Providers – Start Counting Your Quarters
Trying to understand the RESNET® QA Requirements for Providers? Look no further!
RESNET QA Changes Now in Effect
There has been much deliberation over RESNET’s Quality Assurance (QA) requirements over the last few years, specifically the frequency of QA on raters. In 2014, RESNET announced a big change that has gone into effect as of June 1st, 2015.
1% and 10% QA are still required for each rater based on annual volume – no changes here. What has changed involves those managing a RESNET Providership and Quality Assurance Designees.
- Providers must do 1% site QA every quarter based on the provider’s total counts from the previous quarter.
- Once a Provider has met the annual quota for every rater (could be during any quarter) then you don’t need to keep going with the 1% of total provider count.
Addendum 15 states:
“904.4.2.3 The Provider shall complete a minimum of 1% quarterly onsite QA field reviews of the Provider’s ratings, based on the total number of ratings registered the previous quarter, until all annual QA requirements for the Provider have been met for each Rater. QA field reviews are not required on every Rater every quarter.”
EnergyLogic worked really hard to make it clear that quarterly QA of every rater would not be required. We commented multiple times in the standard review process and we are glad this language was adopted.
However there is still a bit of gray area that providers need to consider. Let’s break down the site QA counting requirements in terms of buckets.
Visualizing RESNET Provider QA Requirements
Pretend there’s a bucket for each quarter. Each bucket needs X amount of site QAs. The provider can mix and match which raters they choose to fill each of the buckets. If a provider did 201 ratings in the last quarter then they require 3 field QAs in the next quarter. This way, providers have to spread out field QA throughout the year. However, once the annual 1% field QA requirements are met for every rater, then the provider no longer needs to fill their bucket of 1% of their total rating count for the quarter. In other words, when all raters have met their annual allotted QA they don’t need to meet the quarterly QA requirements (assuming a rater doesn’t go over in the 4th quarter). RESNET is looking for the provider to spread out their field QA throughout the year, but not looking to put additional burden on the rater and we feel this was a good compromise.
We have worked up a visual aid with an example of how providers will need to track field QA. In this example the provider is lucky enough to not need 4th Quarter QA.
The provider in this example chose to get a head start on their QA and do six site QAs in 2nd quarter where only three were required and five site QA’s in the 3rd quarter, where only three were required. This cut down on needing to do 4th Quarter QA, which is a good idea if you live in a snowy climate! We believe with a policy of only 2 site QAs per rater per quarter that this should still meet the intent of spreading out QA of high volume raters.
What Should Other Providers Consider?
Well let’s look at a scenario. Let’s say by end of 3rd Quarter, a provider has done all the required QA based on each Rater/RFI like in the example above. Close the lid on site QA for the year right? Well, 4th Quarter will probably see some raters going over the next 100. In that case, the provider needs to do some 4th Quarter QA. This is pretty clear cut for some…
What is not clear is how frequently raters should get site QA. An answer lies in the justifications (found in the draft of the standard).
The justification states,
“A primary rationale for the proposal is to assure that QA field reviews are being completed on higher volume Raters within a timeframe that provides greater continuity of QA oversight.”
This is one area where the standard and the justification do not exactly align and is creating some gray area for providers to fill in.
Our Raters Get 2nd QA Visit Free
EnergyLogic as a provider is considering a new policy that says “a Rater or RFI cannot have more than 2 field QAs per quarter, unless the rater has done more than 200 ratings in a quarter.” Since we are tallying Quarterly by the provider, but still trying to meet the intent of continuity of QA oversight of high volume raters, this policy seems fair and within the intent. The good news for EnergyLogic’s Premium Rater Partners is that if a rater’s volume warrants a 2nd QA Visit, that rater’s 2nd visit is on us. This is our way of rewarding a successful rater and congratulating them on their efforts. This is a major benefit to a rating company when time comes to budget their QA costs.
What if I did a bunch of site QA on raters in earlier quarters? Is this cheating?
Not necessarily, but the intent is continuity of QA of high volume raters throughout the year so you should make an effort to spread things out for those raters. This is why EnergyLogic’s Providership is considering the policy above so that we align with the intent of the standard.
If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please share them here or email me directly at email@example.com.