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The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)

NABCEP certification is based on training and experience. To learn more about NABCEP and the requirements and recommendations for sitting for exams, visit www.nabcep.org. Solar Energy International (SEI) offers training that qualifies people to sit for NABCEP exams. The NABCEP Certification Handbook is a very helpful resource in understanding the Certification process. NABCEP offers entry level knowledge assessment, professional certification, and company accreditation programs to renewable energy professionals throughout North America. Raising industry standards and promoting consumer confidence, NABCEP is known as the “gold standard” for PV and Solar Heating Installation and PV Technical Sales Certifications. NABCEP is the most respected, well-established, and widely recognized certification organization for North American solar professionals.

PV Entry Level Program

The NABCEP PV Entry Level Program is designed for those individuals wanting to get into the solar field; achievement of the NABCEP PV Entry Level Exam is a way for candidates to demonstrate that they have achieved a basic knowledge of the fundamental principles of the application, design, installation and operation of grid-tied and stand-alone PV Systems.

The knowledge demonstrated by passing this test does not replace the knowledge, skills or abilities of the electrical or other construction trades, or those of other professions or degree programs that require considerably more academic and/or practical experience.

Individuals passing the NABCEP PV Entry Level Exam should not be confused with NABCEP Certified PV Installers. The latter can only be achieved by highly experienced individuals who have passed a much more rigorous examination and have demonstrated the capability to supervise complete PV system installations, and who have a detailed working knowledge of the electrical codes, standards and accepted industry practice associated with PV installations.

As the market grows for photovoltaics, students achieving this industry-sponsored Entry Level Exam may find that their employment opportunities are enhanced by starting the job with an understanding of the basic terms and operational aspects of a PV system. However, completing coursework and passing the exam does not qualify an individual to install PV systems.

PV Entry Level Program – Where to Start

1. To be eligible to sit for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam, students must successfully complete:
Required path:

o PV101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct) – in-person or PVOL101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct) – Online

o and PV203 PREP Battery-Based PV System Fundamentals (or PVOL203 – past course which is no longer offered)

Optional:
o PV201L: Solar Electric Lab Week (Grid-Direct) and
o PV301L: Solar Electric Lab (Battery-Based)

2. The NABCEP Entry Level Exam includes questions on grid-direct and battery-based PV systems.

3. To learn more about NABCEP, requirements and recommendations for sitting for exams, and study suggestions, visit www.nabcep.org, also refer to the NABCEP Certification Handbook.

There are two options available:

Paper and Pencil Exams are conducted at our Paonia, CO classroom. For offerings of the NABCEP ELE, please see Paper and Pencil Exam for PV  for the most current scheduling and details for registering to take the exam at SEI’s Paonia, CO campus. The fee for the Paper and Pencil Exam is $170/person, which includes SEI’s administrative fee.  The fees for all test registrations are non-refundable.

Computer-Based Testing (CBT) is facilitated at testing sites around the country. For the CBT, NABCEP has contracted with Castle World Wide to facilitate your exam. You may want to contact Castle World Wide directly to find out first if a test center is near you at 1.919.657.6965. The fee for the Computer-Based Exam is $120/person, which includes SEI’s administrative fee and is non-refundable. If computer-based testing is the option for you, follow these steps:

1. Verify that you have completed the necessary training by calling or emailing Student Services at: sei@solarenergy.org or (970) 963-8855. You will then be provided with the form: NABCEP ELE – CANDIDATE ELIGIBILITY FORM.

2. Complete the form and email it as a pdf attachment to purchases@solarenergy.org (or fax to 970-963-8866, if necessary).

3. Call Solar Energy International at (970) 963-8855 to register and pay for your testing fees by phone.

4. Your information is then submitted to NABCEP, and Castle World Wide will contact you with a “no-reply email” to schedule time and location for testing.

NABCEP ENTRY LEVEL EXAM PREP PACKAGE $1295

Includes PVOL101, PV203 PREP and the NABCEP Entry Level Exam (Computer Based Testing)!

Call 970-963-8855 option 1 to register today!

PV Installation Professional Certification

NABCEP offers a Certified PV Installation Professional Program based on a set of Job Task Analysis. “The Solar PV Job Task Analysis (JTA) contains a detailed listing of the skills and abilities that an installer of PV systems should have. The JTA guides the development of an exam by which candidates for certification can demonstrate that they truly posses the skills and knowledge that their peers and experts have deemed necessary to do the job well. It is the core document of the NABCEP PV Installation Professional Certification.

