Homestar training courses

There are three levels of qualification available within Homestar: Practitioner, Designer and Assessor

Homestar Practitioners Homestar Practitioners have good knowledge of the fundamentals of Homestar and can communicate its benefits to the market, understand how their products or services will help achieve Homestar ratings and assist in the design and construction of Homestar projects.

Homestar Designers Homestar Designers are trained to design and advise on the technical aspects of Homestar and the principles of sustainable design, so that they can apply this knowledge when working on a Homestar project.

A Homestar Assessor A Homestar Assessor may also design and advise, as they will have completed the Homestar Designer qualification, but they are also trained in the Homestar assessment process to lead projects through Homestar certification. For this reason, this is the only qualification that can carry out and submit a Homestar assessment.

Homestar Practitioner Training

The Homestar Practitioner course is for people with an interest in healthy, warm homes, and their sustainability. This course is for those who want to play a key role in the sustainability of the built environment and are keen to communicate the benefits of Homestar.

This course is delivered online – training is currently suspended. Version 5 training opens in June 2021

After the course participants can take an exam to become a qualified Practitioner, which is a pre-requisite for attending the Designer course.

Homestar Practitioner training is currently suspended - opens in June 2021

Homestar Designer Training

The Homestar Designer course focuses on teaching an in-depth understanding of the theory and application of the Homestar rating tool and principles of sustainable design. The course will have both online tutorials and in-person tutorials including the use of the Homestar Energy and Carbon Calculator for Homes (ECCHO). The use of ECCHO require a Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) licence and this is included in the course fee. If you already have this licence, please get in touch .

After the course participants need to pass an examination within 4 weeks of attending the course.

This course is delivered in person.

Attendees of the Homestar Designer training course must have passed the Homestar Practitioner exam and meet one of the  pre-requisites listed below

Homestar Assessor Training

This course covers how to conduct a Homestar Assessment, including; use of the Homestar Calculators and Scorecard, the requirements for a Design Rating and Built rating, how to collect and present appropriate evidence, and submission for audit. This qualification is required to submit an assessment to the NZGBC for certification.

After the course participants need to complete a supervised assessment where the NZGBC will provide additional support during the audit process to assist with your learning and understanding of the tool.

This course is delivered via a live webinar.

Attendees of the Homestar Assessor training course must have passed the Homestar Practitioner exam, Homestar Designer exam and meet one of the pre-requisites listed below.

Pre-requisite requirements Designer and Assessor

These are technical accreditations that require an understanding of how homes are designed and built in Aotearoa. Attendees must be able to read and interpret house plans and must have a basic understanding of building science. Therefore, one of the following qualifications and/or experience is required to attend either of these courses: Architectural designer, architect 

  • Engineer 
  • Building scientist/technologist 
  • Quantity surveyor 
  • Licensed Building Practitioner Level 2 and 3 

If you feel you have an equivalent experience, please contact us.

Benefits of a Homestar Qualification:

  • A Homestar Professional logo for use in promotional material
  • An digital certificate
  • Your details listed in the NZGBC professionals directory, which is accessed by consumers and industry
  • Ongoing technical updates, news and access to events and training



MemberNon-memberFuture Thinker
Homestar Practitioner standalone$345$595$245
Homestar Designer standalone$1395$1945$1295
HomestarAssessor standalone

*discounts available for all current professionals.


1. What is the difference between a Homestar Designer Homestar Assessor?
A Homestar Designer is trained to advise and design to Homestar using the certified tool. However, you have to be a Homestar Assessor if you want to submit a Homestar projects this course teaches you the knowledge and expertise to lead projects through the Homestar certification. This is the only qualification that can carry out and submit a Homestar assessment for certification.

2. I don’t have the recommended pre-requisites listed on the website. Can I still attend the course?
There aren’t any pre-requisite qualifications required for attending the Homestar Practitioner course, however, we strongly advise that you have the listed pre-requisites before booking onto the Designer and Assessor course.

3. Do I have to sit an exam to gain my Practitioner qualification?
Yes – you have to complete a multiple-choice exam to gain your qualification and as a pre-requisite for attending the Assessor course. This is compulsory.

4. How much does the Homestar training cost?
You can find the course fees table on this page

5. How do I access my Homestar assessor certificate?
Once you have gained your Homestar qualification, you can download your certificate from your NZGBC dashboard. You will need to be logged into your profile where you can see your current qualifications and ‘print’ your certificate. This will have the status of your qualification and the expiry date.

6. As a Homestar Assessor, can I assess projects my company are working on or is this seen as a conflict of interest?
Yes, if you are a qualified Homestar Assessor, you can carry our Homestar assessments for your own company. All Homestar assessments are audited by a third party so there are no issues with conflicts of interest.

7. Who can register a Homestar project?
Anybody can register a Homestar Project, and we recommend registering as soon as you know you are going ahead with the assessment so that the NZGBC is aware of your project and can offer advice, keep you up to date on. The Homestar project registration form can be found here. 

8. Do you assign the Assessor to a project once it is registered?
No, the project owner who registered the project needs to engage a Homestar Assessor themselves. Please see the Homestar Process for more details.

9. Can you confirm what my login details are for the Homestar online exam?
These login details are the same ones you use to login to your NZGBC dashboard. You can request a password re-set via ‘forgot password’.

10. Once I have paid for the Homestar training course, are there any other fees?
You are required to maintain your Homestar qualification, which includes a renewal fee every two years. Further information about these fees can be found on this page. For Homestar project fees, please see here.
Sometimes, depending on contractual agreements, Homestar project registration fees are paid by the assessor to simplify matters for their client. However this is completely up to the assessor and client to agree on, and NZGBC has no preference either way.

11. How much can I charge for a Homestar assessment?
The NZGBC does not set assessment fees, this is for the Assessor to decide. As our Assessors are third-party to us and price competitively, they do not disclose their fees to the NZGBC. Try to be realistic about the work involved when setting your fees; consider how complicated the home is, stage of the project (is it still on paper, under construction, or finished), location (travel expenses likely), any innovations, likely technical questions, services like energy modelling, and most importantly, the number of typologies. If it is a multi-dwelling project the number of assessments required will equal the number of typologies. We suggest that assessors consider providing an initial free consultation before committing to a project to help determine all these factors.

12. Why would I train as a practitioner, what can I do?
This is a useful qualification if you work for a product supplier, local or national regulatory body, or other organisation that needs to be familiar with the requirements of Homestar and how they can be met, but is not going to be involved directly in designing, building or assessing homes.

13. What do the Homestar project Admin & Auditfees cover?
NZGBC is very transparent about the fees charged for Homestar, and you can find a breakdown on our Certification fees page. A large portion (and in some cases, the entire fee excluding GST) goes directly into paying third party independent auditors who check submissions to ensure the assessment is without errors or points that cannot be validated before the NZGBC can confirm the rating. This is a key part of maintaining the integrity and robustness of Homestar as a rating that can be trusted.