There are changes coming in 2018 that will impact you if you are a HERS Rater, or if you plan to train and certify Rating Field Inspectors. There are changes to both certification and the rating process itself.
With regard to training and certification, the entirety of Chapter 2 of the RESNET Standards was evaluated and updated over the course of the last two years. There have been no fewer than nine amendments and many public comment periods associated with this effort. The timing of the amendments and their overlapping nature makes it hard to distinguish what the final version is going to look like. Fortunately, RESNET maintains a continuous maintenance version of the standards which will be fully updated at the first of the year; making this much easier. However, here is a preview of what you can expect to impact you. As a HERS Rater, you no longer have the option of re-taking and re-passing the HERS Rater exam to re-certify every three years. You must focus on completing your 18 hours of Continuing Education within your certification period, or prove your field competency by taking and passing the RESNET graded field evaluation. If you are developing Rating Field Inspectors, the RFI Candidate must successfully pass three graded field evaluations with you (at a minimum) then pass one graded field evaluation with your QAD or RESNET Certified Candidate Field Assessor. Here is the RESNET Statement that just came out to help with this clarification:
As you should be aware, there are Amendments to Chapter 2 that will go into effect January 1, 2018. The Amendment affects the certification of new rater candidates, which in turn, affects the process for applying for RTIN. The same exam requirements that were in place for 2017 still apply: Two written exams and two Simulation exams (National HERS Rater Test, CAZ/Workscope written exam, Combustion Appliance Simulation Test, and Rater Simulation Practical Test).
Starting in 2018, Rater Candidates are required to complete 5 Probationary Ratings supervised by the Candidate Field Assessor designated by a Rating Quality Assurance Provider. These Probationary Ratings are not required to be submitted to the RESNET National Buildings Registry and cannot be recognized by RESNET until the candidate achieves certification. The candidate must successfully complete rater training, all exams, and all Probationary Ratings prior to application for RTIN.
In addition to the changes outlined above, Addendum 24 also changes the re-certification requirements for RESNET Certifications. Home Energy Survey Professionals, Rating Field Inspectors, and HERS Raters shall renew their certification every three years. They shall complete the following:
Home Energy Survey Professionals
Pass the national RESNET Test appropriate to their certification
Rating Field Inspectors
Pass the RESNET graded field evaluation overseen by a RESNET certified Candidate Field Assessor once in a three year period
Certified Home Energy Raters
Attend a RESNET Conference once every three years OR
Complete 18 hours of RESNET approved professional development from a RESNET Accredited Training Provider ever three years OR
Successfully complete one RESNET graded field evaluation
For further information, read the full Amendment here.
With regard to the changes being made to the rating process; RESNET members have approved the use of the ANSI/RESNET/ICC 380 standard for testing of infiltration and duct leakage as well as the airflow of mechanical ventilation systems. This replaces the instructions we have historically been following from Chapter 8 of the RESNET Standards. Most of what you are used to doing remains; however, the changes that this new 380 standard brings are important and must be followed starting in 2018. There are changes to how we calculate "conditioned space volume" and a separation of this from "infiltration volume". A correction factor must now be used if you perform a single-point infiltration test. For duct leakage testing, the complete HVAC system is required and you cannot connect to a return grille unless certain prerequisites are met - recommendation is to connect to the blower access panel opening. A presentation was held detailing the differences between chapter 8 and standard 380. You can read that here. A pdf chart that helps detail the different space types and when to include them in which areas was also provided and is available here. However, I strongly recommend you obtain and keep on hand the actual ANSI/RESNET/ICC 380 standard. You can access the continuous maintenance version of the RESNET Standards and a copy of the 380 standard here.