by Caleb Werth
There are more than 400 training programs for green careers in Minnesota. As jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency continue to expand, national standards for certificate programs are emerging.
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) credentialing program has developed a new Standard for assessment (IREC Standard 14732: 2012) of credit or non-credit energy-related certificate programs. These standards will apply to credit and non-credit training programs, leading to an educational certificate. (A certification, on the other hand, results from an assessment process and may require professional experience.)
Key features of the standard include requirements for a systematic program plan, summative examination, and more rigorous auditing and surveillance. View the draft standard here (pdf). The program must also demonstrate that training program leads to marketable skills that are recognized by the industry.
Launch of the full program is expected in January 2013. The online application and program documentation will be available at that time. More information is available on the IREC website.
Caleb Werth is an Information Specialist with the Division of Energy Resources at the Minnesota Department of Commerce.