NABCEP Certifications demonstrate that an individual has proven their competence in the field and their commitment to upholding high standards of ethical and professional practice. Certification standards and eligibility requirements have been developed and designed carefully following professional credentialing guidelines. Requirements of experience and education are specific to each different certification that NABCEP provides, so it is paramount that you plan and verify your eligibility standing directly with NABCEP’s guidelines. The NABCEP Certification Handbook is a very helpful resource in understanding the Certification process.

Recommended Path:
PVOL101 or PV101, PVOL202, PV203 PREP.

Optional:

PV 201L & 301L- Lab classes fulfill education hours, but do not count towards the NABCEP installation requirement. However, lab courses do fulfill requirements toward earning a Solar Professionals Certificate with Solar Energy International. Click here to learn more about this program. See www.nabcep.org and the NABCEP Certification Handbook for more information on additional eligibility requirements and study materials for the PV Installer Certification

How do I apply for the NABCEP Certification Exams?

1. Certification applicants should read the NABCEP Certification Handbook before starting an application.

2. All applicants for NABCEP certification must complete an application with all required documentation, pay an application fee of $125, and submit the application for review. NABCEP accepts applications on an ongoing basis, but in order to qualify to sit for any particular exam date, applications must be completed, paid for, and submitted prior to the Application Deadline for that exam. Please see the links at the bottom of the page to start or log into an existing application. Applications may be saved and returned to at any time during the process of completing.

3. For all applications, one must choose a Qualifying Category (as defined in the Candidate Information Handbook) that best fits his or her personal background, experience, and training. Candidates must be able to satisfy ALL of the requirements for ONE of the categories.

4. Applications are reviewed by NABCEP in the order that they are received. Applications that are submitted just prior to the application deadline may take longer to receive a response due to the large number of applications that are typically submitted at this time. Applications that are submitted between an application deadline and an examination date may not be reviewed until after the results of the examination have been processed. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application as far in advance of the application deadline as possible.

5. Upon initial review of the application, the applicant will be contacted by NABCEP via email either informing them that the eligibility requirements have been met and they have been accepted as a candidate, or that the application is incomplete and that additional documentation must be submitted. Applicants who submit incomplete applications will be provided with one opportunity to complete the application and resubmit it for a second review. If an application is deemed to be incomplete after a second review by NABCEP, it will be rejected and the individual will need to reapply and pay another application fee to be reconsidered. Please note that if an application is not complete by the application deadline for a particular exam, the applicant may not be accepted for that exam and the second review of the application may be postponed until after the examination date.

6. Applicants who are accepted as candidates will be sent instructions via email for how to choose an exam location and pay for the next certification exam. Exam scheduling and payment must be received by the Scheduling Deadline Date for a particular examination.

For NABCEP Certified PV Installers
To maintain certification, the certified installer must document the completion of:1) At least 6 hours on the latest version of the National Electrical Code, including Article 690 and other sections relevant to the installation of PV systems;2) At least 6 hours of technical PV related to the most recent version of the NABCEP PV Installer Task Analysis or complementary to photovoltaic technology; 3) “Other” – Up to an additional 6 hours of instruction related to PV or renewable energy that may be technical or non-technical. In addition to attendance at qualified educational and training events, NABCEP grants up to 12 continuing education contact hours to certificants who: instruct and teach qualifying courses; author qualifying articles or publications; and/or, present qualifying lectures, seminars or workshops.

Solar Energy International’s PV workshops and online courses and Continuing Education Courses can fulfill these requirements.

PV Technical Sales Certification

NABCEP offers a PV Technical Sales Certification. “The NABCEP PV Technical Sales Job Task Analysisdefines a general set of knowledge, skills and abilities typically required of Solar PV Salespersons who are responsible for site analysis, system design, ethical presentation, and accurate analyses and projections of electrical, environmental, and financial performance of PV systems.

Certifications: NABCEP Certifications demonstrate that an individual has proven their competence in the field and their commitment to upholding high standards of ethical and professional practice. Certification standards and eligibility requirements have been developed and designed carefully following professional credentialing guidelines. Requirements of experience and education are specific to each different certification that NABCEP provides, so it is paramount that you plan and verify your eligibility standing directly with NABCEP’s guidelines. The NABCEP Certification Handbook is a very helpful resource in understanding the Certification process.

Solar Energy International’s training path for taking the PV Technical Sales Exam: Recommended path: PV 101, PV 202, PV 203 or PV203 PREP, and PV 206 (online or in-person; PV202 only offered online at this time) Optional: PV 201L & 301L See www.nabcep.org for more information on additional eligibility requirements and study materials for the PV Installer Certification. To read more about SEI’s Solar Professionals Certificate in Solar Business and Technical Sales click here.
How do I apply for the NABCEP Certification Exams?

