Did you notice IREC’s July 11 news release regarding our accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a developer of American national standards? Do you know what this means?

In ANSI’s words, IREC’s “operating procedures for documenting consensus on IREC-sponsored American National Standards have been approved.” To attain this distinction, IREC went through a lengthy application process and a national public comment period. We undertook this arduous project because we feel it is a crucial step, not only for IREC and the credibility of our standards work, but for the energy efficiency and renewable energy industry at large.

ANSI is responsible for safeguarding the integrity of the U.S. voluntary consensus standards system. As such, it vets the process by which organizations develop American National Standards to ensure that balance, transparency and lack of dominance by any one stakeholder group are exemplified. This results in standards that are validated and accepted by the industry, and facilitates more universal adoption. Strategies such as notices to stakeholders, inclusivity in working groups and committees (i.e., IREC’s Standards Committee), public comments and resolution of objections are required to make sure that the best practices described in standards are valid across the industry.

ANSI-accredited standards developers work on a wide range of standards, dealing with topics as diverse as electrical appliances, testing of materials, management of patient data and organizational management systems. IREC’s focus continues to be clean energy workforce training through standards, including IREC 01023:2013 for training providers (currently out for public comment, see article below) and IREC 14732:2013, which describes requirements for certificate programs. However, our accreditation by ANSI opens the door for IREC to work with industry to continue to facilitate the effective adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies through the development of consensus-based standards.

To celebrate our accreditation, this Chronicle issue has a unique twist. The focus of this issue is to provide some education about the standards that drive the IREC programs and ensure that the credentials earned mean something to the industry and to the quality of our workforce.

The wide world of standards development can be a quiet one, but provides immeasurable contributions to consumer safety and quality work and processes across all industries. IREC is happy to have this official mark of distinction shared by so many working to make a difference.