So you want to become a NatHERS Assessor? Here’s some things to consider…
You have decided to become a NatHERS Assessor, but have you researched what’s involved?
There are a number of factors that need to be considered when thinking about becoming an Assessor. In this article we cover off some of the personal, financial and regulatory requirements involved in study and starting an Assessor business.
In 2015 there were 228,950 new buildings approved in Australia. At the same time, there were only 289 Accredited NatHERS Assessors operating nationally. A career as a NatHERS Assessor can be rewarding and offer many benefits such as increased income and work autonomy as well as expanding your skills and knowledge.
To start with you’ll need the base qualification to be an Assessor which was the CPP41212 Certificate IV in NatHERS Assessment, which has now been replaced by the CPP41119 Certificate IV in Home Energy Efficiency and Sustainability.
When contemplating study; consider the following:
- Who you will select as a study provider – the qualification is offered by several Recognised Training Organisations (RTO) around Australia. Some tips for choosing a training provider are here.
- What is the cost of the course and is there funding available or any government subsidies available
- How you will study – online or face -to-face (may influence above decision). We provide some tips on study while working full-time here.
- When you will fit the time required to complete the course in around your current personal, work and other commitments or will you study full-time. Does your current employer provide support for study?
- What you want to do once you complete the qualification – work part-time for yourself, work for someone else, add it to your existing employers’ services.
If you want to fast track your establishment as a NatHERS Assessor there are a few packages available that combine the study with the components and advice to start an assessor business.
When you decide to study, consider what you have done in the past and how it links to your new pursuit. For example:
- Are you adding something to your current career or changing careers completely?
- If changing careers, are there any other courses or support you will need to complete, for example you will need to ensure you understand basic building principles
- Whether you have any prior study or life experience that will allow you to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) through your RTO.
There are many costs associated with NatHERS. Some of these are up front, some annual and some payable with every project.
Below are some of the ongoing/ annual fees associated with being an assessor:
- Initial Software cost
- NatHERS Certificates (payable with each project) – New and revised certificates
- State based Certificates- BASIX Certificates (if in NSW)
- Cost of state-based licences and the like eg. ACT
- Fees – what you, your business or workplace will charge each customer, what other people are charging
- Cost of other overheads – computer, office space, stationary, utilities etc. You may want to operate a virtual business – we cover that off here.
Whenever you make a change, you need to consider the impact it will have on you and those around you. Some considerations may be:
- Are you in the right headspace to return to, or commence, study?
- What impact will you studying have on the people around you ie will your study impact your:
- Dedication and performance at your current work
- Personal/ family financial position
- Personal relationships and/or family time
When starting a business there are multiple government requirements. These range from requirements specific to being a NatHERS Assessor through to others that all businesses must meet when operating in Australia.
Points to consider are:
- Will you operate as an accredited Assessor- some states and territories require accreditation.
- What style of business style will you operate under – sole proprietor, partnership, company.
- Do you want to use a business name and if so, the requirements surrounding this (see www.abr.gov.au).
- Registering an Australian Business Number (ABN).
- Do you need to register for GST- personally, I recommend this as it facilitates easier trade with larger companies.
- Requirements for tax and GST reporting.
- Do you need a separate Tax File Number (TFN).
- Do you require any additional insurance – business, income protection, workers compensation.
As with any big change in your life whilst an idea may be exciting when it first occurs to you it pays to research the facts, talk to others and consider the pro’s and con’s.