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In this issue | August 2013
Image: Calhoun Community College

Do School Bells Still Need to Ring? Seat Time vs Competency Framework by Jane Weissman, IREC President/CEO
Jane Weissman

Last year when we collected public comments on IREC's Certificate Program standard (fondly known in house as Standard 14732), some asked how many hours should a course be to meet the requirements for accreditation. It's a good question. But there is no single answer other than "it depends."


Course length varies depending on learning objectives, the background of the students, prerequisites, and the results of an assessment - did the students learn what they needed to learn? To address that, a written examination is a 14732 requirement.It must be based on stated learning objectives and follow guidelines for acceptable practices in developing exams.


Continued reliance on the credit hour (or seat time) as a metric for learning is a significant structural barrier, according to a 2011 Center for Post Secondary and Economic Success report, Giving Credit Where Credit is Due. A system that assesses competency should be the measurement for learning, write authors Evelyn Ganzglass, Keith Bird and Heath Prince. They continue on to discuss a competency-based framework for occupational education and the metrics for valuing non-credit learning.


The "seat time vs competency" issue is one that we intend IREC standards to  address by providing requirements for accreditation that promote learning objectives based on industry-driven job task analyses, or similar empirically-based processes, and criterion-referenced examinations.   


The job task analysis defines the competencies in knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities that are validated by subject matter experts for a job or a specialized area of practice. These pre-determined competencies form the criteria for scoring an individual's performance.


Does a competency-based system bring value to the market? We think so. There needs to be a demonstrated outcome that training resulted in learning job-needed skills.

IREC offers two very good publications that address these key elements of a competency-based approach - task analyses and assessments.  


Do take a look at the Job Task Analysis Guidance Document, authored by Dr. Christine Niero, and also Best Practices #3, Developing a Quality Course, by Dr. Barbara Martin.



Washington, DC


Chicago, IL


10/22-24 |  IREC 3iForum
Information. Insight. Inspiration.
30-minute sessions at SPI. 
Chicago, IL


10/22 |  IREC 3iAwards
Solar Central Booth #1343, Solar Power International
Chicago, IL


11/11-14 |  ICE Conference
Amelia Island, FL


Orlando, FL


Visit IREC's online calendar for more events.
Credentialing program square logo
The IREC Credentialing Program lays the foundation for a competent workforce for the clean energy economy. Using robust standards and a detailed process of application and assessment, IREC drives quality workforce training and increased consumer confidence in the industry.  

August 20 Deadline to Comment on New IREC Standard for Trainers

Crafted by a group of dedicated industry 

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image: dechev


stakeholders, experts in the field of training, 

Standard 01024 will allow the instructor and 

master trainer to demonstrate their 

commitment to consistently high-quality 

training and will distinguish them to potential 

employers and students. This public 

comment period for the draft standard for 

instructors and master trainers will close 

August 20, 2013, with an expected release 

date for a final document in September 2013.

Read more.

IREC Announces 12 New Credential Holders 

by Brian Mattiske

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image: Elnur -
From California to New York, 12 organizations and individuals have attained the prestigious
IREC credential, successfully completing the rigorous assessment process and demonstrating their commitment to educating students to the highest standards in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industry. Read more.
by Laure-Jeanne Davignon, Director, IREC Credentialing Program
Last month, we shared the news that IREC  
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image Lambros Kazan -
was recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an accredited Standards Developing Organization (SDO). 
We related the importance of this third-party mark of quality and integrity, and the 
strong signal this sends to the public that 
IREC 'does it right.' But what does this milestone mean for credential holders and the clean energy community?  Read more.

Solar Training in Alabama: Hands-on, Dynamic, Transformational

by Jane Pulaski, Communications | Social Media

Alabama may not be a state you associate 

as an active solar

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image: Calhoun Community College

state, but in just a few years, it's quietly but steadily been making its mark and presence known as a venue for exemplary solar training in the southeast region. Leading Calhoun Community College's solar program is native son, fourth generation farmer and former HVAC contractor, John Holley who made time to visit with IREC about the unpredictable rise of solar training in the community of Decatur, Alabama. Read more

Is Your Contact Information in IREC's Online CMS Up-to-Date? 

Update your information today online in 

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image: fotomek - 
IREC's Credentialing Management System (CMS).  If not, you may be missing out on important communications regarding your credential! Don't forget: only the primary 

contact will receive credential related communications. It's simple:

  1. Login to the IREC CMS
  2. Click "Update Personal Information" link
  3. Click 'Submit' at the bottom of the page.
IREC's Training Directories Can Help You Find...
programs that are less than four years, workshops, or hands-on
map of the US
training for renewable energy and energy efficiency course

information on four-year universities offering undergraduate and graduate courses in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
A web-based resource of licensing requirements for installing PV and solar thermal systems for each state in the U.S. Filters help locate states with IREC and NABCEP credentials.


IREC's 3iForum and 3iAwards at Solar Power International

For three days, join IREC for insightful 30-minute sessions from
solar thought leaders at the first IREC 3iForum, on the floor of Solar Power International (SPI) October 22-24 in Chicago. Session titles over the three days include:

  • Building the Market: IREC Tackling Issues You Need for Success
  • Future of Net Metering
  • Why Market Valued IREC Credentials Matter
  • Better Trained Workers Affect Your Bottom Line: The Solar Instructor Training Network at Work
  • IREC's Annual Solar Market Trends Report
  • Improving Interconnection: Integrated Distribution Planning
  • Shared Solar: Growing the Consumer Base
irec award 2012 On Tuesday, October 22 at 4:00 p.m., IREC will recognize the nation's Best of 2013 - Innovation, Ingenuity, Inspiration in renewable energy and energy efficiency in Renewable Energy World's SolarCentral booth #1343, on the SPI Expo floor. Will we see you there?
About IREC
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) is a non-profit organization that believes clean energy is critical to achieving a sustainable and economically strong future. To pave this clean energy path, IREC works to expand consumer access to clean energy; generates information and objective analysis grounded in best practices and standards; and leads programs to build a quality clean energy workforce, including a unique credentialing program for renewable energy and energy efficiency training providers and instructors. Since 1982, IREC's programs and policies have benefitted energy consumers, policymakers, utilities and the clean energy industry. As of July 2013, IREC is an accredited American National Standards Developer.

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process that is referred to or linked to in this newsletter. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply IREC's endorsement or recommendation. 

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