Minnesota’s Plan to Meet DOE Requirements for QCI Inspectors • MN felt it is important that state monitors receive the same training that will be required of final inspectors. • MN sent all three Field Monitors to Community Housing Partners (CHP) in Christiansburg, VA to take the five-day QCI course. • We are still waiting for the approved final test to be available so we can take the certification test. • MN Field Monitors were pleased that the QCI training delivered the same message that MN is currently delivering to Subgrantees. • MN will require that all Weatherization Subgrantees have staff or contractors who are QCI certified to perform all final inspections beginning July 1, 2015. • This will ensure that 100% of dwelling are inspected by a QCI certified inspector. • MN does not have an IREC training center in our state. • The closest facilities are in Indiana or Missouri. • MN is exploring the possibility of partnering with training centers to provide the training and testing for the QCI. • MN is not sure if we will hold training sessions here or at an IREC training center. • This decision will depend on the quality of training that is being provided and the level of funding that we receive. • The classroom portion of the QCI training would be easy to schedule for an instructor. • Without a training center the testing portion of the training may be difficult to schedule. • Finding houses or mobile homes that we can use for testing would be a challenge. • MN is currently exploring the possibility of reducing the number of Weatherization Subgrantees due in part to decreased funding from DOE. • MN would not begin any QCI training until this process has been completed. • QCI Training would most likely start in July of 2014 after the internal evaluation of how many subgrantees are needed to effectively carry out the Weatherization Program. • MN is very concerned that a high number of our inspectors may not be qualified to pass the QCI course. • Changing our field guide to conform with the SWS. • Adopting the SWS as a whole or in part as part of our State Plan • This is an enormous task. • We are working as a region to discuss the possibility of creating a regional field guide. • The SWS is a National Standard which poses problems when you go to one extreme or another - in our case, the range of heating degrees days throughout the state. • MN is considering adopting the SWS in the same way that our building code is adopted. • That is, we adopt the whole document and then make amendments that fit our climate and building codes. • All technical/field training paid for with WAP funds for individuals who function as installers, crew chiefs, auditors, and/or inspectors at the grantee and subgrantee level must be provided by training providers who have demonstrated the ability to train individuals in the knowledge skills and abilities contained in the Job Task Analyses for Home Energy Professionals (JTA). • DOE will require that all in state trainings be IREC certified trainings as of July 1, 2014. • As I mentioned earlier, we do not have a training center near our state. • Exemptions to this requirement include: • One day or less specific trainings such as those provided at WAP training conferences, for example, are exempt. • Specialized technical training for a specific technique or skill that the grantee determines is needed by field staff is exempt. Examples include Dense Pack, Blower Door, Thermal Imaging, NEAT, etc. The instruction provided in these trainings must adhere to the required outcomes outlined in the SWS related to the subject and be aligned with the applicable knowledge, skills and abilities outlined in the NREL Job Task Analyses related to task being taught. Instructors of these trainings must provide a curriculum that specifies the relationship of the training to the SWS and JTA. • There were several issues noted at CHP when it came to the IREC curriculum. • The issues related to the National Standards that Field Monitors were trained on in the QCI course. • One of the challenges will be clarifying the exemptions with our Project Officer to determine what requires an IREC training and what doesn’t. • The exemptions are somewhat vague. • The many different climate conditions throughout the United States and the training presented on some topics will cause serious problems in a cold climate. • Other items will cause funds to be spent needlessly on HVAC equipment when the equipment is operating within the manufacturer’s specifications. • We must determine if we will contract with a IREC training facility to perform our trainings or if we can use our trainers and the IREC approved curriculum, provided there is a curriculum for our cold climate area. • We will consult with our Project Officer before making a decision.