April 1, 2011 (Clifton Park, NY) – The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) announced today that it has progressed sufficiently far with its Company Accreditation program to share basic details of this long awaited program. Ezra Auerbach, NABCEP’s executive director says, “An ever growing number of companies are contacting us and asking how they can become accredited to a NABCEP standard of excellence. We are very pleased to be able to say that companies which focus on PV installation will be the first type of business which NABCEP will offer accreditation to.” He continues, “We could not have gotten this far in the process without the support of our tireless volunteers.”
Working on a consensus basis the NABCEP Company Accreditation Committee, which represents a wide variety of types of solar businesses, has agreed to the basic precepts of the program. In brief all accredited companies will have to be fully accountable for quality assurance, safety, continuity and corporate citizenship. Each employee of the accredited company will be required to sign a code of ethics that binds them to the highest professional standards. Each accredited company will also agree to meet a set of minimum standards with respect to employment of trained and certified personnel along with documented customer service, training, safety and quality assurance programs. Accreditation will be awarded on the basis of meeting all minimum standards and earning at least 60 points based on “elective” company actions including hiring additional certified personnel, offering higher than required degrees of training and other similar commitments to corporate excellence. All accredited companies will agree to accept and pay for independent third party audits of the installation work they perform.
To ensure that this program will meet the needs of the PV industry, NABCEP will enter into an extensive and wide reaching process to gather input from stakeholders before the Company Accreditation Program is launched. The first step will be conducting an on-line survey to validate the standards set forth by the committee. Company owners, their employees, policy makers and consumers are invited to take part in the survey that will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Those who are willing to be surveyed should email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Company Accreditation”; doing so will automatically put those individuals on a to-be contacted list when the survey launches.
After the survey is completed and results are reviewed NABCEP will revise their plan as necessary to reflect the feedback received. It will then host a series of web based “town hall” meetings to unveil a revised draft of the Company Accreditation Program and get a final round of input. Only those who have completed the survey will be invited to participate in these meetings.
Don Warfield, chairperson of NABCEP says, “We feel that it is very important to engage in such a far reaching input process to ensure that this program has the full support of the PV industry and look forward to a high degree of stakeholder participation and lively dialogue.”