We’ve put together a collection of our most frequently asked questions on the Retrofit Coordinator qualification, including course eligibility requirements and how to apply.
If we’ve not got the answer you’re looking for here, contact a member of our customer service team.
It is a nationally-recognised and fully accredited qualification that teaches people how to project manage retrofit projects under the new British Standard BSI PAS 2035. The Award is made by the Open College Network West Midlands, an Ofqual-regulated Awarding Body.
You should gain the qualification if you want to deliver domestic retrofit projects that deliver as they are supposed to. However, it will also open many doors to you as an individual, as well as helping your organisation to comply with the requirements of BSI PAS 2035.
BSI PAS 2035 is a government-sponsored Standard. It is set to become the standard approach to domestic retrofit. PAS 2035 states you need to have a Retrofit Coordinator overseeing each retrofit project and that you must hold the Level 5 Diploma in Retrofit Coordination and Risk Management to be recognised as a Coordinator. The Retrofit Academy is the only provider of this qualification.
PAS 2035 will be the mandatory standard on all ECO projects from July 2021. It is also required on all Local Authority Delivery Scheme Projects (LADs) and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF).
Once you have gained your Diploma, you can apply to join one of the TrustMark Retrofit Coordinator Accreditation Schemes. There are currently six of these provided by ECMK, Elmhurst, Stroma, the IAA, Quidos and Retrofit Works.
The course takes between 100 to 150 hours as a guide. This does depend on the individual in terms of how much existing knowledge of retrofit they have and even how quickly you type! The time is divided fairly evenly between learning, completing assignments and preparing for your case study presentation.
To be eligible for the Level 5 course, there are three requirements you must meet:
If you want to apply for our Pro-Track package (previously ‘eLearning’), you will need to hold a Level 4 or equivalent qualification (e.g. HNC, NVQ or CertHE) in a built environment subject as a minimum.
For our Essential Online and Essentials Classroom packages (previously ‘Blended Learning’), that carries a minimum requirement of 12 Level 3 credits in a built environment subject.
Eligibility for the Fast-Track programme carries the same requirements as our Pro-Track package; however, you must be part of a cohort (group). Please contact us for specific requirements.
It will usually tell you how many credits your qualification carries on your certificate. A university degree is usually at Level 5 or 6, but the subject must be relevant to the built environment. Domestic Energy Assessors usually hold a Level 3 qualification that carries sufficient credits.
If you do not hold a Level 4 equivalent but do have some relevant qualifications (as well as the professional competencies defined below), you will only be eligible for our Essential Online or Essentials Classroom packages.
In addition to the relevant qualifications, you will also need to be competent in certain areas expected by a built environment professional, as defined by the PAS 2035 standard. We do not teach these things as part of the course, so you will need to have a firm grasp on concepts such as:
Built Environment Experience
Finally, you need to have at least two years’ experience of construction management in the built environment and have worked on retrofit or energy efficiency projects. We do not require this to be in any specific capacity.
If you are uncertain whether you meet our eligibility criteria, please check with us by emailing our team: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are very experienced in retrofit and have the competencies listed above, but don’t have the qualifications required, you’ll need to take a pre-assessment test. The pre-assessment consists of 20 randomised multiple-choice questions, and you’ll need to pass with a rate of 75% or higher to qualify for the course. After submitting your application, a member of our team will be in touch with further details.
If you do not have the required experience or competencies, you will need to gain these before we can accept you onto the course.
We currently offer four ways of studying to become a Retrofit Coordinator:
1) Essentials Online – In this method, you will study and complete your assignments online but also attend a 12-hour Virtual Bootcamp led by one of our expert tutors. The Bootcamps are delivered in four sessions (three hours each) over the course of six weeks, and will cover all the course fundamentals. They are designed to complement the eLearning, not replace it.
2) Essentials Classroom – In this method, you will study and complete your assignments online but also attend a two-day Bootcamp led by one of our expert tutors in a classroom, held on-site in our Stafford training venue. The Bootcamps are delivered on two consecutive days (6 hour sessions each), and will cover all the course fundamentals. They are designed to complement the eLearning, not replace it.