1. Certification applicants should read the NABCEP Certification Handbook before starting an application.

2. All applicants for NABCEP certification must complete an application with all required documentation, pay an application fee of $125, and submit the application for review. NABCEP accepts applications on an ongoing basis, but in order to qualify to sit for any particular exam date, applications must be completed, paid for, and submitted prior to the Application Deadline for that exam. Please see the links at the bottom of the page to start or log into an existing application. Applications may be saved and returned to at any time during the process of completing.

3. For all applications, one must choose a Qualifying Category (as defined in the Candidate Information Handbook) that best fits his or her personal background, experience, and training. Candidates must be able to satisfy ALL of the requirements for ONE of the categories.

4. Applications are reviewed by NABCEP in the order that they are received. Applications that are submitted just prior to the application deadline may take longer to receive a response due to the large number of applications that are typically submitted at this time. Applications that are submitted between an application deadline and an examination date may not be reviewed until after the results of the examination have been processed. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application as far in advance of the application deadline as possible.

5. Upon initial review of the application, the applicant will be contacted by NABCEP via email either informing them that the eligibility requirements have been met and they have been accepted as a candidate, or that the application is incomplete and that additional documentation must be submitted. Applicants who submit incomplete applications will be provided with one opportunity to complete the application and resubmit it for a second review. If an application is deemed to be incomplete after a second review by NABCEP, it will be rejected and the individual will need to reapply and pay another application fee to be reconsidered. Please note that if an application is not complete by the application deadline for a particular exam, the applicant may not be accepted for that exam and the second review of the application may be postponed until after the examination date.

6. Applicants who are accepted as candidates will be sent instructions via email for how to choose an exam location and pay for the next certification exam. Exam scheduling and payment must be received by the Scheduling Deadline Date for a particular examination.

For NABCEP Certified PV Technical Sales

To fulfill their continuing education requirements, NABCEP certificants must meet the following specific continuing education requirements:

At least 12 contact hours of technical training related to the most recent version of the NABCEP PV Technical Sales Professional Job Task Analysis;
An additional 6 contact hours of instruction related to PV or renewable energy that may be technical or non-technical. Examples of acceptable non-technical instruction are listed below.
Solar Energy International’s PV workshops and online courses and Continuing Education Courses can fulfill these requirements.

Solar Heating Entry Level and Installer Certification

The NABCEP Solar Heating Installer Certification is a voluntary certification that provides a set of national standards by which solar heating installers with skills and experience can distinguish themselves from their competition. Certification provides a measure of protection to the public by giving them a credential for judging the competency of practitioners. It is not intended to prevent qualified individuals from installing solar heating systems nor to replace state license requirements.

The target candidate for NABCEP certification is the person responsible for the system installation (e.g., contractor, foreman, supervisor, or journeyman).

The NABCEP Solar Heating Installer Certification has been developed in accordance with the the certification field’s best practices. NABCEP is a member of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA) and has endeavored to follow the requirements of ISO/IEC Standard 17024: General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification Systems of Persons.

SEI’s Training Path for Taking the Solar Heating Entry Level Exam
• Recommended path:
o SH101: Solar Thermal Design and Installation (in-person)
o OR
o SHOL101: Solar Heating Fundamentals (online)
NABCEP offers Solar Heating Installer Certification based on a set of Task Analysis. “The NABCEPSolar Heating Installer Job Task Analysis (JTA)defines a general set of knowledge, skills and abilities typically required of practitioners who install and maintain solar hot water or pool heating systems. The JTA guides the development of an exam by which candidates for certification can demonstrate that they truly posses the skills and knowledge that their peers and experts have deemed necessary to do the job well. Created by solar thermal industry experts, it is the core document for the development of the NABCEP Solar Heating Installer Certification. Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) are used to research and develop examination questions for each of the content areas on the exam. All of the questions undergo extensive review and editing.” (www.nabcep.org)

Recommended path: ST101
See www.nabcep.org for more information on additional eligibility requirements and study materials for the Solar Heating Installer Certification

Continuing Education Requirements for Solar Heating Installer Recertification
NABCEP certificants are required to satisfy the following specific continuing education requirements:
• At least 6 hours related to any of the primary Solar Heating Installer references listed on the NABCEP
website (www.nabcep.org) under “Resources”;
• At least 6 contact hours of technical Solar Heating related to the most recent version of the NABCEP
Solar Heating Installer Task Analysis or complementary standards relevant to Solar Heating system
installation and technology;
• An additional 6 contact hours of instruction related to Solar Heating or renew able energy that may be
technical or non-technical.