What is the Acceptance Test Technician Certification Provider Program?
According to the California Energy Commission (CEC), acceptance testing is the process by which a field technician verifies the installation and operation of newly installed equipment or construction elements of a nonresidential building. Since 2005, the Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Standards) has required acceptance testing for nonresidential buildings, which ensures that installed equipment, controls, and systems in nonresidential buildings operate as required by the Standards and that the building owner and occupants receive the desired energy efficiency benefits. Acceptance testing is currently required for a wide range of installations including (but not limited to): insulation, lighting controls, mechanical systems (domestic hot water, heating, ventilation and air conditioning or HVAC), and other covered processes (i.e., escalators, elevators, refrigerated warehouses, etc.).
The Acceptance Test Technician Certification Provider (ATTCP) program provides training, certification, and oversight of Acceptance Test Technicians (ATTs) who perform the acceptance tests required by the Standards, as well as the Acceptance Test Employers (ATEs) that employ ATTs. ATTCPs are professional organizations that are approved by the Energy Commission to provide training curriculum for ATTs and ATEs, certification procedures, compliant resolution (including disciplinary procedures), quality assurance, and accountability measures.
As of July 1, 2014, acceptance testing for Lighting Controls must be performed by a certified Lighting Controls ATT. However, acceptance testing for Mechanical Systems has not achieved the minimum requirements. According to Section 10-103.2(b), there must be no less than 300 certified ATTs to perform all mechanical acceptance tests and the approved ATTCPs must provide reasonable access to certification for technicians representing specific industry employment groups.
What is RSES’ role in Title 24 Acceptance Testing?
RSES was approved on May 9, 2018 by the California Energy Commission to act as a Mechanical Non-Residential ATTCP for the 2016 code, which means we will be providing online training, testing and certification for ATTs and ATEs. RSES has contracted with Brownson Technical School located in Anaheim, CA and North American Training Center located in Redlands, CA to be our “brick and mortar” performance training providers for the state. RSES must first approve a candidate for the hands-on training and evaluation portion to be done by Brownson Technical School or North American Training Center.
What are the qualifications to become an Acceptance Testing Technician (ATT)?
The CEC wants experienced mechanical Acceptance Testing Technicians to be able to test all new commercial HVAC equipment that is installed. While not mandatory yet, it possibly will be as soon as the end of 2018 or early 2019. The CEC requires a candidate for this certification to possess at least 36 months of experience working in the area of testing they will be performing on the equipment.
Is it mandated that ATTs be “third party” or can contractors test their own work?
Mechanical Acceptance Testing is not mandated to be a third-party-only test—such as HERS (Home Energy Rating Service). It could take a few months for contractors to train and certify people in their company to do this, so in the short run, it is likely that much of this will be done by third-party providers.
What does the training entail and how does a technician get started?
The training is very short term and broken down into (currently) 17 separate tests that an ATT could perform. Most technicians will probably need to take a minimum of five tests.
There are two tracks of certification. The first is for employers to become an ATE. The employer will not be required to demonstrate hands-on skills like an ATT, but rather must be able to demonstrate knowledge of the employer’s rules, responsibilities and the code.
The second track is for an individual to become an ATT. There will be online instruction and pretests available to prepare candidates for a “proctored” test. After this test has been passed, hands-on training and evaluation will be done by Brownson Technical School or North American Training Center in accordance with instructions developed by the California Energy Commission for each test, to which RSES adheres.
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