Skip to content

Become a Certifier of Design in Scotland

About the Scheme

Pre-Qualification Requirements

Costs of Scheme Membership

Scheme Technicalities


About the Scheme

The scheme is designed for engineers, architects and technicians already working in the field of building energy performance. It is not intended to take an unqualified person and qualify them as an approved certifier of design.   

There are three streams: 

  1. Domestic
  2. Non-Domestic 
  3. Advanced Building Non-Domestic 

The Domestic stream covers dwellings of all kinds and new buildings under this definition will use SAP as the method for demonstrating compliance with Section 6.   

The Non-Domestic stream covers smaller buildings with very simple servicing requirements which are almost domestic in scale or reasonably simple alterations, extensions and conversions. New buildings under this category will generally use iSBEM as the method for demonstrating compliance with Section 6.   

The Advanced Building Non-Domestic stream covers all other non-domestic buildings including complex alterations, extensions and conversions and new buildings in this category will use iSBEM or an approved simulation tool to demonstrate compliance. Being qualified to deal with Advanced Building Non-Domestic automatically absorbs the simpler non-domestic category. It is expected that CIBSE members joining the scheme will do so at the Advanced Building Non-Domestic level.

To find out more and to apply to become an approved certifier of design please visit


Pre-Qualification Requirements

All Approved Certifiers of Design Section 6 – Energy must meet the minimum membership criteria to pre-qualify to join.

Pre-qualification of those already holding membership of certain professional bodies or schemes:  

You are pre-qualified if you are - 

  • Listed on the Architects Registration Board
  • A Chartered Member of CIAT
  • A Corporate Member of CIBSE (ie LCIBSE, ACIBSE, MCIBSE or FCIBSE)
  • A CIBSE Low Carbon Consultant (Design Management Scotland)

Pre-qualification of those not covered by existing professional body or scheme memberships:

If you are not pre-qualified by the above it is still possible to apply to join the scheme. To do that you must be able to provide evidence that you -

  • have a minimum of an NVQ or SVQ Level IV or equivalent qualification in a construction related discipline
  • plus a minimum of five years’ experience in completing building warrant applications
  • plus have had specific training related to the energy design & performance of buildings or can demonstrate that two recent warrants have been granted by a Scottish local authority based on a compliance calculation that they have prepared

Once pre-qualified the applicant will be entered into an on-line testing environment where they will be required to pass tests on six modules to demonstrate their knowledge of the technical standards.   These tests should not present any difficulty to those who are working regularly on building design and energy performance. In addition to that applicants must provide evidence that they have been trained to use the software tools that they will be using to carry out the compliance calculations.   This may be iSBEM or a dynamic simulation programme. Multiple qualifications are available for those who use more than one tool. 

To assist those who require some additional training in iSBEM we have produced an on-line training course in partnership with the University of Strathclyde. This costs £250 and completion of this course with the associated assessment will provide the evidence of training in iSBEM if the applicant does not already have this.

To find out more and to apply to become an approved certifier of design please visit


Costs of Scheme Membership

The costs of scheme membership have been set to provide low entry costs and fixed annual costs.   

There is a joining fee per approved certifier of design. For the three streams these are:

  • Domestic - £150
  • Non-Domestic - £150
  • Advanced Building Non-Domestic - £300 (this absorbs the simpler non-domestic category)

Recurring fees per approved certifier of design (including year one) are:

  • Domestic - £100 pa
  • Non-Domestic - £100 pa
  • Advanced Building Non-Domestic - £200 pa (this absorbs the simpler non-domestic category).

The fee for presenting a certificate is 10% of the warrant fee. This is equivalent to the discount in building warrant fee which the client receives for using an approved certifier of design and so is cost neutral for the client.

EPC lodgement fees on completion of the building are separate. As are fees to be on an EPC Register.  Approved certifiers automatically pre-qualify to join the CIBSE Certification EPC register in Scotland by satisfying the requirements to join their LCC Design Management Scotland register which is the pre-requisite for joining the EPC Register. It is expected that RIAS Approved Certifiers of Design would be able apply through the APEL route, but anyone holding a recognised non-domestic EPC assessor qualification would be able to use that. This registration would enable them to lodge EPCs for new and existing buildings.

As noted above, approved certifiers of design will be audited at certain intervals not exceeding five years. An audit will cost between £300 and £500 depending upon the completeness of the information provided on request.

To find out more and to apply to become an approved certifier of design please visit


Some scheme technicalities

The parameters for operating a scheme are set down by the Scottish Building Standards Division.   The RIAS (working with CIBSE in partnership) is the scheme provider.   An organisation employing one or more certifiers of design is required to register as an approved body.   The approved body must have a designated certification coordinator who is responsible for the approved certifiers and acts as the point of contact between the scheme provider and the approved body.   If you are a sole practitioner, then you will be the approved body, the certification coordinator and the approved certifier.

You are required to keep records of drawings and other information upon which you base your calculations, and records of the calculations themselves.   You will have to provide example calculations from time to time for a quality assurance audit.   This audit is based on the number of certificates you issue and is carried out at an interval of not more than five years.   The audit is carried out remotely based on information you provide on request from the scheme provider.