Training Level Concept, CoachingThe Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc (IREC) announces the publication of two new standards for the credentialing of clean energy trainers and training organizations, part of the not-for-profit’s commitment to lead the nation’s building of a well-trained, high-quality clean energy workforce.

“IREC has responded to industry calls for upgrades and clarity.  These two new standards are a solid step forward leading to better training and job-ready employees,” says Jane Weissman, IREC president and CEO. “They are the result of in-depth work of a national group of subject matter experts, whose goal was to keep current with the industry, and to increase the value of credentials based on the standards.”

Specifics about the new IREC Standard 01023: 2013 General Requirements for the Accreditation of Clean Energy Technology Training and IREC Standard 01024: 2013 General Requirements for the Certification of Clean Energy Technology Instructors and Master Trainers are available on IREC’s website. Together, they replace IREC Standard 01022: 2011 General Requirements for Trainers and Training Programs Offering Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, or Distributed Generation Training.

This raising of the bar for quality training happens at a crucial time in the clean energy industry. Employers are hiring and seeking well-trained and skilled workers. Training and trainers who meet the rigorous IREC standards can stand out in a chaotic marketplace with an industry-validated mark of distinction.

In addition to preserving the requirements in IREC Standard 01022, the new standard for training providers has requirements that allow a training organization to further illustrate a focus on safety, student attainment of learning outcomes and commitment to hiring and training the right personnel.

For the first time, all IREC Certified Instructors and Master Trainers will have the opportunity to carry a ‘portable’ credential to more than one training organization. An IREC Certified Instructor will have demonstrated their skills and knowledge as a subject-matter specialist and as an effective instructor.

“The working group has developed a thoughtful and thorough enhancement of current standards,” says Steve Jole, weatherization program manager of Community Services Consortium in Oregon and a member of the working group who crafted the standards.  “These changes will offer multiple robust pathways towards certification and will encourage the industry’s best trainers to add IREC to their title.”

IREC received a high volume of constructive comments during the public comment periods for the new standards. Industry validation is an essential part of meaningful standard development. Input from a broad cross-section of stakeholders is included, and these comments serve to fortify the requirements in the standards and verify their necessity.

Vaughan Woodruff, of Insource Renewables in Maine and a member of the working group, describes his experience with the standard development process. “IREC assembled an amazing group of committed individuals that represented key stakeholders in clean energy training. The time and attention to detail provided by the trainers, training program administrators, and industry representatives involved in this process will support the responsible growth of our clean energy industries moving forward.”

IREC thanks the members of the working group who dedicated an extraordinary amount of time and energy to the thoughtful development of the standards, and the employers who supported the working group members throughout the standard development process.

Image: © Olivier Le Moal –