The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is pleased to announce the publication of a revised edition of the Job Task Analysis that is the foundational document for their industry-leading PV Installer Certification program. The Board accepted the recommendations of a wide-ranging group of subject matter experts who were empanelled to review the Job Task Analysis (JTA) for the PV Installer Certification. The panel added considerably more detail to the JTA and at the same time unanimously reasserted that extensive knowledge of designing stand-alone and grid tied PV systems is a core component of being a fully professional PV system installer. The work of the panel was validated by a survey of over 5,000 active PV professionals.
Subject matter experts from the US and Canada, most of them who hold the NABCEP Certified PV Installer credential, reaffirmed the fact the knowledge and skills required to be a Certified PV Installer are multifaceted and transcend any one individual trade. While electrical knowledge and a strong familiarity with relevant codes is a core element of the requirements of a PV system installer, the panel confirmed that the certificant must also have significant knowledge about construction and roofing methods and techniques, advanced math skills, familiarity with sheet metal work and a strong understanding of the design principles of all types of solar electric systems.
Ezra Auerbach NABCEP’s Executive Director says, “The panelists were selected on the basis of bringing together a group that reflects the range within the PV installer community. Individuals who work for small and large contractors, PV manufacturers and distributors, self-employed PV business owners, code experts, PV engineers, and PV educators were all represented in the group.” He continues, “It was gratifying to see the commonality of viewpoint that emerged from this highly diverse group.”
Bob-O Schultze, a NABCEP Board member with over twenty five years experience as a PV installer and business owner who took part in the development of this revision of the JTA says, “Our industry is changing rapidly and the skills needed to install PV systems are changing with it. NABCEP is committed to keeping the PV Installer Certification current with technologies that reflect the multi-craft aspect of being a PV installer.”
NABCEP’s PV Installer Certification is the only renewable energy personnel credential that is accredited to ANSI/ISO 17024 standards – the highest degree of recognition that a personnel-credentialing program can earn. A regular JTA review is part of the requirements to maintain ANSI/ISO 17024 accreditation. This is to ensure that the credential remains relevant in a growing and changing market place.
Don Warfield, Chairperson of NABCEP says, “This document illustrates the range of knowledge that a fully qualified PV System installer must have. Clearly working safely with electrical components is but a single, albeit very critical, element in the NABCEP Certified PV Installer’s necessary skill set.” He continues, “Looking at the depth and range of the work and responsibilities outlined in this Job Task Analysis shows that the work performed by NABCEP Certified Installers includes that of a PV system designer and project manager. This is also borne out by the fact that many of our Certificants do hold more senior and responsible roles than ‘crew leader’ within the companies they own or work for.”
There are six major content domains covered by the NABCEP Certified PV Installer JTA. The examination blueprint that was developed along with the JTA revision shows what percentage of the exam will cover each domain. It is weighted as follows: Designing Systems 30%; Managing the Project 17%; Installing Electrical Components 22%; Installing Mechanical Components 8%; Completing System Installation 12%; and Conducting Maintenance and Troubleshooting Activities 11%. Candidates for the September 2010 NABCEP exam are encouraged to review the revised exam blueprint carefully as the exam will be based on it.
Click here to view a complete copy of the JTA Summary.