The New IREC Credentialing Standards: From the Working Group’s Perspective
For the past year, a diverse group of national subject matter experts painstakingly pored over the standard, always mindful of the balance of keeping current with the industry and increasing the value of credentials based on the standards.
Last month, IREC released two new standards for the credentialing of clean energy trainers and training organizations. The new standards, 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, replace IREC Standard 01022: 2011 General Requirements for Trainers and Training Programs Offering Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, or Distributed Generation Training.
For the past year, a diverse group of national subject matter experts painstakingly pored over the standard, always mindful of the balance of keeping current with the industry and increasing the value of credentials based on the standards. 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.
“Being on the working group was a very helpful experience, as New Mexico Energy$mart Academy is already an IREC accredited training program,” said Amanda Evans, Santa Fe Community College. “I have a new appreciation for all the thoughtful work and collaboration that goes into creating a standard and am very confident that the new standards will help raise the bar for training in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.”
According to IREC Assessor, Diane DePuydt, the new standards 01023 and 01024 eliminate the often redundant and ambiguous language of the old standard. “Splitting the old standard into two helps clarify the difference between accrediting programs and certifying individuals,” she said. “By allowing instructors and master trainers to be certified separately from the training organization, these individuals can now bring this mark of quality into any relevant training situation.”
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. And for the first time, all IREC Certified Instructors and Master Trainers will carry a ‘portable’ credential as the instructor as they teach for multiple training organizations.
IREC’s Manager of Assessor Training & Development, Kristen Ferguson, led the working group on the revision of Standard 01022. “Though IREC managed the standards development process, it was the working group who defined the criteria for high quality training providers and exceptional instructors,” said Ferguson. “It’s a privilege to work with such a thoughtful, dedicated group committed to building a well-trained, high-quality clean energy workforce.”
Working Group member, Glenn Mauney of Everblue, and candidate for the IREC Training Program credential, echoed Ferguson’s comments. “IREC and the members of this group of passionate professionals represent the best of the best,” he said. “The update to this standard made a great standard even better. A training provider or instructor who has earned the right to claim an IREC accreditation or certification is telling everyone that they won’t settle for anything less than world class training.”
The members of the Working Group are: Kelly Cutchin, Simonson Management Services; Diane DePuydt, IREC; Amanda Evans, Santa Fe Community College; Lisa Hatcher, New River Community and Technical College, Steve Jole, Community Services Consortium; Glenn Mauney, Everblue; Walter Money, Whole House Energy Solutions, LLC; Vikki Murphy, Building Performance Institute (BPI); Carla Maxwell, Affordable Comfort, Inc (ACI); James Lane, Association for Energy Affordability; Carol Weis, SunEPI; Vaughan Woodruff, Insource Renewables; Pam Carpenter, North Carolina State; Pat Fox, IREC; Jane Weissman, IREC.