These four organizations are in the final stages of an accreditation process that began in January 2012. Accreditations are expected to be announced for the pilot program by the end of August 2012. ANSI and IREC expect to re-open the program for general accreditation applications in late 2012.
Certificate programs are being evaluated against the IREC Standard 14732: 2012, General Requirements for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Certificate Programs. The standard describes curriculum, administrative, personnel, facilities, and equipment requirements for certificate programs involved in the training of the energy efficiency/weatherization and renewable energy workforce.
Assessment to this new standard will also provide third-party verification to students, funders, policymakers, and others that certificate programs have demonstrated meeting the requirements for issuing a market-valued certificate. "We are proud and humbled to have been chosen for the ANSI-IREC pilot accreditation program," said Bob Chomko, president and director of the Building Science Institute. "The accreditation process has been an extremely rewarding experience and as a result our weatherization curricula will prove to be an asset to our stakeholders."
"This pilot program has helped us to form a better process with which to develop and deliver our certificate programs. We are pleased to have been chosen as a participant, and are looking forward to implementing these programs," said Michael Bachand, president of CalCERTS. "We believe this will become the industry standard of practice for certificate programs to develop a well-trained workforce that can deliver consistent, reliable results to energy efficiency programs nationwide." ANSI and IREC follow the evaluation process outlined in the international standard ISO/IEC 17011, General Requirements for Accreditation Bodies Accrediting Conformity Assessment Bodies. This process includes using specially trained assessors to review documents submitted by applicants against defined requirements, conduct on-site assessments of all applicants, and make recommendations to the body responsible for making the accreditation decision.
"This pilot program is just the latest example of ANSI's commitment to enhance the credentialing of personnel and fostering a more robust and qualified American workforce," said Dr. Roy Swift, ANSI senior program director of personnel credentialing accreditation programs. "The Institute brings many years of experience and government recognition in assisting in the delivery of quality accreditation programs. We are pleased to partner with IREC to demonstrate value and assure competency for this important national priority."IREC's Executive Director Jane Weissman commented, "IREC's standard provides the framework for a specialty accreditation that will raise the bar for training the clean energy workforce. Our partnership with ANSI has been built on mutual respect and a common goal of quality assessment and training."
IREC has worked aggressively to break down barriers to renewable energy use since 1982. Throughout its history, the organization has been instrumental in rulemaking for connecting distributed power to the utility grid, quality assessment, workforce development, consumer protection and stakeholder coordination. Since 2005, IREC has been the North American Licensee for the ISPQ International Training Standard. Today, there are over 115 credentials awarded to training programs and instructors. For more information, visit http://www.irecusa.org .