Below are some Frequently Asked Questions for the FHBA Certified Ratings Program
How can I participate in the FHBA Certified Ratings Program?
The FHBA Certified Ratings Program is now fully-functional and you can receive certified certificates!
- If you are a builder looking to schedule a test, inspection, or comprehensive rating, please Contact Us.
- If you are an inspector, rater or inspection agency, please Sign Up here.
All inspection agencies and individual inspectors are eligible to take part in the FHBA Certified Ratings Program, but all inspectors must apply, agree to the Program’s Terms and Conditions, and be accepted.
To become an Accredited Inspector or Accredited Inspection Agency, please complete the following steps:
1) Sign Up and register your company.
2) Agree to the Program’s terms and conditions.
3) Upload current copies of your credentials.
4) Pay the Program’s Accredited Inspector application fee.
5) Once your credentials are accepted, you will need to complete Accredited Inspector onboard training.
Once accepted, your application is in pending status until completing onboard training and review of your credentials is finished. You will be contacted for more information or to schedule any site audit by UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and Intertek if needed.
Are all of our inspectors required to attend onboard training or could we send trainers to the onboard training and then onboard the rest of our inspectors with our internal training?
Inspection agencies can provide internal training provided they have FHBA Program trained Trainers and auditable training policies and procedures in place. Once your Trainers are qualified at onboard training, then present your training policies and procedures for review by the FHBA Program. Once the review is complete, and your training policies and procedures accepted, either Intertek or UL will audit your training program during their next unannounced surveillance audit.
The FHBA charges $50.00 for each inspector onboarded with your internal training program. However, the FHBA is waiving this fee until December 31, 2017. On January 1, 2018, and after that, the FHBA will charge the fee for any onboard inspectors through accepted internal training programs.
How is the FHBA Certified Ratings Program unique?
The Program relies on the accredited certification programs of UL and Intertek. Participants can choose to work with one or both of these internationally recognized leaders in the industry. Building Departments around the state (and country) already receive millions of certification and evaluation reports from UL and Intertek to prove compliance.
While the Program offers traditional ICC-301 calculations that most people are familiar with when we talk about ratings, the Program expanded offerings to more certificates that allow smaller steps for builders and inspectors to incrementally complete. The goal is to make energy code compliance easy for the builder, inspector and the building department. Whether R402, R405 or R406 is chosen, a certificate could be issued for that compliance path. Don’t want to certify the entire house? The Program offers test and inspection certificates to demonstrate compliance with an isolated ‘part’ of the energy code, as implemented in FS 553.998 in 2016. The Program also offers water ratings, through our partnership with Florida Water Star℠. All are subject to unannounced audits and quality assurance review, whether in whole or in part.
How does the Program help builders?
The FHBA Certified Ratings Program gives builders access to more choices for meeting the Florida Energy Code and certified blower door test certificates while supporting FHBA with non-dues revenue. The FHBA Program is for builders to get an Energy Rating Index (ERI) but it also has added compliance certificates for builders using other code paths like R402 or R405. Builders benefit from having choices. The Program has choices for independently certified certificates at plan and as-built and duct leakage, blower door tests and more.
Do you only need a certified blower door test certificate? Done. Do you only need R405 certified certificate? Done. Do you want a comprehensive package with all certificates supporting an ERI? Done. Need Florida Water Star℠ too? Done. The Program gives builders greater flexibility to highlight construction and performance features to their customers.
The al a carte FHBA Program does not force builders into a one-size fits-all rating but does leverage existing raters, and is easy to use. Simply tell your rater you want FHBA certified certificates for your next project. Your rater, if they are part of the FHBA Program, will know what to do. If they are not already in the FHBA Program, tell them to sign up and start supporting our industry.
Will the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA) be checking my work?
While FHBA is the Program Sponsor, they have selected UL and Intertek to serve as the certification bodies. This is why the FHBA Program requirements for inspectors are modeled upon ISO 17020 - to align with the practices of these international providers.
Furthermore, FHBA has outsourced the daily operations to Triconic, whose staff has 35+ years of experience developing and administering certification programs.
Can I participate if I am only credentialed to do testing?
Yes! However, you will only be able to request certificates and quality assurance for what you are credentialed for. You can add to your offering as you demonstrate competency to execute them.
Who will decide if I’m accepted into the Program?
Triconic will review the application at first, but ultimately, UL or Intertek will decide as they are the certification bodies. We will contact you regarding your approval status or the need for additional information.
What if we aren’t ISO 17020 accredited?
You are not required to be. Your existing credentials may be acceptable. We will contact you if additional information is needed and Intertek or UL may request a site audit as a part of their QA function but you will be notified in advance.
I already hold a building science credential. Do I really have to go through training again?
If accepted, we do not expect you to repeat building science training. However, training is necessary to learn how the Program works, what the procedures are and the expanded products offered.
What if I’m in good standing now, but have to recertify in a few months?
Your credentials are evaluated at the time of application and you must renew annually. At renewal, the Program allows for you to demonstrate proof of continuing education and training in accordance with the general requirements of ISO 17020.
I’ve got a large staff. Sending everyone to training starts to get expensive. Are there other options?
The Program may accept internal company training, but the process must be established and submitted for approval. We recommend that agencies start by sending at least one or two people to onboard trainings and then develop compliance training for their staff. However, remember that only staff who have taken the onboard training will be able to work on projects until your training program is approved.
So, if I implement an internal training program, I don’t have to register all my inspectors?
To work on projects, each inspector must be registered and complete onboard training.