Credential team reviews tip on how to apply and addressing challenging requirements

It was a two-fer for the IREC ISPQ Credential at the 5th national clean energy workforce education conference in Albany earlier this month:  how to complete a successful application and how to address some of the more challenging requirements of IREC ISPQ Standard 01022.

IREC’s credentialing team welcomed some 35 attendees, including current IREC ISPQ assessors, current IREC ISPQ credential holders, potential and current applicants to a ‘what-you-need-to-know about the IREC ISPQ process’ workshop on November 13th in Albany, just ahead of the 5th national clean energy workforce education conference.  The workshop stepped through the requirements for training programs and instructors to achieve an IREC ISPQ Credential, provided helpful tips for submitting a successful application and provided in depth information about some of the more challenging requirements of the Standard.  IREC Credentialing team members, Laure-Jeanne Davignon, Kristen Ferguson and Diane DePuydt, led the workshop.

“We had a very engaged audience,” said Laure-Jeanne Davignon, Program Manager for IREC’s ISPQ Credentialing Program. “We reviewed the IREC ISPQ process and requirements of the Standard, emphasizing areas that have proven to be most challenging for applicants.  We also doled out lots of helpful tips on how to prepare a successful application.”

The value of the process and tips weren’t lost on Michael Johnson-Chase, Director of the Green Workforce Training program at Solar One in NYC.  “The workshop helped me become confident of my knowledge about the accreditation process, and also made me aware of the dual commitment to quality and helpfulness of the IREC folks. It is gratifying to know that underlying all they do is a deep belief in the power of renewable energy and the need to scale it successfully.”

The use of Job Task Analyses (JTAs) provided the perfect opportunity for a lively discussion to demonstrate how curricula prepare students for a job. Accredited training programs provide evidence that graduates achieve the necessary knowledge and skills to perform successfully on the job through a JTA. “It was a very educated audience,” said Davignon.

In ‘Building an industry Standard,’ IREC’s Laure-Jeanne Davignon and Professional Testing Inc.’s Christine Niero gave the who, what, where, when and how of the IREC Standard 14732. This Standard is used for an accreditation program operated in partnership with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and is designed to raise the bar in quality energy efficiency and renewable energy certificate programs. IREC Standard 14732 is a first for the clean energy industry and will have far reaching effects on training programs, their perceived market value and their end use by key stakeholders.

Davignon and Niero reviewed the process that developed this new industry Standard, as well as some of the requirements that organizations must demonstrate to be in compliance with the Standard.  They also discussed the differences between the two IREC Standards: 14732 and 01022.  “The decision to apply for the credential will be based on an organization’s training operations and strategic goals,” said Davignon.  “The IREC Standard 14732 doesn’t replace or supersede IREC’s 01022 Standard. These are two distinct standards.

Eligible certificate programs will be able to apply for accreditation under IREC Standard 14732 starting in January 2013.