Your auto’s AC needs service. You’re going to Aruba and you want to know how to SCUBA. You’re having your home weatherized. Did you know that all of these critical work functions have a recognized credential?

Credentials indicate a level of commitment, learning and experience.  It gives the consumer confidence that the person doing the job knows what they’re doing.  But how is the credential developed?  Who comes up with the criteria for critical work functions?  Who establishes the curriculum?

Say hello to the job task analysis (JTA).

“At its very basic, a JTA is the heart of any credentialing program for training providers,” says Pat Fox, IREC’s Director of Credentialing Development.  “A JTA is based on core knowledge areas, essential work functions, and skills for workers in that field.”

Task Analysis word cloud

A well-constructed JTA will help you perform your job—whether you’re an auto mechanic, a SCUBA instructor, or an energy efficiency retrofit installer technician, and it’ll help you perform it competently.

A job task analysis is a formal, industry-accepted study, validated by a group of subject-matter experts, that defines competencies in knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSA) as the basis for education/training curricula. Facilitated by a psychometrician, JTA’s are developed by technologies within the renewable energy, energy efficiency and distributed generation sectors.

IREC’s Credentialing Program uses nine JTAs; four energy efficiency JTAs from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and four renewable energy JTAs from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, and one renewable energy JTA from Roof Integrated Solar Energy (RISE).

“Developing a JTA is a very complex process,” said Fox. “The psychometrician guides the Subject Matter Experts (SME) to identify and document all of the KSA’s that someone needs to perform successfully on the job.  Sequentially, the KSA’s support the JTA. “It’s not something you can come up with in a weekend.  Realistically, it takes between one and two years to develop a JTA,” says Fox.

Got those acronyms straight?

IREC’s ISPQ Candidate Handbook (pg. 4) has very specific guidelines it uses to evaluate and approve a JTA for its Credentialing Program If an applicable JTA doesn’t exist for the sector, IREC encourages applicants to use SME’s to develop a JTA.

IREC Standard 01022—specifies requirements for competency, quality systems, resources, management, administration, and qualification of a curriculum against which trainers and training programs can be evaluated.  Since 2005, the IREC Credential has become an important and desirable credential to have, for both training programs and trainers of renewable energy practitioners.

“Through the work led by NREL and supported by DOE through the Home Energy Performance initiatives, groups of SMEs facilitated by a psychometrician developed Standard Work Specifications (SWS), KSAs and JTAs for the job categories of retrofit installer technician, crew leader, energy auditor, and quality control inspector in the energy efficiency and weatherization fields,” said Fox.

“Renewable energy and energy efficiency training providers now have the tools to develop quality programs based on consistent standards, and IREC has the JTAs to fully assess those providers and trainers for accreditation and certification,” said Fox.

For more information about the IREC Credentialing Program at [email protected]. or call 518.621.7379.

Image credit: ©radiantskies/