Setting Standards through Credentialing Programs


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Jack Werner of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council discusses setting workforce standards through credentialing programs.

This presentation was given December 4, 2009 at the Solar Energy Focus Conference: Fall 2009 hosted by the Maryland, DC, Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association (MDV-SEIA) in Gaithersburg, MD.

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Setting Standards through Credentialing Programs

  1. 1. Making Sure the Green Economy Doesn’t Get a Black Eye Setting Standards through Credentialing Programs Jack Werner Executive Director, Institute for Sustainable Power December4-5, 2009 Solar Energy Focus Conference: FALL 2009
  2. 2. Safeguards for the green economy Standards Credentialing programs Licensure Defining the green (jobs, products, companies, practices)
  3. 3. Value of Certification Protects the public Establishes standards for professional knowledge, skills and practice Assures consumers that professionals have met standards Advances the profession
  4. 4. Each credentialing scheme – whether for people, products or services – requires a defensible, balanced and transparent assessment and set of criteria, requirements and standards
  5. 5. First, some definitions… Credentialing - umbrella term that includes the concepts of accreditation, licensure, registration, and professional certification. Professional certification - voluntary process by which a non-governmental entity grants a time-limited recognition and use of a credential to an individual after verifying that he/she has met predetermined and standardized criteria. Source: The NOCA Guide to Understanding Credentialing Concepts, 2005
  6. 6. A curriculum-based certificate - issued after an individual completes a course or series of courses and passes an assessment instrument. One-time look at an individual. Accreditation - voluntary process by which a nongovernmental agency grants a time-limited recognition to an institution, organization, business, or other entity after verifying that it has met predetermined and standardized criteria.
  7. 7. Setting Standards: The Task Analysis The task (or job) analysis is a formal process for determining what people do, under what working conditions they do it, what they must know to do it, and the skills they must have to do it. Tasks are classified as either cognitive or psychomotor skills. Skills are further categorized as Critical, Very Important, and Important for job performance.
  8. 8. Raising the bar for RE Installers North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Offers third-party assessment of renewable energy practitioners
  9. 9. NABCEP’s TAs PV Installer Task Analysis 8 Main Tasks 58 Subtasks Solar Thermal Installer Task Analysis 12 Main Tasks 129 Subtasks Small Wind Installer Task Analysis 8 Main Tasks 101 Subtasks All available at
  10. 10. Professional Credentials Solar Electric (PV) Installer Certification Solar Thermal Installer Certification Small Wind Installer Certification – under development Entry Level PV Certificate of Knowledge
  11. 11. As a credentialing body, NABCEP sends a clear message to consumers, financers, and public officials that the Solar Industry stresses safe and quality services, consumer protection and ethical business practices
  12. 12. Practitioner Training While NABCEP certifies practitioners, it is the ISPQ process that accredits training programs and certifies instructors
  13. 13. While NABCEP certifies practitioners, ISP is applying an international framework of standards and metrics to ensure legitimacy of what’s being taught and by whom
  14. 14. Quality Assessment for Training Programs & Instructors
  15. 15. The Institute for Sustainable Power (ISP) Quality International Standard offers a process of application and audit for accreditation of renewable energy training programs and certification of instructors
  16. 16. ISPQ International North America - Interstate Renewable Energy Council in US Europe – ISPQ Europe in UK Asia-Pacific - Global Sustainable Energy Solutions in Australia China – ISPQ office under development
  17. 17. ISPQ Assessment Ensures legitimacy of what’s being taught and by whom System of review and audit Provides a means to compare content, quality, and resources across a broad range of training
  18. 18. ISPQ Accreditation Sends signals to students, employers, and government officials that training standards have been met
  19. 19. Verifying content The ISPQ process uses an industry-approved Task Analysis to verify, compare and approve course content
  20. 20. IREC is the North American Licensee for the ISPQ* International 01021 Standard for Renewable Energy Training Accreditation and Instructor Certification Programs *ISPQ – Institute for Sustainable Power Quality Standard
  21. 21. IREC is responsible for the full ISPQ accreditation and certification cycle in NA including processing applications, assigning registered auditors, awarding the credential, and maintaining all records of applicants, candidates and certificants. Award Application Audit
  22. 22. 5 ISPQ designations 1. Accreditation for Training Programs 2. Accreditation for Continuing Education Providers 3. Certification for Independent Master Trainers 4. Certification for Affiliated Master Trainers 5. Certification for Instructors
  23. 23. ISPQ designation offers The ISPQ mark is a signal to students, employers, government officials and funding sources that standards for the curriculum, student services, and trainers have been met.
  24. 24. Resources from IREC Best Practices & Guidelines for Renewable Energy Training Occupational Profiles for the Solar Industry Index of Job Trends and Labor Forecasts Reports On-Line Training Catalog