3) Pro-Track – In this method, you will study and complete your assignments entirely online, with support from a mentor. You have 12 months in which to complete the course in your own time, but you will not have any ‘taught’ sessions.
4) Fast-Track Learning – This method combines eLearning and the Bootcamps to help you achieve the diploma in a condensed timeframe of 4-6 months. You will learn in cohorts (small groups of up to 12) for your expert-led sessions, and will benefit from peer support in addition to your online mentor.
For more information on the course and how to study, visit our Level 5 Diploma page.
You can attend online or classroom Bootcamp sessions at any time during the duration of your course (dates permitting). However, it would facilitate your learning if you completed Modules 1 and 2 before attending the Bootcamp sessions.
All dates for our Bootcamps are listed on our website, which can be found on our Level 5 qualification page.
The Level 5 Diploma is the only qualification you will need to become a Retrofit Coordinator and be able to join one of the TrustMark accreditation schemes.
For more information, visit the TrustMark website.
The qualification is divided into 13 modules, each addressing a key topic. Each module contains learning, resources, case studies and exercises, and you’ll need to submit a written assignment for assessment.
Learners should work their way through each module in sequence, completing (and submitting) the assignments as they go. We strongly advise not to leave all assignments to the end! If you submit all your assignments together, our assessors won’t be able to review them in a reasonable timeframe, or give you adequate feedback.
Each module has two forms of assessment – a multiple-choice test (MPQs) and written assignments. You can repeat the MPQs if you do not achieve the required pass mark of 70%.
There are usually 4-5 written assignments per module, varying in length from 100 to 1000 words (as a guide). Each assignment relates to one of the Assessment Criteria required by the qualification. You must successfully pass all of these in order to gain the qualification. If you do not pass first time round, your assessor will provide feedback to you and you will be asked to resubmit.
Part of our pledge to you as a learner, is to offer you support throughout the course by providing constructive feedback on all your written assignments. So if you fail any of the assignments, your tutor will explain to you why your answer(s) was insufficient (e.g. did you miss certain key points; could you elaborate further; or did you miss the mark). After you review the feedback, you will then be asked to resubmit the written assignment(s). Your tutor will delete your first answer, allowing you to update/replace it with your amended one. They will then assess your second answer. Hopefully you will pass the second attempt, but if not, The Retrofit Academy team will work with you to establish why you might be struggling. You will then have an opportunity to resubmit a third time, pending a ‘Reassessment Fee’ of £100.00 + VAT (subject to your specific circumstances, we’ll let you know if this applies).
If you join the Centre of Excellence, you can receive a 10% reduction on your training fees (if you are an organisation, the discount can be applied to each employee).
Joining the Centre of Excellence offers many benefits to individuals and organisations. You’ll be able to tap into our network of experts, and gain access to a vast library of technical information to support your retrofit journey, including our expert-led online summits.
For more information, please click here.
There is a lot of demand for Retrofit Coordinators at present – both for independent consultants and for those wanting full time jobs. This demand is largely driven by the retrofit funding schemes like the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), Local Authority Delivery Scheme (LADS) and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) – all of which require Retrofit Coordinators.
The Retrofit Academy offers a match making service via Retrobook – a service designed to connect you to the marketplace for your services. Social landlords seeking Retrofit Coordinators can post their opportunity free of charge, and Retrofit Coordinators based within 100 miles of that job will receive a notification asking them to express interest.
The Academy also publishes monthly newsletters which feature job opportunities as we’re made aware of them.
For more information on job opportunities, contact our Centre of Excellence Manager Andy Johnson.
Yes, the Level 5 Award in Retrofit Coordination & Risk Management is a nationally-recognised qualification across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The Retrofit Academy has invested heavily in creating a set of templates designed to support Retrofit Coordinators with managing projects. Through the Centre of Excellence, you can gain access to these templates by joining as a member.
For more information, visit the Centre of Excellence.