IREC Credentialing Program: building the credentialing infrastructure for a competent clean energy workforce
2012 saw the addition of weatherization and energy efficiency training programs to the IREC ISPQ portfolio. The New River Center for Energy Research and Training (NRCERT) became the first weatherization training center to achieve the IREC credential for its Retrofit Installer Technician program, and Southface Energy Institute was awarded IREC ISPQ Training Program Accreditation for its Energy Auditor program. Growth is expected to continue in the weatherization and energy efficiency technologies, while applications related to photovoltaics, solar hot water and small wind will remain steady. As 2012 came to a close, IREC ISPQ credential holders total 112, with 37 applications in process and 41 letters of intent in the queue.
IREC and The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) finished laying the groundwork for the ANSI-IREC Accreditation Program. The pilot program, launched in January 2012, evaluated certificate-awarding entities against requirements for equipment, curriculum, facilities, administration and personnel laid out in the IREC Standard 14732: 2012, General Requirements for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Certificate Programs. And in September, the first three certificate-awarding entities to obtain ANSI-IREC accreditation were announced:
- CalCERTS, based in California, provides training of Home Energy Rating System Raters;
- CleanTech Education, North Carolina, provides training on solar photovoltaics, solar heating, energy efficiency, wind energy, green IT and smart grid; and
- Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), Wisconsin, provides training related to renewable energy and energy efficiency.
ANSI and IREC expect to launch the full program in January 2013. The IREC Standard 14732 was finalized, after three public comment periods, incorporating feedback from the pilot.