Yeah there was this little issue along with enough bugs (which by the way, still are not all fixed) making test taking almost impossible. Interestingly, they say Internet Explorer is not supported but I have run both the CAZ & this one on IE 11. So if there are so many issues why are they making existing raters (some with hundreds if not thousands of ratings under their belts) take this? Well for the cynical among us, it has to do with money. The official reason, to help ensure everyone can do ratings properly especially as the ERI becomes more popular. No matter your thoughts on it, one must pass, so lets get started…
The user guide shown above is 54 pages & it doesn’t have everything in it… Is it worth printing off? Probably not – best would be if you saved a copy locally & flipped through it as you play with the simulation. Ahh the fun part, many of the items below are included above though some are not – for instance the lighting legend (White bulbs are CFL – yellow is incandescent)
Welcome to the simulation – you have two choices with different tweaks available to “challenge” you… Yeah I would just recommend doing both a maximum of one time till you are comfortable with how you wish to proceed, knowing how to get the info & entering it… Why well because the final test ones are completely different
This is how you will start, at the Front of the house & I simply opened the toolbox. The ruler is awesome especially if it really existed as drywall & siding just disappear & reappear when you put it up (for grading & measuring depth). The tape measure, also cool as the measurements just pop right up on the house. The red dots, well they give you almost all the info you need – whether it is overhangs, or energy labels, or…
Now there are a two basic ways to essentially proceed; simply open up the clipboard on the right & start going through the tabs bouncing all around the house, or do it like you probably do in the field – collect the data & enter it. I can say both methods work, it is just what is going to work best for you. For me I took my normal spreadsheet I use & modified it for the simulation. Field Inspection Data Collection - Simulation
This is the map view which in this case labels all the windows for you just remember it is important that you enter the windows in as listed. Now just in case your map doesn’t list it, no worries as they will show up on the house when you look at them. In some cases they will combine two or more windows into one. Curious which way is north, that is done with the compass in the toolbox. The calculator tab, I would ignore it & use your own or the one on your laptop.
The moment of truth – the clipboard…. Let me remind you of the first rule of test taking, you are to answer the questions based on who is asking it. So is that RESNET? Uh nope – this test was written for RESNET but by a different company & it was mainly designed to help new raters start to learn about the process. So forget the standards & just enter the data as you see it BUT pay close attention to the notes which will sometimes override what information you can find on the house.
As many may recall in the CAZ test, the dreaded window open – well except for one house, there always seems to be one open & I actually had it reopen on me when I clicked to install the blower door. (I never had that happen when closing from outside). Quick check to make sure your numbers are correct – open a window during the blower door & different duct tests – number goes up, the original is correct, if not then you have an issue. When you are done & everything has been entered – END SIM & up pops your score…
What you see above is what you will get for the “practice,” for real you will just see the total for General, etc… At this point I would scroll through & simply see if there is something you had an issue with & maybe revisit the “help” files. Ready for the final – be forewarned you have two houses to do & you have two hours for each one. With that be prepared for them to try to scare you…
While hard to see behind the password screen, you can see that the first one is definitely not anything like the practice ones. First relax – you need an 80% between the two houses so even if you really flub this one up, you should be able to make up for it on the next one. With that said, you see how they do the points above, so even if you completely mess up the SF, Area, etc… & get the windows, appliances, blower door, etc… right you should be right there. So just take a deep breathe, relax, follow your normal route & simply break things down.
6.29.17 Email – Attached Download(History of Practical Test)
To: RESNET Rater Trainers, HERS Raters, RESNET Rating Providers
RESNET was informed on Tuesday evening of an incident in Florida involving five individuals taking the RESNET Practical Simulation Test. Staff is currently investigating what caused this incident.
Please bear in mind that 450 individuals have taken and passed the Practical Simulation Test to date.
It is important to remember that the deadline for existing raters to pass the Practical Simulation Test is September 1, 2017.
As with any new application unexpected glitches take place. A group of staff from RESNET and its two support contractors have been on hand to address each issue as it arises as quickly as possible and will continue to do so. Rest assured, if need be, RESNET is prepared to reimburse any test fee if all issues cannot be resolved.
The Practical sim is two hours long. The additional days some individuals seem to be taking to complete the sim must involve training and that training will be good for where or when the next test is given. RESNET has always supported individuals and proctors for testing close to home and we will continue to do so.
Issues have been raised over content of the Practical Simulation Test. RESNET firmly believes in continuous maintenance of all its tests. It is recognized all tests can be improved. For this reason RESNET has formed the RESNET Certification Testing Advisory Committee to review all challenged content of any of RESNET tests. This group is composed of experienced rater trainers, a home performance professional and a psychometrician. Members of this committee are:
Scott Doyle, EnergyLogic
Dallas Jones, Green Training USA
Jesse Krivolavak, American Energy Advisors
Tei Kucharski, Florida Solar Energy Center
Bob Lipkins, Professional Psychometrician
Doug Walter, Kansas Building Science Institute
This committee reviewed the reported issues to content on the Practical Simulation Test.
RESNET Staff encourages you to send any content issues you find with any RESNET test to Scott Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org for the RESNET Certification Testing Advisory Committee to review and consider.
Since 2014 the RESNET Standards have required that all new and existing HERS Raters must pass a RESNET Simulation Practical Examination. The requirement was adopted after undergoing the RESNET standard amendment public review and comment process. I thought it might be helpful to provide a history of the development of the Practical Simulation Test and it is attached. As you can see a lot of thought, vetting and input went into the development of the test.
Let me assure you that the RESNET Board of Directors and RESNET staff are committed to having products of the highest quality. We strive to make adjustment and improvements when needed.
