Client will pay the Company the agreed fee for the report and any expressly agreed disbursements.

Working Facilities

As a caring and concerned company, the Company expects the Assessor to have a safe environment in which to work. Should the Client fail to provide the following, it may result in termination of the inspection based upon Health and Safety grounds:
  1. A responsible adult will be present throughout the assessment inspection.
  2. Unimpeded access for the Domestic Energy Assessor during the time of the appointment, for example, access to the loft area an all around the external property perimeter.
  3. All children present will be supervised – to avoid any health and safety risks when performing the inspection.
  4. All pets will be strictly supervised and removed from the areas to be inspected.
  5. An “abuse free” environment (either verbal or physical). Abuse will meet with zero tolerance by the Company and result in an immediate termination and potential legal action.

Conflicts of Interest
The Company will not undertake any assessment that constitutes a conflict of interest – for example; properties that are owned by employed members of the Company – or – where a financial inducement has been offered.

What does the EPC Assessment not provide?

  • A structural survey, condition report or property valuation.
  • Professional services other than related to the provision of an EPC. Any such additional services will be dealt with by a separate contract.

Exclusions

The Company does not undertake assessments that fall outside the methodology of RdSAP (Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure). This means that certain properties are excluded from being assessed by the Company. Scope examples are shown below:
  • Multi residential – such as nursing homes
  • Brand new ‘off-plan’ property
  • Solely Commercial

Re-arrangement of appointments due to termination of appointment
Should it be necessary to terminate a visit and re-arrange an appointment, owing to Health & Safety reasons – and the Client not having met the aforementioned Working Facilities, a re-arranged visit will incur an additional fee of £40 to cover costs and time.

Delays
If the appointment is cancelled by the Client on the day of the appointment for whatever reason, £40 will be payable to the Company.
Where a date or time has been agreed for the Assessment, the Company shall be entitled to a reasonable extension of that period due to causes beyond their control or due to other responsibilities. However, should there be a need to delay, the Company are responsible to advise the Client of such changes as soon as they occur.

Re-inspection
Should the Client, for any reason, request the Company to re-inspect the property, a fee for such re-inspection may be charged by the Company. Such fee will be refundable to the Client in the event of the Company being proved to have been negligent in their original findings.

Liability and Damage

Whilst every reasonable care will be taken by the Domestic Energy Assessor, they will not be liable for any damage caused during their assessment inspection caused by unavoidable occurrences. Therefore, for example, it may be advisable for the Client to have dustsheets in areas where egress may create dust or dirt and remove breakable items.
The Client is protected via the Company’s Professional Indemnity Insurance and Public Liability Insurance.
Nothing in these Terms restrict or exclude our liability to you for death or personal injury caused by our negligence. Subject to the details of the complete Terms, we shall not be liable for any loss, damage, costs, claims or expenses whatsoever arising from:
  • The acts, errors or omissions of third parties
  • The accuracy or completeness of the Website or content
  • Your own use of the Website and content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms

Value Added Tax
At present, Value Added Tax is not applicable to our pricing structure.
If or when VAT becomes applicable this will be notified on our ‘Prices’ website page. At that point, unless otherwise stated, prices and rates shown in documents issued by the Company will be exclusive of Value Added Tax which will, where applicable, be added to such prices and rates at the rate prevailing and be paid by the Client.

Prices, Fees, Terms of Payment
The prices quoted on the Website relate to standard residential/domestic energy assessment work. The prices do not include any additional work that may be required. The Clients appointed Solicitors, HIP provider or Estate Agent will inform the Client of any additional charges or fees outside the scope of the EPC assessment.
Where a property is significantly different from that described by the Client, then the Company reserves the right to amend the cost and invoice accordingly.
Prices do not apply to ‘buy to let’, ‘new builds’, ‘right to buy’ and assumes you are a UK resident purchasing a property within England or Wales.
All sums due to the Company are net unless otherwise stated. All accounts are to be paid within one month of their original date and if the Client shall not do so, the Company reserves the right to charge interest on all overdue accounts at 2½% per calendar month over the Base Rate of the HSBC bank.

