Still need to know more about the value of credentials? Start here…

By Jane Pulaski

Back in August, I compiled a list of resources that clarify and explain why credentialing matters, and why the IREC ISPQ credential is so valuable.  Here it is again, and updated.  If you’re considering applying for the IREC ISPQ credential, here’s a good list for you to peruse.  Happy reading (and viewing).

1)  The ISPQ Candidate Handbook, the definitive resource for applicants, replete with information about eligibility, fees, annual maintenance of the credential, timelines, policies, as well as aspects of the IREC ISPQ assessment process.  A must read.

2)  ISPQ Job Task Analyses:  here’s where the proverbial rubber meets the road.  What are JTA’s and why are they so important anyway?  JTA’s are detailed listings of the skills and knowledge a practitioner needs to perform a given job appropriately.“At its very basic, a JTA is the heart of any credentialing program for training providers,” says Pat Fox, IREC’s Director of Operations.  “A JTA is based on core knowledge areas, essential work functions, and skills for workers in that field.”  A well-constructed JTA will help you perform your job—whether you’re a Yoga instructor, an auto mechanic, or a SCUBA instructor, and it’ll help you perform it competently.  Read more about in Job Task Analysis: the heart of any credentialing program. 

3)  In conversation with Tim Wilhelm: multi-tasker (and multi-credentialed) from Kankakee, IL
Tim Wilhelm, Professor and Coordinator for Electrical Technology Program, Kankakee Community College, Kankakee, IL, teaches KCC’s Introduction to Solar-Photovoltaic Technology (ELTR 2334), an IREC ISPQ Accredited Training Program.  Tim is also a NABCEP Certified PV Installer, and a certified instructor for wind tower climb safety and rescue, both with S KALA and CITCA. Find out why Tim is bullish on credentials.

4)  In conversation with Solairgen’s Kelly Provence: another multi-credentialed installer/trainer talks with IREC ISPQ about the value of credentials talks with IREC’s ISPQ about the value of credentials
What do you say about someone who was the first PV trainer in the U.S. to hold four credentials (IREC ISPQ Master PV and three NABCEP certifications)? An overachiever? Staying ahead of the competition?  Hip to the importance of credentials to maintain integrity in the solar profession?  All of the above?   Achieving any one of these credentials is an ambitious goal, but four?  I wanted to know what (or who) is behind Kelly’s drive to be multi-credentialed.

5)  IREC ISPQ Credential Video: all you need to know about how to apply in 3 minutes
“Potential applicants often have many questions about the application and assessment process,” states Pat Fox, IREC’s Director of Operations. “We wanted a fresh new way to present what can sometimes be an intimidating body of knowledge. Viewers can get a lot of information from the video in an easy and enjoyable three minutes.”

6)  Virginia Carrig, Renewable Energy Coordinator and Operations Manager for the Ulster Adult Career Education Center, a division of Ulster BOCES, authored a two-part series on surviving the ISPQ application process, from assembling the right team, and following through from concept to final site visit.  If you’re thinking about applying for an IREC ISPQ credential, read Virginia’s articles and become inspired.  Surviving the ISPQ application process, pt 1Surviving the ISPQ application process, pt. 2. 

7)  Dr. Sarah White, a labor historian and Fulbright scholar, is a Senior Associate at COWS, a national “think and do” tank based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, promoting high-road economic development — a competitive market economy of shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and capable democratic government. Sarah, who spoke at the 4th national clean energy workforce education conference in March 2011 in Saratoga Springs, NY, believes that a “…rational training system would turn out highly qualified, relevant workers, providing for them (and us all) shared prosperity and a greener future with quality work and quality jobs.”  Find out why Sarah believes credentialing really does matter.

8)  If you still need to be convinced why the IREC ISPQ credential is so valuable, read Pat Fox’s IREC ISPQ Credentialing: a guarantee of high quality training, published in the July issue of magazine.  In this article, Fox makes a strong case that high quality training drives high quality work, and, not surprisingly, that high quality work instills consumer confidence and ultimately, enthusiastic support for the clean energy economy.

9)  Charting your solar course, Home Power magazine (April/May 2010), is one of the most comprehensive, easy-to-understand articles about renewable energy training I’ve ever seen.  Don’t be intimidated by the 11-page article; consider it the preface as you begin to learn what to look for in a quality renewable energy training program.

10)  The Feb/Mar 2010 issue of SolarPro magazine featured a conversation with IREC’s Jane Weissman and SolarPro’s managing editor, Kathryn Houser, about workforce development and quality training opportunities for individuals and training programs.



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