The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which is the coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system, and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council Inc. (IREC) recently announced that the ANSI-IREC program for the accreditation of renewable energy and energy-efficiency certificates has completed its pilot phase and is now accepting general applications.

The program, which began as a pilot in January 2012, evaluates certificate-­awarding schools, colleges and other institutions against requirements for equipment, curriculum, facilities, administration, and personnel set forth in the IREC Standard 14732: 2013, General Requirements for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Certificate Programs.

Accreditation under the ANSI-IREC program demonstrates to students, policy-­makers, funders and employers that educational programs met all requirements in the standard, and it provides third-party verification that certificate programs have met the requirements for issuing a market-valued certificate. Students who have graduated from an ANSI-IREC accredited program will improve the marketplace’s work quality and help to establish benchmarks for the renewable energy and energy-­efficiency sector.

The ANSI-IREC program follows the evaluation process outlined in the international standard ISO/IEC 17011, which represents the highest globally accepted practices for accreditation bodies. Under this process, trained assessors review documents submitted by applicants, conduct on-site assessments and make recommendations to the accreditation committee.

Successful applicants will join three organizations currently accredited against the prestigious 14732 Standard: CalCERTS, Midwest Renewable Energy Association, and National Solar Trainers.