Confidentiality
Your personal information is held safely and confidentially by the Company. Full details of Confidentiality and Privacy are contained within our Privacy Policy document.

Disputes and Right to Appeal
The Client has the right to dispute any findings. Initial re-inspection will be performed by another qualified Domestic Energy Assessor of the Company. The findings will be discussed with the Client.
Should the Client wish to pursue the dispute beyond this discussion, then the initial point of contact for arbitration will be an independent Domestic Energy Assessor, who will re-inspect and report back directly to the Client without contact with the Company:
This DEA post is yet to be filled
Once filled, the address will be posted here
Along with a relevant telephone number
And other contact details

If the outcome of this arbitration has not resolved the Clients issues, the next step is to seek redress by contacting Stroma – the Government accreditation body. Please see the next section.


Stroma Domestic Energy Assessor Accreditation Scheme Customer Complaints Policy

(copied from the Stroma website  - correct as at 01/11/2010)

1.0 Introduction

Stroma Certification Ltd aims to provide high quality services to scheme members and their customers. All complaints that arise will be dealt with promptly, professionally and transparently. 

The approach adopted is to understand the root cause of the complaint, investigate and report on the validity of the claim and further develop our services using an ethos of continuous improvement.   

2.0 Complainants

Stroma Certification will process any complaint received in accordance with the 3 categories as detailed in section 3.1. Stroma Certification will not limit who can and cannot make a complaint, and have provided a list below:

        Householder/ Client

        Householders/Clients agent (estate agent or solicitor)

        Employer of the scheme member.

        Another scheme.

        Stroma scheme member.

        Compliance officer (trading standards or building control).

        Member of public.

        Candidate undertaking a Stroma Certification training course.

        Training awarding body.

        Any other stakeholder.

The above list is no exhaustive, and Stroma Certification will deal with any other complainant in the same way.

For any complaint received, there is no charge to the complainant and any resolution costs will be paid for by Stroma Certification.

3.0 Categories of Complaints

Stroma Certification operates this Complaints Procedure to ensure any complaint received will be  addressed  correctly  and  following  a  clear  process.  Complaints  are  classified  into  three separate categories, which are detailed and explained below.  

3.1 Complaints against Scheme Members

Stroma Certification will process all complaints received concerning the actions of certified scheme members and the certificate produced, or their actions. Complaints against scheme members can be further categorised as:

        Behaviour of the scheme member.

        Behaviour of the scheme member’s company.

        Timescales and/ or the output produced by the scheme member.

Clients of certified scheme members have the opportunity to raise a complaint directly to Stroma Certification after (or before) the complaint has initially been raised to the member or any company or organisation that they represent, unless the nature of the complaint means that this method is inappropriate.

In accordance with Stroma Certification’s ‘Code of Conduct’, members are required to provide all of their customers with a copy of their own complaints process and the Stroma Certification ‘Complaints Procedure’. 

3.2 Complaints against Stroma Certification

Stroma Certification will process all complaints against Stroma Certification, which can be categorised as:

        Behaviour of a member of Stroma Certification staff.

        Training course and associated services.

        Timescales and/ or the output produced as a result of an audit.

3.3 General Complaints

Stroma Certification will process any other general complaint received. Examples of this could be:

        CLG.

        Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

        Output produced by another scheme member.

All general complaints will be addressed in line with the processes as detailed within this document.

4.0 Reporting a Complaint

Complaints can be reported by telephone, email or in writing to Stroma Certification by completing the following:

When registering a complaint, the following information is required:

  1. Complainant name.
  2. Address of complainant.
  3. Contact details (telephone and email).
  4. Availability for feedback (preferred time to discuss feedback / research the complaint further etc).
  5. Nature of the complaint and how this is to be addressed.

