The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released on December 16, 2009 the announcement that they will offer a “seal of approval” for wind technician training programs. Wind Technician Training Programs. The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) applauds AWEA’s work to set the bar high for wind industry training.
“AWEA’s ‘seal of approval’ is an important step to assure there are industry standards for the assessment of education and training programs for the wind industry,” said Jane Weissman, IREC’s Executive Director. IREC is the ISPQ North American Licensee for the accreditation of training programs and the certification of instructors. “Anytime there is a move to set training to meet defined workplace knowledge, skills, and abilities, it’s a move in the right direction.”
IREC has been getting calls asking how the AWEA’s “seal of approval” works with IREC’s renewable energy training credentialing scheme. “We see AWEA’s good work as a complement to IREC’s quality assessment framework,” Weissman commented. IREC uses Task/Job Analyses that have been industry approved as the basis for content assessment. To date, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) has three approved Task Analyses – for photovoltaics, solar thermal and small wind. While IREC accredits Small Wind training programs based on the NABCEP Small Wind Task Analysis and the ISPQ International Standard, there is no large wind Task Analysis. The AWEA approved Wind Turbine Service Technician set of basic skills fills a very important gap.
With the proliferation of training programs across the country for renewable energy ‘green’ jobs, the need for third-party quality assessment becomes more critical. Certification and accreditation programs protect the public; establish standards for professional knowledge, skills and practice; assure consumers that professionals have met standards; and advance the industry. For more information about IREC’s ISPQ Accreditation & Certification programs, please visit www.ispqusa.org.