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Consultants brought in to boost Hip training

The Department for Communities and Local Government has hired consultants to shake up home inspector exams to ensure that enough people pass by next June, Money Marketing understands.

The move follows industry concerns that not enough home inspectors will be trained in time for a full rollout in June 2007.

The Government estimates around 7,000 inspectors will be needed. There are 4,000 training for the diploma, with different timeframes for qualification depending on experience, but only 196 have qualified so far.

Consultants Pa Consulting and Xansa UK have both been used in the past by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for Hip projects but it is unclear who will be carrying out the new project.

Political Hip pressure is continuing to build, with a Parliamentary debate this week called by Conservative MP Greg Hands about concerns over implementation, although secretary for communities and local government Ruth Kelly has publicly backed the scheme.

A DCLG spokesman says: “We do not comment on individual contracts but the Hip programme uses a number of consultants to supplement the department’s expertise and skills. We are constantly tracking the progress of the programme and it is on track for the June 2007 implementation date.”

Council of Mortgage Lenders spokesman Bernard Clarke says: “The market needs to have confidence with competent and qualified inspectors and we would be concerned if any changes should be made that could affect the standards of the home inspectors.”

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