CSA Standards and the National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO), the joint training arm of the Canadian Electrical Contractors Association (CECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, First District, Canada (IBEW), have launched a national, third-party, independent personnel certification program for Construction Electricians (NOC 7241) installing Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems in Canada.
At a special ceremony during the IBEW International Convention Exposition in Vancouver, the first certifications were awarded to qualifying IBEW electricians working with United Power Ltd.; Peter Curtis, Martin Kugler, Raymond Moffat and Dustin Thomas. Certifications were also issued to John Salmon, of A.R. Milne Electric and Endre “Andy” Cleven of the Electrical Joint Training Committee, IBEW, Local 213 and Electrical Contractors Association of British Columbia. Presenting the certification awards were Rob Rashotte, Director, Learning Services, for CSA Standards; Phil Flemming, IBEW International Vice President, First District, Canada; and John Salmon, Director, Canadian Electrical Contractors Association. These IBEW electricians recently participated in a beta test round of the certification in order to establish an acceptable pass mark. The personal certification is now available in Canada to all eligible Construction Electricians.
“CSA applauds the first Construction Electricians certified in solar photovoltaic systems in this program that is designed to help ensure the safe and effective installation of solar equipment while reducing the risk of serious accident and injury,” says Stephen Brown, Director, Energy, CSA Standards. “[These] certified candidates have demonstrated measurable knowledge within the PV area by passing an assessment against objectively identified criteria. We hope this program will increase public confidence in PV installations and in turn promote energy efficiency.”
CSA Standards’ PV certification program will examine an individual’s measurable knowledge and skill, rather than qualification based programs that consider an individual’s education and general credentials.
“The personnel certification program for Construction Electricians-Solar PV Systems was sponsored by NETCO on behalf of the electrical industry,” says Eryl Roberts, Executive Secretary, CECA and NETCO Treasurer. “It is the first program in Canada to offer a certification based on the tasks that qualified journeyperson Construction Electricians carry out in applying their skills to the installation and maintenance of Solar PV Systems.”
“Through this new program, Construction Electricians will document their training in the installation of PV technology in its various applications,” says Phil Flemming, IBEW International Vice President, First District, Canada and NETCO President. “We are confident that training providers will see the value of CSA Standards’ personnel certification program and will align their curriculum in this area with CSA to best foster success.”
In 2008, world solar photovoltaic market installations recorded revenues of $37.1-billion and reached a record high of 5.95 gigawatts, with the U.S. as one of the top three countries recording growth in 2008. 1Photovoltaic prices have declined an average of four percent annually over the past 15 years.
The development of the personnel certification program for Construction Electricians (NOC 7241) Solar Photovoltaic Systems Certified was completed in September 2011. CSA’s approach adheres to the ISO 17024 international standard for certifying bodies and has a wide portfolio of standards related to sustainability, while also offering personnel certification for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Verifiers, and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory Quantifiers. Additionally, CSA Group significantly increased capacity to test solar photovoltaic modules to North American and international standards through new state-of-the-art solar PV module testing laboratories in Vancouver B.C. and its newest joint facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both offer the industry access to cutting-edge solar photovoltaic testing, and research and development capabilities.