For complaints concerning Stroma Certification scheme members, the following additional information will be required:

  1. The Stroma Certification membership number (if known) and/or name of the member who carried out the work.
  2. The assessment number / details if available.
  3. Date assessment/ installation was carried out.

Complaints should be reported either by: 

  1. Phone: 0845 621 11 11
  2. Email: certification@stroma.com
  3. In writing to:  

General Manager

Stroma Certification Ltd,

Unit 4, Pioneer Way,

Pioneer Business Park,

Castleford,

WF10 5QU

5.0 Dealing with the Complaint

Stroma Certification aims to respond to a complaint within 3 working days of receipt. The initial response will consist of a preliminary assessment or a 7 day holding period to allow additional time to review the reason for the complaint. A formal resolution will be undertaken, and reported back to all relevant parties at a later date, dependent on the severity of the complaint.

If the complaint cannot be resolved within the initial response, Stroma Certification will provide the complainant with an estimate of the length of time required to resolve the complaint.

The protocol for resolving complaints is as follows:-

  1. The majority of minor complaints will be resolved by the Stroma Certification helpdesk. All verbal complaints will be recorded by the helpdesk and notes made on the nature of the call and the recommended solution to resolve the complaint. 
  2. If a satisfactory outcome cannot be achieved, then the complaint will be escalated to the General Manager. Any person registering the verbal complaint will be notified of the requirement to submit their complaint in writing to the General Manager. An email will be sent to the complainant to inform them of Stroma Certification’s Complaints Procedure’. 
  3. The General Manager will investigate the complaint, and after logging the complaint, will produce an initial response within the 3 day period of the written complaint being received, whilst undertaking a more thorough investigation. 
  4. If the nature of the complaint is such that the General Manager cannot resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the complainant, it will be referred to Stroma Certification’s Technical Director. A written response will be issued within 21 working days, once a further review has been undertaken.
  5. If the complaint still cannot be resolved, it will be referred to the appropriate body overseeing the complaints process as outlined in section 6.0. 

5.1 Complaints against Scheme Members

All complaints received in respect of the assessment activity of scheme members will be reviewed by the relevant Scheme Manager:  

  1. After receipt of the complaint the scheme member shall be permitted an opportunity to contest the complaint. The scheme member will be expected to submit any supporting documents, relating to the nature of the complaint, within 15 days of the request being sent by Stroma Certification.
  2. A full review of the documents will be undertaken by a member of the Stroma Certification Quality Assurance department.
  3. If the complaint is upheld, the member shall receive written confirmation of the nature and extent of the complaint. All lodged reports that are directly affected shall be withdrawn/ suspended and amended in line with the corrective action.
  4. The member shall also receive written confirmation of the corrective action to their internal policies; re-training may be recommended. 
  5. For more severe complaints that require resolution including amendments to the member’s working procedures, the member shall be informed of the deviation from the acceptable quality standards and procedures, and they shall be issued with a mandatory improvement action list. Their scheme membership shall be suspended until such time that they have completed the required improvements to their own quality system, and provide demonstrable evidence of such improvements to Stroma Certification. Future assessment activity will be monitored to measure the effectiveness of the improvement activity. All cases of suspension may escalate to expulsion, in the event of either:

    • The corrective action not being suitably implemented.
    • Numerous complaints received against a member that are upheld.
    • The member being found guilty of intentionally misrepresenting the scheme rules or Stroma Certification generally.
  6. For extremely severe complaints that represent a significant deviation from the acceptable quality standards of operation, expulsion of the scheme member may be required in combination with corrective action to the offending assessment activity. All cases of expulsion will be reported to all other certification schemes.

5.2 Statutory Rights

All complaints received in respect of the assessment activity of scheme members will not affect the statutory right of the client or homeowner at any stage of the process. 

