Four Steps to Becoming a Certified Rater
- Training: Start with our hybrid HERS Rater Training class, comprised of 30 hours of online study and 5 days of classroom and field instruction, during which you will learn the material necessary to pass the RESNET exams and perform two ratings under the supervision of a rater trainer as required by RESNET.
- RESNET Exams: During the classroom session, students will take the 50-question national rater exam, the RESNET Sim Practical, the 25-question combustion safety exam, and the RESCAZ combustion safety practical exam, under the supervision of a rater trainer as required by RESNET. All exams are open book and have a two- hour time limit. Registration for re-taking an exam outside of a training with a local proctor is available through NEHERS.
- Supervision of probationary ratings: After passing the examinations and completing two supervised ratings during your training, you must perform at least three more supervised ratings with an accredited HERS Quality Assurance (QA) Provider. To ensure each new rater is strong in their understanding of home performance, diagnostic testing, and rating software usage, the provider may ask you to conduct some of these ratings and diagnostic testing in their presence, and/or conduct more than three ratings under their supervision.
- Contract with a RESNET accredited QA Provider: Raters are actually certified by RESNET‐accredited QA Providers rather than RESNET per se. RESNET Standards require the QA Provider to perform quality assurance "desk audits" on a minimum of 10% of all energy ratings, and follow up field inspections on a minimum of 1% of your ratings. These services typically require fees that are paid by the Rater to the QA Provider.
Rating Field Inspector: RESNET also certifies professionals who wish to become Rating Field Inspectors. Learn More Here
Rater Training and Certification FAQs
Do I need to attend rater training if I have auditing experience, or if I am a "good study," or can I just take the exams?
Though you do not have to attend a class to take the exam, it is highly recommended. You do, however, have to complete two energy ratings and take the exam the first time in the presence of a Rater Trainer. If you do not take a rater training class, it can be difficult and expensive to get two ratings supervised by a certified trainer, and accredited QA providers cannot fulfill this role.
What if I do not pass the exams at the training?
The exams are challenging even for individuals with some years of experience. If you receive a grade lower than 80 for the multiple choice and Practical Simulation exams, or an 85 for the CAZ Practical exam, you can register with NEHERS to take the exam again with a local proctor. Before taking the exam, contact your classroom trainer for a "category report" that shows your main areas of weakness on your first exams. Be sure you bring good reference materials from the recommended list, and know where to find information in the books. More details on this process are available here.
After I have completed the training and passed the exams, how long do I have to complete the three supervised ratings?
Rater candidates have one year from the date they pass the rater exams to complete the certification process. If the candidate does not complete these steps within one year, he or she will need to begin the training and exam process all over again. At a minimum this would mean submitting five ratings to their Quality Assurance Designee and paying for and passing the national rater exam again. To keep your knowledge fresh we recommend that when planning to attend a training you also set aside the required time for completing your three ratings soon after your training ends.
How do I find a Quality Assurance Provider to work with on completing my certification?
To guarantee that all ratings are completed in accordance with RESNET standards, quality assurance oversight is performed by HERS Quality Assurance Providers accredited by RESNET. This assures consumers and housing industry stakeholders that ratings are uniform from state to state and across regions. Therefore, all certified raters must work for, as, or with a Quality Assurance Provider accredited through RESNET. (NE HERS Alliance is an Accredited Training Provider, but not a Quality Assurance Provider.) Some QA providers work only with their own employees, while others work with independent Raters. NEHERS has a directory of our QA provider members on our website that can assist you in finding a provider. Your QA Provider does not need to be located in your state or general area, as many will travel to provide QA services.
Once certified, what are the costs involved in being an independent rater?
- Equipment will be the largest investment. The purchase of the blower door, duct leakage testing device, digital manometer(s) and register tape normally costs between $3500 and $4500. A good hygrometer will cost around a $100.
- You will need to pay your Provider to come to your location to perform quality assurance on 1% of your annual ratings ($300 to $1400 per year). This cost will vary significantly form Provider to Provider.
- As with all businesses, there will be office and insurance expenses. Professional Liability insurance is available for RESNET Rater members. Typical costs for a beginning Rater are around $1500 per year.
- Finally, you must obtain 18 hours of continuing education every three years. These hours can be obtained by attending the RESNET conference, or through other trainings or conferences that are approved for RESNET professional development credits. Most NEHERS Webinars have this approval.
What are the requirements for rater re-certification?
Re-certification is required every three years and is the responsibility of the accredited QA providers to ensure all raters working with them meet the requirements. In order to become re-certified after the three-year period, ONE of the following requirements must be completed:
- Documentation of at least 18 hours of continuing education every three years as required by RESNET standards. This should include completion of 18 hours of refresher course(s) offered by a RESNET Accredited Training Provider.
- Documentation of 18 hours of attendance at a RESNET Conference in three years.
- Pass the rater exams every three years.
More HERS Rater Resources