IREC’s ISPQ Program Hits the Century Mark

ISPQ receives its 100th application for its prestigious credential

Volume of applications on the rise
In late March, IREC received the 100th application for its ISPQ credential, and the applications just keep coming!   So far, we’ve received 19 new submissions for ISPQ accreditation or certification, 2 ½ times the volume received in Q1 2009.  By the end of Q1 2010, seventeen credentials were awarded, a 237% increase over the same period last year.  And for the first time, IREC awarded small wind credentials for a continuing education program and a certified instructor.

New credentials awarded in small wind
In March, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) became the first IREC ISPQ Accredited Continuing Education Provider for small wind, and Clay Sterling became the first small wind Certified Affiliated Instructor (affiliated with MREA).  IREC is seeing a number of applications for small wind programs, underscoring the need for quality programs that teach to an industry-recognized standard.  To assess these programs and trainers IREC is using the ISPQ standard and framework in conjunction with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Small Wind Job Task Analysis (JTA).

New NABCEP Job Task Analysis
Just this week, NABCEP released a JTA for Photovoltaic Technical Sales tailored for non-installation aspects of the sale and commissioning of a PV system, including analyzing customer needs and conducting a site analysis to develop a proposal, financial analysis, and performance projections for the system.  IREC will use this JTA as a foundational element when assessing the quality of the curriculum offered by training providers applying for an ISPQ credential in PV technical sales.

Always keeping the focus on standards and quality
To ensure that the IREC ISPQ credential guarantees an exemplary level of quality and value, we are progressively expanding our program to meet the needs of the burgeoning market.  The designation of Certified Independent Instructor was added in April, and we are beginning to accept applications for small wind and PV technical sales training.

The number of people and organizations offering training in all areas of renewable energy has increased.  Along with this expansive growth of new training providers, IREC has received a few requests from potential applicants to disregard a missing requirement or to expedite the review and auditing process for accreditation or certification.  The response from IREC is clear; our focus is on standards and quality.  To achieve an IREC ISPQ credential means everyone follows the same rigorous evaluation process using the ISPQ International Standard.  Quality training ensures safe and appropriate solar and wind power installations.  By retaining these high standards, IREC can promote excellence in training while ensuring consumer confidence in a rapidly expanding renewable energy market.

The intensifying interest in achieving the IREC ISPQ credential is indicative of the demand for quality training.  As IREC’s ISPQ credential becomes the generally accepted standard, it will set quality programs and instructors apart, ensuring a more standardized education and better training of our renewable energy workforce.

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