By working together, we can make our organization and industry something we can all be proud of.
RESNET Board President
To: Existing HERS Raters
On July 11, 2017, I informed you of some issues with the RESNET simulation practical test which were discovered by RESNET staff. I can now provide you with an update on actions taken by RESNET to address those issues that were identified.
Over the course of the July 4 weekend, a number of upgrades were made to the platform and after comprehensive testing, RESNET staff has reported that many of these issues have been resolved. Some still remain, and this has been communicated to RESNET’s contractor with the understanding that all corrections will be implemented and tested. No new issues were discovered during this testing period, which is good news.
The changes listed below are being adopted in order to accommodate existing HERS Raters working schedules and present an environment which will present a better opportunity to pass the test.
- Deadline to Pass the Practical Test moved to February 1, 2018 for HERS Raters Certified Prior to July 1, 2016
Benefit: Provide plenty of time for existing HERS Raters to prepare and complete the test after all of the issues have been resolved.
- Develop a Set of Written and Video Tutorials on Using the Test and Training Module (Now Live: You Tube Collection)
Benefit: The tutorials will provide trainers and individuals with the necessary information to navigate through the simulation and prevent any potential issues due to unclear instructions. Laurel Elam will be sending you links to the tutorials in the next few weeks.
- Temporary Waiver of Proctoring Guidelines for Existing Raters
Benefit: RESNET has always allowed Rater Training Providers to proctor tests. Added flexibility will now be given to existing HERS Raters to take the simulation where they feel most comfortable even without a proctor. Until the February 1, 2018 deadline, existing Raters will be allowed to test anywhere that has a reliable internet connection. In addition, they will be allowed to use their own or any other computer that meets the technical specifications required for the simulation. It is recommended to use the same computer for the test as was used for the training modules.
RESNET does not want to place an additional burden on existing raters by requiring they go to a library with uncertain Wi-Fi connections and computers that may not meet the test specifications after a long day of work.
- Extension of Test and Training Licenses
Benefit: Providers and existing HERS Raters will automatically receive a license extension free of charge until December 31, 2018.
- Increased Number of Times You Can Retake the Test without an Additional Payment
Benefit: Previously a student was allowed three (3) attempts to pass the test before having to secure a new license. This number now has been extended to five (5) attempts.
- Rater Professional Development Credit
Benefit: For existing Raters needing the 10 hours of professional development for recertification by December 31, 2017, we will extend the recertification deadline until February 1, 2018.
RESNET staff will be in touch with you the details regarding the above actions when they are finalized.
As a certified HERS Rater myself who makes a living from conducting HERS ratings, I am very sensitive to and aware of, the current issues being experienced due to problems with the test.
Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to apologize for any inconvenience that these problems may have caused existing HERS Raters. We highly value the contribution that HERS Raters and Providers make, and appreciate your patience while we work through the issues caused by the new test platform.
But wait it gets better…
November 16, 2017
To: Existing Certified RESNET HERS Raters
The RESNET Board of Directors Executive Committee unanimously voted to remove the online practical simulation testing requirement for existing certified RESNET HERS Raters.
In July 2017, I communicated to you reports of technical issues with the Practical Simulation Test and an extension granted to existing raters on passing the test until staff and contractors were able to adequately address the issues.
Since then, RESNET staff and contractors have worked hard to resolve all of these technical issues. While most of the identified issues have been taken care of, unfortunately there still remain a few we have not been able to resolve. Although the practical simulation is an effective training tool, RESNET has concluded that there is no need to burden existing raters with the added stress of having to take and pass the test.
Nevertheless, the Practical Simulation Test remains appropriate for new rater candidates and we have been able to work with them on resolving difficulties on a one-on-one basis. In the case of existing raters, however, due to the sheer volume of numbers, we will be unable to do the same if we are to meet the February 1, 2018 deadline.
With this in mind and as a result of your input, the RESNET Board of Directors Executive Committee believes it is best to discontinue the practical simulation testing requirement permanently for existing raters, and has directed staff to proceed accordingly.
Therefore, beginning today, existing certified HERS Raters (those certified prior to July 1, 2016) are no longer required to pass the Practical Simulation Test. HERS Raters who have already passed the Practical Simulation Test will be credited 18 hours of professional development credits which is required every three years for re-certification.
What does this mean for you?
• If you are a previously certified HERS Rater and have already passed the Practical Simulation Test, you will receive a full 18 hours of Professional Development credit. This will meet your professional development requirements for three years and represents a very inexpensive way for you to achieve them. RESNET staff has received considerable feedback on the value of the simulation as an educational tool for all raters.
• If you are a HERS Rater and have paid for the Practical Simulation Test but have not yet been tested, you have three options to choose from:
o Take and pass the test and receive the 18 hours of Professional Development credits; or
o Receive a full refund for the cost of the registration you paid for the Practical Simulation Test; or
o Apply the $200 for the test as a credit toward your registration fee for the 2018 RESNET Building Performance Conference taking place on February 26-28 in Orlando, FL.
As I said before, it is truly unfortunate that problems have been experienced with the Practical Simulation Test and we apologize for any inconvenience that these problems may have caused existing HERS Raters. RESNET staff and our contractors felt that we could resolve all of the technical issues but unfortunately this did not turn out to be the case.
Let me assure you that the RESNET Board of Directors and RESNET staff are committed to using products of the highest quality, and when you report problems, we listen and strive to make adjustments and improvements when needed. We highly value the contribution of HERS Raters and it is only through working together that we can maintain RESNET as the industry gold standard we can all be proud of.
RESNET Board President