- Will the Energy Auditor certification replace the Building Analyst certification?
- Are the new certifications replacing any of the existing certifications?
- What is the difference between BPI’s existing Residential Building Envelope Whole House Air Leakage Control Installer (RBE-WHALCI) certification and the new Retrofit Installer certification?
- What is the value of the QC inspector certification?
- What is the value of the crew leader certification?
- Will the four new certifications be required to maintain a company's BPI accreditation?
- What is ISO 17024?
- What is the cost of the exams?
- Are free exams available for WAP workers?
- Is there a date by which I must submit my application?
- Is there a date by which I must take my pilot exam?
- After I take a pilot certification exam, when will I be notified of my results?
- If I miss the pilot exam period, when will I be able to take the exams?
Prerequisite Criteria FAQs
- How can certification candidates prove their training experience to meet prerequisite criteria?
- How can certification candidates prove their work experience to meet prerequisite criteria?
- What if I cannot find my high school diploma?
- Where can I receive OSHA 30 training?
Test Center FAQs
- What are the requirements for test centers to administer these new Home Energy Professional exams?
- What type of certification or accreditation is necessary to administer these exams?
- Trainers and proctors are generally not current practitioners in the field. Will trainers and proctors have to meet the same experience prerequisite criteria as current practitioners in order to take these exams?
- Why did BPI raise exam fees in February?
Will the Energy Auditor certification replace the Building Analyst certification?
The Energy Auditor (EA) certification is not replacing the Building Analyst (BA) certification. Rather, it will be the next step in the career ladder from Building Analyst. The BA certification verifies that the worker has a foundation in diagnostic and analytical building science needed for a variety of career paths in the home performance industry. The Energy Auditor certification will be specifically tailored to the job task of energy auditing. The EA verifies the diagnostic/analytical skills needed to perform an energy audit, and then goes further. Among other things, it also verifies through prerequisites that the worker has software modeling skills, previous work history in doing energy audits, and can develop a scope of work to implement home performance measures in the home.
Are the new certifications replacing any of the existing certifications?
The new certifications are not replacing BPI’s existing certifications. The new certifications are for experienced industry professionals. They are tailored to the specific job tasks of each role: energy auditor, retrofit installer, crew chief, and QC inspector, and have significant work experience prerequisites attached to them. As experienced BPI certified professionals’ certifications come up for renewal (every three years), they may want to go for one of the new certifications that correspond to the role they are playing within their company. BPI’s existing certifications will remain important building blocks for gaining this experience and for ensuring technicians have the broad building science knowledge they need to build their careers.
What is the difference between BPI’s existing Residential Building Envelope Whole House Air Leakage Control Installer (RBE-WHALCI) certification and the new Retrofit Installer certification?
The RBE-WHALCI is an entry level certification developed to evaluate a candidate’s ability to demonstrate a fundamental level of skill in the selection and installation of appropriate materials used to reduce air leakage in a typical home.
The new Retrofit Installer certification is geared toward experienced technicians who have been in the field and can demonstrate a wider range of skills. This certification has a combination of prerequisites such as industry specific experience (e.g. previous installation of windows, heating systems, and air sealing and insulation measures), industry training and general building experience (e.g. framing, roofing, siding, etc) that potential candidates must meet before sitting for the exam.
What is the value of the QC inspector certification?
BPI sees two primary roles for the quality control inspector certification: the first is within contracting companies. Companies who have a certified QC inspector on staff to verify that the home performance job is completed according to BPI standards will be able to differentiate from their competition based on quality assurance. The second role is as a true third party QC inspector, performing quality control on behalf of a government or utility energy efficiency incentive program or financial lenders. Such programs require inspections to ensure work was done correctly and to reduce the program’s risk of liability.
What is the value of the crew leader certification?
The Home Energy Professional crew leader certification is the first in this industry's history. Several diagnostic and installer certifications exist, but currently there is no credential that verifies the knowledge skills and abilities of this key player. As the employee with the most customer interaction, the crew leader is the face of the contracting company; more than any other employee, he or she represents the company. The crew leader manages crew workers and the process of delivering quality work, and therefore needs to have more experience than his or her crew. Based on a Job Task Analysis developed by industry experts, the crew leader certification requires candidates to have industry specific experience, plus a combination of building science coursework and other industry certifications.
Will the four new certifications be required to maintain a company's BPI accreditation?
We are not making any changes to the accreditation program at this time. We are discussing various options, one of which is to cycle the new certifications into BPI’s accreditation program over a 3-year period (all BPI certifications require renewal every 3 years to keep abreast of industry best practices). As an accredited company's employees' certifications come up for renewal, they could choose to upgrade from the BA to the EA certification, for example. The EA is intended for experienced home performance pros, not newcomers to the industry. BPI is convening an Accreditation Management Board that will be considering this topic, among others.
What is ISO 17024?
Administered in the U.S. by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the ISO 17024 standard sets requirements for organizations that manage the certification of individuals. It is a global benchmark for certification schemes, developed to ensure that certifying organizations conduct evaluations using objective criteria for grading in order to ensure impartiality of operations and reduce any conflict of interest.
What is the cost of the exams?
For the national rollout of these exams, test centers will set their own pricing of exams. Payment is made directly to the BPI Test Center that will administer your exam. During the pilot program, The written exam was set at $250 and the field exam was $500.
Are free exams available for WAP workers?
