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Construction Electrician Solar PV Systems certification program promoted at Solar Canada 2011


December 7, 2011
By Anthony Capkun

December 6, 2011 (Updated December 8, 2011) – Earlier today at the Solar Canada 2011 Conference, CSA Standards and the National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO)—the joint training arm of the Canadian Electrical Contractors Association (CECA) and IBEW, First District, Canada—promoted the availability of a personnel certification program for journeyperson electricians installing and maintaining solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Canada. And EBMag was there to take in the action (CLICK HERE for VIDEO).

The Construction Electrician (NOC 7241) Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems Certified Personnel Certification Program was developed by CSA with the financial support of NETCO, and jointly launched in September 2011. CSA’s approach adheres to the ISO 17024 international standard for certifying bodies. The certification is now openly available to everyone who wishes to earn it.

The program is the mechanism through which CSA—serving as a national, third-party, independent, certifying body—assesses and formally recognizes that candidates have demonstrated measurable knowledge within the PV area by passing an assessment against objectively identified criteria.

“In this context, the excellence of solar PV training programs and related instructor qualifications are important because a qualified workforce will promote safety and increase public confidence in PV installations,” said Stephen Brown, director, Energy, CSA Standards.

At a special ceremony during the Canadian Solar Industries Association’s Exposition, CSA recognized that the solar PV training program delivered by the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario / IBEW-Construction Council of Ontario (ECAO/IBEW-CCO) aligns to the body of knowledge required for the Construction Electrician (NOC 7241) Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems Certified personnel certification program.

CSA’s Director of Learning Services, Robert Rashotte presented a framed letter acknowledging this achievement to ECAO executive vice-president, Eryl Roberts and IBEW-CCO executive secretary-treasurer, John Grimshaw.

To-date, ECAO/IBEW-CCO have trained about 1000 electricians in solar PV installation and maintenance at 13 facilities located across Ontario using a network of 25 qualified instructors.

Rashotte also presented individual CSA certifications to five qualifying ECAO/IBEW-CCO instructors:

• Lee Caprio, IBEW, Local 353 (Toronto)
• Dave Cribb, IBEW, Local 586 (Ottawa)
• Rudy Lenneau, IBEW, Local 115 (Kingston)
• Peter Olders, Ontario Electrical Industry Training Trust
• Arthur Verway, IBEW, Local 353 (Toronto).

The CSA certification earned by these instructors overlays their existing Certificate of Qualification as an electrician.

“Congratulations to the ECAO/IBEW-CCO for being the first in Ontario to have its solar PV training curriculum recognized by CSA,” said Phil Flemming, IBEW international VP, First District, Canada, and NETCO president. “We are confident that other training providers across Canada will see the value of CSA’s personnel certification program and will align their solar PV training curriculum to the national standards reflected in the test blueprint.”

“NETCO’s decision to sponsor and support CSA in the development of the Construction Electrician (NOC 7241) Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems Certified personnel certification program was driven by an assertion that all solar PV installation should be performed by qualified electricians working for licensed contractors under electrical permit,” said Eryl Roberts, who serves as NETCO treasurer as well as ECAO EVP. “This Made-in-Canada certification program was developed with reference to the Canadian Electrical Code and the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program.”