The Value of Credentials: quality training builds excellence in the clean energy workforce

by Pat Fox, IREC’s Director of Operations

Everyone is buzzing about developing the workforce for green jobs and the clean energy economy, and the growth in training programs has been spectacular.  But how does a student know which training program will teach her what she needs to know?  How does an employer or a consumer know that the person they are hiring has been trained in the skills and knowledge to perform successfully on the job?  Accreditation and certification of training providers is a critical tool for answering these questions.

Credentialing training providers helps set the foundation for sustainability of the clean energy economy fueled by renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.  Using a robust standard and process, accreditation and certification drives consistency and quality in the training of our workforce.

As a significant investment is being made in weatherization, home energy retrofit upgrades and renewable energy installations, credentialing helps protect the long-term results.  Graduates of training programs, which have been accredited through an evaluation against a standard that includes the review of content, are prepared with the knowledge and skills to do the job right.  The result?  Successful renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that deliver quality work and instill consumer confidence.

The significant growth in applications received by IREC is an indication that the renewable energy and energy efficiency training community recognizes and values this credential.  IREC’s ISPQ Accreditation and Certification program has been recognized through programs at the state and federal level as an exemplary process that provides a credential that means quality.   When training providers achieve this credential, they indicate to students, governments, and employers that they are committed to developing a well trained, highly-qualified clean energy workforce.


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