IREC Credentialing Programs for Clean Energy Training

Employer
Trainer & Educator
Energy Efficiency
Renewable Energy
Training and Certification
Weatherization Assistance Program
IREC provides accreditation and certification for clean energy training programs and professionals.

In today’s rapidly evolving energy landscape, establishing credibility and ensuring quality in training and education is a top priority. In energy industries like home weatherization and solar energy, skilled professionals are essential for ensuring efficiency, safety, and consumer satisfaction. 

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) fills this need by providing nationally recognized and industry-backed accreditation and certification for clean energy training programs and professionals. 

IREC credentials are a mark of excellence, recognized nationally for their rigorous standards. They assure students, employers, and funders that the training is high quality and meets industry demands. Many IREC credential holders provide training to Weatherization Assistance Program participants as well as those entering the solar industry. IREC has accredited more than 200 training programs and has certified more than 100 instructors.

Take the first step and watch this short video on the benefits of being IREC accredited. Then learn how to apply for IREC credentials here.

Understanding IREC Credentials

The IREC credentialing program enables training providers and instructors to demonstrate a commitment to preparing career seekers for defined jobs aligned with industry needs, with systems in place for continuous improvement and quality assurance.

IREC credentials come in two primary forms: accreditation and certification. Accreditation is awarded to an entire training program such as a community college or a private training company. It signifies to training providers that their curricula align with industry-validated job task analyses (JTAs). This rigorous approach enhances the quality of work and boosts consumer confidence.

Certification is designated for individual instructors and master trainers who meet rigorous educational and practical experience requirements.

As an ANSI-accredited standards developing organization (SDO), IREC created two standards for the credentialing program: IREC Standard 01023 for Training Providers, and IREC Standard 01024 for Instructors or Master Trainers.

Some Job Roles Covered by IREC Credentials

In the weatherization industry, IREC credentials cover roles such as Energy Auditor, Retrofit Installer Technician, Crew Leader, and Quality Control Inspector

For the solar energy industry, IREC provides credentials for job roles recognized by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) such as PV Associate and PV Installation Professional, to name a few. Learn more about these roles by visiting our Solar Installer information page. 

Additionally, IREC credentials apply to the Construction Craft Laborers who install some or all of the components of a solar thermal or photovoltaic system. Learn more about this role on our Carpenter information page. 

These are not the only job roles where IREC credentials may apply. Contact the IREC credentialing team if you would like more information!

The Process of Earning IREC Credentials

Training Provider Accreditation

IREC’s high standards and rigorous application process require applicants to demonstrate a robust approach to quality in training program operations. For training providers, achieving IREC accreditation means enhancing their curriculum to meet IREC Standard 01023, thereby increasing the quality and marketability of their programs. 

The process involves a comprehensive self-assessment, submission of detailed documentation, a desk assessment, and often an onsite assessment. Candidates must demonstrate that their programs have robust management and administrative practices, appropriate facilities and resources, and qualified staff. The standard also mandates proper curriculum design, effective safety practices, and feedback mechanisms for continuous improvement of the curriculum. Successful candidates earn a credential for five years and must maintain their accreditation through annual reports.

Instructor and Master Trainer Certification

For individual instructors, certification validates their expertise and commitment to maintaining high educational standards. Instructors and master trainers must document substantial teaching experience and practical expertise adherent to IREC Standard 01024. The certification process includes submitting an application with detailed evidence of teaching hours, education, professional experience, and third-party verification. Like accreditation, certification is valid for five years, with annual maintenance required.

IREC is responsible for the full cycle of accreditation and certification, from processing applications to awarding credentials and maintaining records. The process involves several steps, including a comprehensive review of the candidate’s adherence to the IREC Standard(s).  Through this meticulous process, IREC ensures that training programs and instructors who meet these stringent criteria place a high value on quality and competence and that they’re in it for the long term.

Building a Qualified Workforce

The impact of the IREC Credentialing Program extends beyond individual programs and instructors. As more programs become accredited and more individuals become certified, the entire energy sector benefits. Consumers gain confidence in the skills and products of certified professionals, leading to increased support for renewable energy and building performance initiatives. This, in turn, helps build a qualified and competent workforce capable of meeting the growing demands of industry. 

By ensuring rigorous standards and continuous improvement, IREC credentials help job seekers locate high-quality training opportunities that prepare them to enter the clean energy workforce, and help employers identify quality training options for their staff.

For more detailed information on what it takes to achieve an IREC credential, visit IREC Credentials Page and read these FAQs. For any questions, contact the IREC credentialing team.