SEP Lead Auditor
About The Superior Energy Performance® (SEP™) program
The Superior Energy Performance® (SEP™) program was designed to drive systematic energy performance improvement across the U.S. manufacturing and commercial buildings sectors—significantly reducing energy use and carbon emissions. It was developed with active participation by industry members of the U.S. Council for Energy-Efficient Manufacturing (U.S. CEEM) and is currently administered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Audits are performed only by SEP Verification Bodies accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB). DOE provides recognition to facilities certified to SEP.
About SEP Lead Auditor Certification
The following information applies to the SEP Lead Auditor. The scope of which includes the following:
- Leads and manages an SEP audit team effectively to ensure the audit objectives are met.
- Assesses the conformance of the energy management system to SEP requirements.
- Using ANSI/MSE 50028 the SEP Lead Auditor will plan and conduct the SEP audits and report the organization’s implementation of ISO 50001 and ANSI/MSE 50021 and associated normative documents.
IEnMP has clarified its policy in response to the SEP Administrator interpretation regarding the certification of Commercial Buildings to SEP. The SEP Administrator has concluded that the current SEP program, standards, protocols, and application can be effectively used by Commercial Buildings (ISO 50003 – Buildings and Building Complexes) for certification to SEP.
Any SEP Lead Auditor who has also qualified as an ISO 50001 Lead Auditor by meeting the certification requirements, including passing the ISO 50001 Lead Auditor International exam, will be considered as competent to lead SEP Audit Teams for certification audits conducted of Commercial Buildings.
IEnMP and its Advisory Board endorse the principles of impartiality, fairness and equal opportunity and commit to act impartially, fair and equitably in relation to its applicants, candidates and Certificants, including but limited to 1) applying its standards and requirements for examinations and certifications equally to all individuals regardless of age, race, religion, gender, national origin, veteran status or disability, 2) implementing its policies and procedures impartially and fairly, 3) not restricting certification based on undue financial or other limiting conditions, and 4) not allowing commercial, financial or other pressures to compromise impartiality in certification activities.
Candidates may appeal the results of eligibility determination or the examinations within 30 days of the date of receipt of the results. The written appeal must include the stated appeal, the reason for the appeal (including relevant supporting materials), and appellant’s day phone number. The appeal should be submitted to support@IEnMP.org, which will result in a case number for tracking purposes. The appeal will be submitted to the IEnMP Appeals Board in accordance with standard operating procedures. The Appeals Board or its representative shall notify the IEnMP Certification Director and the Executive Committee of the decision within 14 days from the Appeals Board determination. The IEnMP Certification Director will have the responsibility to communicate the Appeals Board decision to the appellant.
The SEP Lead Auditor Certification is ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 accredited.
There is no application fee, however please make your payment for the SEP Lead Auditor Certification exam ($435) after you have applied.
SEP Lead Auditor Minimum Requirements
In order to be eligible for the SEP Lead Auditor Certification, the applicant must be CP EnMS certified, and have the Energy Professionals International (EPI) ISO 50001 Lead Auditor certification in accordance with the DOE-approved scheme and the national exam.
Current Training Courses
Our training partner, GA Tech currently offers training at this time.
The scope of the SEP Lead Auditor exam encompasses the following:
- Lead and manage an SEP audit team effectively to ensure the audit objectives are met
- Assess the conformance of the energy management system to SEP requirements
- Using ANSI/MSE 50028 the SEP LA will plan and conduct SEP audits and report the organization’s implementation of ISO 50001 and ANSI/MSE 50021 and associated normative documents
The following references and materials are provided during the exam:
- ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management Systems – Requirements with Guidance for use
- ANSI/MSE 50021:2013 SEP Additional Requirements for Energy Management Systems
- MSE 50028:2012
- SEP Certification Protocol
- Scratch paper, pencils, and calculator
The following section summarizes the body of knowledge covered on the SEP Lead Auditor exam:
- Apply the additional requirements for a certification or recertification SEP audit that must be considered in audit planning including energy performance, energy management system and the boundaries for the audit
- Develop an audit plan to achieve audit criteria in allocated time using the audit tables in 50028 including the SEP requirements from ANSI/MSE 50021 and appropriate sector -specific measurement and verification protocol
- Establishing an audit program as defined by section 9.1.1 for MSE 5002
- Application review to ensure information is valid and appropriate resources are available to proceed with stage 1
P02. Stage 1 (8-12% of exam)
- Define the objectives of a Stage 1 audit for SEP that are in additional to those required for ISO 50001, including: a )review the client’s status regarding the primary requirements of ISO 50001 and ANSI/MSE 50021, b) collect necessary information regarding the scope of the energy management system, processes and significant energy uses, and c) provide a focus for planning the Stage 2 audit by gaining a sufficient understanding of the client’s energy management system and site operations in the context of possible significant issues related to their energy management system and regards to their energy performance improvement claims (SEnPI Performance)
- Confirm evaluation of the internal audit program of how energy performance is integrated into internal audit scope and planning
- Develop an SEP audit plan that assures the SEP audit scope and boundaries satisfy the energy source and consumption requirements of the sector specific M&V protocol
- Demonstrate how to develop a verification plan that includes sampling of SEUs and energy action plans
P03. Stage 2 (10-14% of exam)
- Confirm that all aspects of the Performance Verification has been satisfactorily completed, including: a) definition of the energy management system scope and boundaries, b) designated baseline year and achievement period, c) stated energy performance improvement, and d) bottom up sanity check of projects and other energy performance improvements to verify stated energy performance improvement.