It is the responsibility of the scheme member to ensure that this is explained to the client or homeowner when a complaint is received. Stroma Certification would typically expect to see a statement to this effect in a complaint response issued to a client or homeowner. 

Stroma Certification will audit this process as part of the actions undertaken in section 10.0 and failure to adhere to this process will be dealt with in accordance with the ‘Code of Conduct’ policy.

6.0 Non-Resolved Complaints 

All complaints received by Stroma Certification will be fully investigated and resolved internally.  Those complaints that are not resolved to the mutual satisfaction of all parties involved will be forwarded to the arbitration party as follows:

  1. Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) complaints will be referred to the ‘Governing Body’ in accordance with the requirements of BS EN 17024:2003. For further details of the ‘Governing Body’ please contact the CSH department.
  2. All other complaints will be referred to the Stroma Certification ‘Appeals Panel’ for a resolution of the complaint, as explained is Section 6.1.

6.1 Stroma Certification Appeals Panel

The Stroma ‘Appeals Panel’ consists of 3 members from outside of Stroma Certification. All 3 members will attend the appeals meetings where a representative of Stroma Certification will be present however they do not hold any voting rights. The ‘Appeals Panel’ will be ultimately responsible for dealing with the resolution of any complaint that has previously been addressed through the Stroma Certification ‘Complaints Procedure’. 

All appeals must be submitted in writing and following the process as detailed in section 4.0.  

The ‘Appeals Panel’ will arbitrate between the complainant and Stroma Certification, and will provide a fair and unbiased adjudication on the appeal.

6.2 Outcomes

Likely actions to be recommended by either Stroma Certification or the relevant body will be:

        Complaint not upheld then no further action is to be taken.

        Minor complaint upheld, improvement action may be implemented.

        Request further information/ investigation.

        Amendments to Stroma Certification policies and procedures.

        Re-train on specific area of the scheme &/or software or type of property.

        Suspension of the scheme member subject to re-training or achievement of qualification or outcome of ongoing investigation.

        Suspension or Revocation of the scheme member’s certification. If this action is taken,

Stroma Certification will notify all other certification schemes. This will be removed when any corrective actions required have been implemented.

7.0 Complaints where Criminal Activity Appears to be Involved

If a complaint appears to involve apparent criminal activity, the incident will immediately escalate to the General Manager and, without hesitation, be reported to the appropriate authority, for example the police department.

8.0 Member Complaint Requests

Stroma Certification will actively contact the clients of certified members during the complaint investigation process.

Clients of scheme members will be asked to submit feedback on the following:

        Pre-visit contact and information.

        Onsite survey behaviour.

        Post-visit information and certificate production.

All members are expected to adhere to both the ‘Complaints Procedure’ and ‘Code of Conduct’. 

Every year, 1% of scheme members will be contacted to provide records of any complaints received in line with Stroma Certification’s ‘Code of Conduct’. These will be checked and recorded. Failure to do so may result in action being taken which may result in the member being suspended and/ or revoked from the Stroma Certification scheme.  

9.0 Notifications – Scheme Members only

Stroma Certification requires all scheme members registering a complaint to forward a copy of this complaint to all schemes were multiple membership is held. The appropriate scheme will then be responsible for dealing with the complaint. For example, if a complaint is about a particular output then the scheme through which the certificate was lodged will be responsible for dealing with it.

10.0 Record Keeping / Amendments to Quality System

All records of complaints, appeals, disputes and outcomes will be maintained for a minimum of 7 years by Stroma Certification. The outcome of these complaints will be made available to the relevant bodies only.

All actions taken as a consequence of a complaint will be documented and the subsequent effectiveness of such actions will be monitored. 

11.0 Amendments to Policy Documentation

Stroma Certification reserves the right to amend all policy documentation pertaining to the quality system, in particular the Complaints Procedure. All amendments will be issued to all scheme members with the appropriate implementation date clearly stated.