The U.S. Department of Energy provided a subsidy during the pilot period only for Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) personnel to take these exams. There are no free exams available for the national rollout
During the pilot period, WAP personnel were eligible to take the exams for free when they sat for the exams at a qualified Weatherization Training Center (WTC). The free exams were available to current and former WAP personnel and contractors, and current WAP state and local staff as well as trainers working with the WAP.
Is there a date by which I must submit my application?
The deadlines to apply for the pilot exams are now closed. Any additional applications received will be held and processed for inclusion in the certification exams' national rollout in the summer of 2013.
Is there a date by which I must take my pilot exam?
The deadline for approved applicants to take their pilot exams is now closed. Approved applicants may take the exams anytime as part of the HEP certifications’ national rollout.
After I take a pilot certification exam, when will I be notified of my results?
The results of this pilot test cycle will be used to set the passing score for the national exams. This process takes longer than standard BPI exam processing time, and your patience is appreciated. BPI expects to complete its review and process individual exams within ten (10) weeks. You will receive an email providing you with instructions to log in to your BPI candidate portal to view your results. Candidates who take these exams and meet passing requirements will be amongst the first group of certified professionals in these designations.
If I miss the pilot exam period, when will I be able to take the exams?
Following an analysis of the results of the pilot exams, BPI will roll these exams out nationally in the summer of 2013.
Prerequisite Criteria FAQs
How can certification candidates prove their training experience to meet prerequisite criteria?
BPI accepts a signed certificate or a signed letter from the training organization on company letterhead documenting the name of the class taken, when the person attended the class, and a brief summary of the class curriculum.
How can certification candidates prove their work experience to meet prerequisite criteria?
1. BPI accepts a signed certificate or a signed letter on company letterhead from current and/or past employers documenting work experience. For the applicant’s convenience, a standard template letter is included with all four certification applications. Simply print the template out on company letterhead, fill out the requested information and have it signed by a supervisor.
2. For individuals that are self employed, BPI accepts a letter containing:
- An Employer Identification Number (EIN) or other documentation showing how long your company has been in business.
- Number of jobs completed over the last year, including customer contact information and a brief description of each job, i.e. energy audit, air sealing, insulation. BPI will randomly contact customers to verify information given.
- For those documenting energy audits completed, include documentation showing us PO of blower door and pictures of equipment, along with some completed examples of the reports issued to the customer for the energy audit.
What if I cannot find my high school diploma?
BPI will accept transcripts of coursework completed at 2 or 4-year college institutions or vocational schools as evidence of meeting the high school education requirement.
Where can I receive OSHA 30 training?
There are a few ways in which workers can find a 30-hour Construction training class:
OutreachTrainers.org is a free website that assists workers looking for 10-and 30-hour outreach training classes. OSHA encourages authorized outreach trainers to add their trainer profile and training schedules to the site. The site allows those seeking outreach training to search for trainers and schedules based on type of training and proximity.
Active Outreach Trainer Lists
Contact information on active outreach trainers is available to those looking to take outreach training classes. The lists are to be used to contact trainers about their outreach training plans. The lists are not provided for any other purpose. To obtain lists, contact a local Authorizing Training Organization. In many cases, the Authorizing Training Organization can only provide contact information on active trainers that have given them permission to share information with third parties. All dissemination information is subject to the privacy policies of these respective organizations.
Test Center FAQs
What are the requirements for test centers to administer these new Home Energy Professional exams?
The only requirements during this pilot period are to be a BPI approved test center and a BPI approved proctor.
What type of certification or accreditation is necessary to administer these exams?
During this pilot period a BPI approved proctor’s existing certifications are sufficient. The results of the pilot exams will be used to determine this criteria for the national roll out.
Proctors will be required to attend a training session specific to the field exams they wish to provide services for. BPI will be scheduling various training sessions across the country. Proctors must attend and get signed off in order to proctor exams during the pilot period.
BPI Test Centers may need to assembled new props for the pilot exams. They will be given drawings and/or pictures of what the new props should look like so they can be assemble prior to offering the pilot exams.
In some cases the trainer/proctors are not current practitioners in the field. Will trainers and proctors have to meet the same experience prerequisite criteria in order to take these exams?
Training will count toward prerequisites if the content is varied and in combination with other activities. Trainers and proctors will need to show through documentation that the classes they provide and the exam sessions they proctor show enough variability and include current technology as would be found by practitioners in the field.
Why did BPI raise exam fees in February 2012?
Administration: BPI issued its first certifications in 1996 and has never raised prices in the history of the organization. In 2005 we processed 350 certifications. Last year we processed over 13,000 certifications and nearly 32,000 certification exams. Meeting this administrative challenge has been expensive. Three years ago we had the foresight to begin an investment into IT database development in order to automate more of our systems. We are nearly $1 million into that effort, and have been able to cut processing times from over six weeks to less than two.
Standards Development: BPI is now engaged in over 20 standards development activities. All of these are extremely important to the industry but don’t actually provide BPI with any revenue. However the industry depends on and looks to us for these standards. There are significant and rising costs associated with convening Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from across the industry and country to develop standards using a consensus-based methodology. In addition, as a developer of American National Standards through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), we are required to consistently adhere to a set of procedures that govern the consensus development process. These procedures require outreach to SMEs, broad-based public review and comment on draft standards, consideration and response to comments and strict record keeping and reporting requirements.
Staff: In 2005 BPI employed six staff members to develop standards, work with affiliates to develop certification exams and process applications. Today we employ 40 staff members engaged in developing standards, delivering certifications to the workforce and accreditation and third party quality assurance to contracting companies. Staff also works with test centers to provide guidance and quality assurance in the proctoring process.