Responding to industry feedback regarding criminal background check requirements for four new Home Energy Professional certifications to be piloted this June, BPI today removed these requirements from prerequisite criteria. The criminal background check remains an employer responsibility.

BPI received many comments from contractors saying that the criminal background check should be the responsibility of employers, not certifying bodies.

The prerequisite criteria for the four certifications, including the criminal background check, were recommended by volunteer Subject Matter Experts who participated in the Certification Scheme Committee.

BPI has considered all comments received and incorporated industry concerns into the process, in accordance with ISO 17024 guidance to consult with interested parties in the development of the certification.

For more information, go to http://www.bpi.org/news_expansion.aspx?selectedID=881.

Registration, guidance, and prerequisites for these pilot exams is now open at http://www.bpi.org/pilot.
See the pilot's FAQs page http://www.bpi.org/tools_downloads_pilot_faq.aspx for more information.

Tags: 17024, ISO, audit, auditor, background, certifications, check, criminal, efficiency, energy, More…home, professional

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Let me get this straight. BPI will continue to "train" convicted felons to work in unsuspecting homeowners homes? In other words if you got the GREEN$$$ we'll train you, we do not care about your prior criminal record. Could this be because a large revenue stream is created through "programs to get people with criminal backgrounds back to work"? There should be a new "Certification for people with questionable decision making in their own lives to make the right decisions about your home" This is unreal and very disturbing.

Interesting branding decision. So does this mean that even someone like this guy who has been convicted of a previous construction-related felony could still be certified by BPI ... as long as his employer vouches for him or he sets up his own shop in another state? Or am I missing something?

For an example of a far more consumer protection oriented policy that I think still addresses all of the valid contractor concerns described in the press release, readers may want to check out how we currently deal with background checks in California.

The background checks, fingerprinting etc looks to be the way to go. I looked at your link and personally like the thoroughness of it and would gladly be fingerprinted etc. Homeowners have a right to know who they are letting in the door. Branding decision or revenue stream IT IS NOT GOOD for the Industry or the homeowner. All it takes is 1 issue and we all lose credibility. Another half-baked decision without considering the backlash for all honest EE Professionals. When this gets out to the general public NOBODY will have their houses tested or they will be following us around and locking up their valuables. Great move BPI you sure know how to hurt a guy

Personally I think fingerprinting is way too heavy-handed for BPI, and is a matter best left up to the states. But I'm concerned that just abdicating all background checks to employers is a problem waiting to happen.Time will tell.

My main point in posting this link was to demonstrate that case-by-case distinctions can be made between "minor offenses" and "construction-related felonies". I used to be a foreman and I know first-hand how hard it can be hard to put together a residential crew without any records.

I wonder how the legal departments at some of BPI's utility partners might weigh in on this issue. This is probably moot for the IOU's here in CA (since our programs also require state licensing), but it might be more of a concern to utilities in other states where licensing rules may differ?

I don't want to start a spitting match, but casting a large swath across the issue of "convicted felons" working in someone's home is pretty near sighted and ignorant.

The only thing different between you and a lot of convicted felons is that you never got caught.  How many of you drove home after a few drinks that could have caused a fatal accident? How many of you cheat on your taxes? How many of you have gotten over the system in one way or the other. Please don't play the "holier than thy" card. You all have been guilty of something just haven't gotten caught.

I suppose near sighted and ignorant is getting caught huh? Exactly what is a "spitting match"? How many felons on your payroll? If you made questionable decisions in your past I hope you don't regress. I am not holier than thow, I simply do not want someone in my house that has made bad decisions in their own life that resulted in a court case. Shoulda, woulda, coulda is a far cry from GUILTY wake up Paul This will be a black eye on the "Certified Professional". We are talking about  access to peoples homes period. Bad decision

So let me get this straight, convicted felons will go through the trouble of getting certified, get hired by a Home Performance contractor  all as a ruse in order to ACCESS someone's home? 

No Paul Giving a person access to your home involves TRUST. Call me stupid but I would not knowingly invite someone convicted of a crime (felony) to investigate every square foot of my home period. By the way if we are doing our job correctly we must look at every room for a comprehensive audit.

Randy, if Martha Steward got certified,  would you let her do a comprehensive audit on your home? She's a convicted felon. or Tim Allen, or Marion Jones, or Christian Slater, the list goes on.......

A convicted felon can't be a "honest EE professional? Where's the rational? Name one industry that is totally honest? Are all cops honest, NO! Are all politicians honest, NO!

But, you'll let these people in your home, and these people are are getting convicted every day of one thing or another. So again Randy ," Where the rational in your thinking" This is pure paranoia at  best.

This will be my last post regarding this subject. I got work to do, investigating every square foot of some unsuspecting homeowner's home...

I applaud the decision to remove the criminal background check. Over the last 40 years of working on many different construction crews, I have worked with a lot of different ex-offenders, and most of them have been as trustworthy and hard working as anyone else on the crews. Everyone deserves to be given a second chance to make a legal and productive contribution to the world, without facing job discrimination for long ago past wrong doings. This country certainly has no use for any more unemployed excons.

 

Sincerely,

Tom Nicholson

BPI ID# 5014983

Thanks everyone for your comments. BPI would like to provide some historical context here. Our announcement regarding criminal background checks represents no change in our current policy. BPI has never conducted criminal background checks for any of its certifications. Nor does BPI have any knowledge of any certifying body in the contracting trades conducting criminal background checks.  This has never been a prerequisite for taking an exam and earning a credential. Rather, it has always been the responsibility of the employer.

 

BPI’s announcement relates only to our pilot program for our four new Home Energy Professional certifications. For this pilot, the volunteer Certification Scheme Committee recommended prerequisite criteria –including the criminal background check–  that it felt were appropriate to meet ISO 17024 accreditation of these certifications. Since then BPI has received numerous comments explaining why the criminal background check should remain the responsibility of the employer, not the certifying body. Thus, in accordance with ISO 17024 protocols that require BPI to incorporate industry feedback, BPI has removed this requirement from the prerequisite criteria for the pilot program. I hope this helps clarify our announcement.

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