Today BPI announced a new certification renewal policy that recognizes the work experience of BPI certified professionals. The new policy eliminates field exam requirements in certain circumstances according to verified work experience. This change will benefit those professionals who maintain continuous certification and remain active in home performance roles.
On behalf of BPI, we realize our new recertification policy will be an adjustment for the industry, and especially for BPI Test Centers. In making this change, BPI’s top priority was to keep the standards for work performed high, while also ensuring that the recertification process is accessible and not overly onerous for experienced home performance professionals.
BPI’s Certification Management Board (CMB) made this policy change in response to overwhelming calls from the industry for BPI to recognize work experience, and bring our recertification policy in line with building industry norms. The CMB is made up of volunteers representing industry contractors, program managers and manufacturers.
Accepting continuing education in lieu of re-testing is a common method of verifying competency by certifying bodies throughout the technical trades. For example, RESNET, NATE and NABCEP accept continuing education in lieu of re-testing. None of these organizations require field exams to recertify. Indeed, BPI is one of the only certifying bodies in the building trades to require a field exam for a candidate’s initial certification. We will keep this bar high by continuing to require field exams for initial certification and for recertification if work experience cannot be verified.
In addition, BPI recently completed a survey of BPI certified professionals who choose not to renew their certifications. Sixty percent of those surveyed gave the cost and time involved with field testing as their reason not to recertify.
To all of our proctors and test centers:
We owe you an apology for our poor communications. We should have provided you with more details about BPI’s new recertification policy prior to Monday’s announcement. While we discussed the policy on our monthly webinar calls with test centers in January and February, we recognize that this may not be enough information for you to adequately plan for the transition.
We realize this policy may decrease revenue from BPI exams in the short term. However, we expect our new policy to increase demand for BPI CEUs in local markets, and we encourage all test centers to take advantage of this by developing training and curricula that qualify for BPI CEUs. BPI Test Centers do not pay application fees for BPI approval of CEU qualified training.
In addition, there is potential to attract new students to your training centers by providing entry level training to prepare candidates for BPI’s new Building Science Principles (BSP) Certificate of Knowledge exam. BPI has received strong interest in the BSP certification from many parties: manufacturers on behalf of their dealers and distributors, from home inspectors, realtors, appraisers, program administrators and from students interested in green buildings. For more information go to www.bpi.org/certificate.
BPI recognizes the vital role proctors and test centers play in keeping the bar high. We regret the confusion this has caused, and we are committed to working with you to increase training and exam opportunities for BPI Test Centers.
IMHO, playing the others don't do X is not a valid argument. While I do not know about NATE or NABCEP, I do know RESNET does require certain steps be completed each year to retain certification which either includes the QA provider verifying so much work is reviewed or for those that might not have any units to review, they still have to show proficiency.
For our HVAC friends, most of them are required to pull permits & have their work inspected. Unfortunately for most in the WX/HP fields etc... they either choose to ignore or have no clue when permits should be pulled much less inspected.
I am of two minds on this. First, I just went to a great deal of effort to create a BPI test center to capture a piece of the coming wave of recertifications. So I am disappointed to learn that the wave went away.
On the other hand, I am a certified professional in several fields that are all highly technical skills that affect individual and public health and safety. Each certification required grueling study and testing to qualify. None requires repeated recertification unless the cert is allowed to lapse. They all require continuing education reports and fees for renewal.
BPI is right to eliminate the recert field test every 3 years. It just stings that this was just handed down without any warning/ input from the test centers.