Regional Certification Scheme for Sustainable Energy Skills


For successful RE and EE installations and projects, there is a need for quality assurance at various levels. This includes quality assurance of equipment, e.g. through the establishment and enforcement of product standards. However, high-quality products will only provide the desired services if RE and EE systems are designed, installed and maintained by highly qualified individuals. ECREEE and its partners, therefore, decided to support the development of the regional market for RE and EE services by establishing a scheme for certifying the skills of solar PV installers and other sustainable energy professionals. The objective is to introduce a quality mark for sustainable energy skills that is recognized by professionals and end users across borders in all 15 ECOWAS member states. ECREEE will serve as the regional certification body and will align all structures and procedures to the requirements of the norm ISO/IEC 17024:2012 “Conformity assessment — General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons”.

The scheme will initially focus on installers of simple off-grid PV systems, but will gradually also cover installers of more complex off-grid and on-grid PV systems as well as other RE and EE professionals.

Certification of Solar PV Installers

The first step was to develop a Job Task Analysis (JTA) for Off-Grid Solar PV Installers , which was developed in a participatory manner with input from approx. 100 stakeholders from all ECOWAS member states and validated at a regional workshop held in Praia, Cabo Verde, on 14-15 December 2015. This workshop also marked the beginning of the formation of a Technical Committee (TC) with members from all member states that will provide guidance to the regional certification body on the implementation and further development of the certification scheme.
The regional certification body will partner with training institutions who will prepare the future certificate holders for the exams. For identifying and selecting the first qualified training institutions from across the region that will participate in the scheme, ECREEE published a Call for Expressions of Interest (EoI) in October 2016 and preselected 23 institutions that met the selection criteria in December 2016 in eight countries namely Nigeria, Cape Verde, Senegal, Burkina-Faso, Sierra Leone, Benin, Mali and Ghana. The Final result will be a list of institutions that offer most competitive training activities and have proven their willingness to participate in the regional certification scheme.

The establishment of the regional certification scheme is supported by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the EUEI Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF) and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).

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