14 Oct at 12:36 pm#7198
Calum Maclean

A lot of heritage is in the care of private individuals, volunteers and community organisations that lack expertise in care and maintenance of traditional stone built properties. This results in poor management of retrofitting and repair when they seek advice from unskilled or unscrupulous tradesmen and companies, who do not understand the issues or take a strategic approach to any work that is needed.

There is a serious issue with consumer protection and the public being able to have trust in the skills that being offered by organisations and tradesmen working in the sector.

Accreditation of skills has been left to the private sector with varying results from good to very bad (some times even controlled by product manufacturers) and it has become a huge industry and a serious lobby to government with little or no co-ordination or oversight. The industry is maximising its income by inventing new accreditations regularly.

Whether it is conservation skills, sustainability skills, EPCs, PAS 2035, etc.

It is totally confusing for anyone outside the sector and who is looking for help. Consumers need to be protected from bad approaches that will fail and cost more money to put right, or even dangerous solutions that could kill.

A strategy for creating a co-ordinated accreditation system that ensures that tradesmen or professionals can deliver the skills and expertise that consumers/clients are paying for and are not working in areas in which they have no competence is desperately needed.