- In preparing the audit conclusions for certification or recertification, confirm the certification pathway as well as the achievement level (see ANSI/MSE 50021).
- The closing meeting shall be conducted by the SEP Lead Auditor. The closing meeting shall include information on the pathway and performance achieved if it is a certification or a recertification audit and any follow-on actions that have been agreed to.
- Developing an audit report that addresses the following decisions: confirmation the energy performance was verified, the energy performance was verified, confirmation the effectively represents the energy sources of the scope, and the SEP performance pathway
- If an organization does not achieve the requirements of ANSI/MSE 50021, review and approve the corrective action(s).
P04. Surveillance (4-7% of exam)
- Confirm energy performance actions and trends include: a) changes to the energy planning process, b) EnMS energy performance indicators, c) corrections or corrective actions resulting from significant changes to the energy performance indicators, d) status of energy objectives and their related targets, and e) review of the organization’s management of significant deviations.
- The opening meeting for surveillance audits shall address that the purpose of the audit is to confirm that energy performance shall be demonstrated and verified separately as discussed below: a) conformance with management systems requirements as defined in ISO 50001 and ANSI/MSE 50021, and b) clarification of the roles of the audit team members including the SEP LA, the SEP Team Member and any other team members.
P05. Recertification (6-10% of exam)
- Identify the additional requirements of a Recertification Audit per ANSI/MSE 50021 and the other normative documents of ANSI/MSE 50021.
- Review the status of the ISO 50001 certification and inform the client the SEP certification has been suspended.
- Explain the consequences if SEP recertification requirements are not met
- Develop a recertification audit plan to achieve audit criteria in allocated time using the audit tables in 50028
P06. General/Crosscutting (8-12% of exam)
- Differentiate ISO 50001 conformance with energy performance requirements from SEP
- Demonstrate the key components that need to be considered in constructing a valid EnPI baseline
- Explain how action plans link to SEnPI verification (internal or 3rd party) – top down vs. bottom up
- Opening meetings for certification or recertification audits that address that the purpose of the audit is to confirm that energy performance is demonstrated and verified separately as discussed below: a) Conformance with management system requirements as defined in ISO 50001 and ANSI/MSE 50021. b) Satisfaction of energy performance improvement requirements as defined in the appropriate sector-specific SEP Measurement and Verification Protocol. c) Clarification of the roles of the audit team members including the SEP PV, the SEP LA, the SEP Team Member and any other team members.
- Requirements for an appropriate an audit team using Lead Auditors, PV’s, Team Members and SME’s
- Understand what a certification audit team must consist of
- Link the application process for SEP and the SEP Certification Protocol requirements to the Lead Auditor’s Audit Program Development
- Explain the role of the SEP Administrator
K2. Stage 1 (5-8% of exam)
- Demonstrate an understanding of the SEP specific requirements of a Stage 1 audit or Readiness Review, as defined in MSE 50028
- Link energy performance, and energy performance audits to management review and EnMS policy
- Understand the objectives and deliverables of an energy performance internal audit
- Link Management Review to EnPI and SEnPI management and connection to significant deviations
K3. Stage2 (6-8% of exam)
- Summarize what information gathered during an audit must be communicated through the VB to the SEP administrator.
