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In this issue | November 2014
Accelerate your success! Quality is Quiet: Mistakes Are Not.
Accelerate your success!
Quality is Quiet: Mistakes Are Not.

 





FEATURE COLUMN

by Laure-Jeanne Davignon, IREC Credentialing Program Director

LJ

 

 

Pay it forward: supporting those who give so much

 

Ask anybody how many teachers truly made a difference in their life, and you never come up with more than the fingers on one hand. You remember their names, you remember what they did, you remember how they moved in front of the classroom. You know why you remember them? Because they were passionate about the subject. You remember them because they lit a flame within you.

--Neil deGrasse Tyson

 

The best part of my job is the opportunity to work with inspiring people. Coming from a family of teachers, I know that teaching is a labor of love, undertaken because of passion for students and the subject matter, rather than expectations of status or great wealth. Similarly, it is no secret that the best curricula and training equipment won't quite do the trick if you do not have an able instructor facilitating learning and "lighting a flame" in their students.

 

For these reasons, IREC has always viewed instructor certification as a key piece of the quality infrastructure needed to advance clean energy. With the advent of IREC's new standards in 2013, there is a clearer distinction between instructor certification and organization accreditation, and we've been given an opportunity to focus on and further improve our support and services for instructors. 

 

Thanks to your feedback and numerous candid conversations with you about the value you've realized from your credential, we have a number of initiatives underway to improve your experience and position instructor certification with stakeholders as crucial to the success of our industry. 

 

First and most importantly, we've reorganized and deployed additional staff resources to provide more extensive hands-on support with the application process and annual reports. Although we've made efforts to put documentation and other support infrastructure in place, you've told us that a personal phone call or contact from IREC staff is sometimes just the touch needed to help finish that application form, or better understand a challenging requirement.

 

We've also heard that an increasing number of you are personally bearing the burden of application and maintenance fees, and that IREC should align our fee structure most closely with other industry certifications to keep the credential attainable for a broad range of instructors. We listened, and have increased operational efficiency to decrease your fees, without compromising the quality of the assessment process and the credential you hold.

 

Time is another precious resource that we can never have enough of. Based on your feedback, IREC has recently streamlined the annual maintenance report for Certified Instructors and Master Trainers, as well as the application you will use to renew your credential after its five-year term. Leveraging technology, we are able to ask you for less documentation, while still demonstrating that all our credential holders meet the rigorous IREC standards.

 

Even with these savings, you allocate valuable resources to obtaining and retaining your credential, and we want to make it easy for you to share this mark of distinction with students, employers and others. As a result, we've redesigned and re-launched the Instructor and Master Trainer marks and encourage you to use the mark on your business cards and other promotional materials. This is an important way to increase the public's recognition of the role of credentials and that high quality instructors are increasingly those who bear the IREC mark.

 

We are hard at work identifying further support services IREC can provide to you, like learning events to enrich your instructional toolkit, tips videos and outreach with industry to bolster the value of your credential. Please keep the suggestions coming. 

 

We'll be in touch. 

 

 

 

EVENTS
DEC

 

Visit IREC's online calendar for more events.
Saving You Time & Money. 
You Spoke; We Listened.

Based on your feedback and suggestions, the IREC Credentialing Program has instituted new support and savings for Certified Instructors and Master Trainers:

  • Effective Nov. 15, the annual maintenance fee for Instructors and Master Trainers is decreased to a $100 flat fee for annual maintenance reports submitted before or on the due date. 
  • In November, a streamlined annual maintenance form will be available for credential holders who have already demonstrated conformance to the new IREC Standard.
  • A new streamlined renewal application (for those finishing their five-year term) will be launched by the end of 2014. Renewal fees for returning Certified Instructors and Master Trainers will also be reduced (see the updated fee chart in the new Candidate Handbook). 
  • The Certified Instructor and Master Trainer marks have been redesigned to be proudly displayed by credential holders in good standing. 
  • The first in a series of "Quick-Tips" videos has been posted on the IREC website. The video, an overview of the online Credentialing Management System (CMS), will be followed by videos focused on helping instructors maintain their credential and continuously improve their craft. 

Need help? 

 

IREC has deployed additional staff resources to assist applicants and credential holders. Contact our office at (518) 621-7379 or [email protected] to speak with a staff member today.

IREC is pleased to announce the release of the first in a series of quick tips credentialing videos. The short, instructional videos on a variety of subjects will help candidates and credential holders when applying for and managing their credentials.
 

The first video, a general overview of IREC's Credentialing Management System (CMS), walks you through the most important features of the CMS and how they relate to the online credentialing process.
 

Coming soon: quick-tips videos on annual maintenance, online application process, communications, online payments and more.
 

View the CMS overview video now. P.S. Bookmark it! 

A bit of cartoon humor brings home the message that "the best new technology is only as good as the workmanship around it," in this video produced by IREC and aimed at clean energy employers. The short film clearly traces why credible credentials count, and how they reduce costly mistakes. Thanks to funding from ACT Foundation, the video was produced through a first-time grant opportunity by the National Network of Business and Industry Associations.The video premiered during Solar Power International, October 2014. Watch the video.
The latest version of the IREC Credentialing Program Candidate Handbook is available in the Key Docs section of the website. The Candidate Handbook serves as a primary resource for those who are applying for or have been awarded an IREC credential.
 
The following policies have been revised or added:
  • Updated Mark usage policy now includes an IREC mark for Master Trainers and Instructors (p.41);
  • Streamlined recertification process for Master Trainers and Instructors and reduced fees (pp. 30-31); and
  • Reduced annual maintenance fee for Master Trainers and Instructors (p.29). 
Look for IREC's Candidate Handbook in the Key Docs section of the site. Questions? Click [email protected]or call 

SEIA and IREC Call for Solar Companies to Commit to Quality Training

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and IREC have teamed up to encourage all solar companies to sign a Commitment to Quality Solar Workforce Training as a way to strengthen the industry. IREC President/CEO Jane Weissman and SEIA President Rhone Resch introduced the pledge last month at Solar Power International, with more than 15,000 attendees.  "High-quality training is essential to develop a skilled solar workforce. Effective training under this commitment uses industry's best practice standards for curriculum and training methods." More

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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.  
 
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.

Disclaimer 
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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