ATMA guide to members undertaking ‘remote’ Technical Monitoring Inspections amidst COVID-19 restrictions

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We understand the need for greater clarity and flexibility during this time of uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 situation. Ofgem are fully supportive of installations continuing where it is possible and in line with all relevant guidance from Government and devolved administrations.

Remote Inspections
ATMA has been asked to work with Ofgem to develop guidance for its members to conduct Technical Monitoring Inspections remotely. This should allow inspections to be conducted at both mid-installation and the post-installation stage.
Ofgem have released their guidance for industry that adds to the latest Government guidance on tradespeople and work carried out in people’s homes, in the context of ECO. This was first published on 7th May, and since then further Government guidance has/is being made available, to which they will also expect adherence. The latest Ofgem guidance can be found here.
Given remote inspections are a new development, Ofgem intend only to permit them for as long as lockdown restrictions apply. Ofgem will however, remain in close contact with ATMA and suppliers throughout this period to determine the level of assurance they are getting from remote inspections.
For score monitoring, we understand it is much more difficult to determine remotely key aspects of the installation in order to perform an accurate assessment. Ofgem are content that score monitoring will be delayed until on-site inspections become possible.

 

Mid-installation inspection (C2)
The following measure types require mid install monitoring:
➢ External Wall Insulation
➢ Internal Wall Insulation
➢ Partial fill Cavity Wall Insulation
➢ Party Wall insulation
➢ Flat roof Insulation
➢ Room in Roof insulation
➢ Under floor insulation
➢ First Time Central Heating
➢ Solar PV Innovation Measures (where relevant)
In order to limit the number of visits to a property, methods of remote live virtual tour inspections can take place, for example, Facetime, Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.

Alternatively, in the event a virtual live tour is not possible (for example, but not limited to) lack of reception, remote inspections at mid-installation stage can be carried out by providing the ATMA technical monitoring agent with photo evidence.
The Ofgem question set will be used by the TMA, as would normally take place if visiting the property.
Additional evidence, such as the Pre-installation Building Inspection (PIBI), System Design Specification and DOCC may be requested to assist with the remote inspection.

 

Post installation inspections (C3)
In order to limit the number of visits to a property, methods of remote inspections are currently permitted by Ofgem.
Remote inspections at post-installation stage can be carried out by providing the ATMA technical monitoring agent with photo evidence. Alternatively, methods of remote live virtual tour inspections can take place, for example, Facetime, Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.
Additional evidence, such as the Pre-installation Building Inspection (PIBI), System Design Specification and DOCC may be requested to assist with the remote inspection.
Please note that in ALL CASES (at mid and post installation) photo evidence MUST be submitted in accordance with the measure specific guide – (Remote TM inspection evidence requirements v.04). We would encourage installers and Suppliers to retain remote evidence in case of an audit by Ofgem. Evidence should be available in its original format and not a collection of PDF formatted documents.
Additionally, it is Ofgem’s requirement that photos collected for measures installed from the date this guidance is published must be geo-tagged and time stamped, thus providing further reassurance whilst adopting a remote inspection methodology.
Most commonly used appliances auto tag photos, however, users may have to make a manual adjustment if not already set.
For more information about the requirements of photo evidence for measures installed before this guidance is published, please refer to the Ofgem guidance.

 

Remote TM inspection evidence requirements v.04 (measure-based photo evidence required for C3 remote inspection).  Please click here for the document. 

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