- Demonstrate how and when EnMS audits and Energy Audits would be appropriately used
- Link EnPI management to SEnPI
- Explain how action plans link to SEnPI verification (internal or 3rd party)
- Knowledge of requirements for the Verification Body completing the SEP Energy Performance Improvement report and submitting it to the SEP Administrator.
K4. Surveillance (6-9% of exam)
- Articulate the difference in the focus of surveillance audits as opposed to certification and recertification as defined in MSR 50028
- Understand how assessing energy performance is different in Surveillance (monitoring EnPIs vs. SEnPI Verification)
- Demonstrate how the roles of the SEP Lead Auditor replaces the Performance Verifier in assessing the effectiveness of the energy planning process in sustaining energy performance improvements
- Link Management Review to EnPI and SEnPI management and connection to significant deviations
- Demonstrate understanding of SEnPI versus EnPI
K5. Recertification (0% of exam)
- [no topics under knowledge]
K6. General/Crosscutting (8-12% of exam)
- Appeals as defined in section 9.7 of MSE 50028
- Confidentiality for SEP
- Articulate how ISO 50001 energy performance requirements differ from SEP verified energy performance improvements
- Communicate what documents and records are required for SEP as specified in 50021 and be able to point to where these requirements are defined
- Effectively communicate the differences among the facility scope and boundaries, the audit scope and the certification scope
- Identify the key components that need to be considered in to constructing a valid baseline for EnPIs
- Demonstrate an understanding of the review of training needs, actions and documentation for significant energy uses.
- Communicate that an organization may not submit data to modify the verified SEP achievement level following the certification or recertification
The IEnMP policy for awarding the SEP Lead Auditor recertification is to allow Certificants five (5) years from the date of certification to meet the recertification requirements, which are:
- Adhering to the IEnMP Standards of Professional Practice.
- Maintaining Energy Professionals International (EPI) ISO 50001 Lead Auditor and the IEnMP Certified Practitioner in Energy Management Systems (CP EnMS) certifications in good standing.
- Conducting a minimum of five (5) audit days as a SEP Lead Auditor.
- Receiving payment of required annual fees and verifying contact information.
- Remaining current with any changes to normative references that may impact the SEP Lead Auditor Scheme.
IEnMP Standard of Professional Practice
Regardless of any other professional affiliation, these IEnMP Standards of Professional Practice apply to those individuals applying for certification (Candidates) or certified by IEnMP (Certificants). The IEnMP Standards of Professional Practice establish appropriate and enforceable professional conduct standards and explain the minimal ethical behavior requirements for Candidates and Certificants.
As a Certificant or Candidate, the IEnMP Standards of Professional Practice should guide work with any client. In these Standards of Professional Practice, the term “client” includes any other individual or individuals with whom the Candidate or Certificant interacts.
The IEnMP Standards of Professional Practice are as follows:
- Conduct my business and/or professional activities with honesty and integrity.
- Represent my certifications and qualifications honestly and accurately.
- Strive to maintain and improve my professional knowledge and competence through regular self-assessments and continuing education or training.
- Act in a manner free of bias and discrimination against clients or customers.
- Maintain the privacy of individuals and confidentiality of information obtained in the course of my duties unless disclosure is required by a legal authority.
- Follow all certification policies, procedures, guidelines and requirements of IEnMP.
- Act in accordance with all applicable national and local laws and regulations, which include all applicable business, employment, copyright, and intellectual-property laws.
Maintain EPI ISO 50001 Lead Auditor and CP EnMS Certifications
To retain the SEP Lead Auditor certification the Certificant is required to maintain in good standing active IEnMP Certified Practitioner in Energy Management Systems (CP EnMS) and Energy Professionals International (EPI) ISO 50001 Lead Auditor certifications. Each of these certifications requires that a certified person adhere to continuing education and work experience requirements as detailed in the applicable recertification policy.
Audit Day Requirement
Certificants are required to conduct a minimum of five (5) audit days as a SEP Lead Auditor.
The fees are $25 per year, paid annually. Contact information will be updated when payment is received.
Normative References Changes
The list of relevant normative references is provided above under Exam Preparation.
These normative references are subject to change, and may impact the SEP Lead Auditor certification scheme. As a result, the Certficant is required to remain current with any updates to the SEP Lead Auditor certification. These updates may include a new certification exam or a bridge exam reflecting revisions to the normative references or other requirements as defined by the industry.