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Technicians to Be Certified to Renew Electrical Equipment

One day soon, utility engineers will routinely check for PEARL Technician Certification before sending a transformer or a switch off to a supplier to be reconditioned.

The PEARL Technician Certification Committee responsible for the developing the program just took the industry closer to that time during a recent two-day workshop hosted by Douglas Powell, President of National Switchgear and chairman of the Technician Certification Committee. During the summer, the committee developed technician profiles for each of the four certification levels in the Technician Certification program, which include entry technician (Level I), journey technician (Level II), lead/advanced technician (Level III), and supervisory technician (Level IV). In addition to establishing titles and descriptions, those profiles define training and work history requirements, and essential duties for each level.

At the most recent meeting, the committee moved to the next step - drafting the Practice Analysis for Level 1 Technicians. This is an essential part of developing a framework for the testing process, according to Powell. First, the committee had to determine the most critical common work assignments and skill sets for a Level 1 Technician. Next, they had to select more specific skill areas on which the technicians will be tested.

The goal of the Practice Analysis is to provide a resource for the committee members as they write questions for the technician exams. Prior to that point, however, the committee needs input from the industry and the association to get an informed consensus on the framework. “This is just part of the development process to ensure we have a fair and creditable exam,” says Powell. “We hope to roll out this Level 1 Practice Analysis to our membership at the 2013 conference where we will be looking for more subject matter experts to assist us in the critical review of the work the committee has completed thus far.”

The 16th Annual Electrical Safety, Reliability and Sustainability Conference & Exhibition [www.pearl1.org/annual_conference.htm] will be May 18-20, 2013, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Reconditioning Offers Safety and Savings

Especially in these days of tight budgets and resource consciousness, reconditioning plays an essential role in electrical systems maintenance. The establishment of a rigorous, multilevel technical certification program represents an important next step in ensuring quality and reliability, and developing best practices for reconditioning firms throughout North America. It’s an effort designed to position PEARL, and the industry, for the future. “I believe that a well-designed technical certification program will not only add great value to each of PEARL’s members, but will send a powerful message to the industry and to all our customers that PEARL is serious about raising the performance bar for the electrical reconditioning industry,” says Powell.

Developing the best possible certification program requires input from a broad swath of PEARL membership. The organization needs additional volunteers to provide knowledge, industry insight, and experience. To have a voice in an essential program that will directly affect the future of your business, PEARL, and the industry as a whole, volunteer to participate by contacting Doug Powell [doug.powell@natlswgr.com]. “The PEARL Technician Certification program is a long-term strategy and vision, but one that I feel each of you and your companies will find rewarding and personally enriching,” Powell says.

PEARL continues to owe a debt of gratitude to the Technical Certification Program committee members, who include experts from North American Switchgear, National Switchgear, Shermco, Quality Switchgear, Instel, and ROMAC. In addition to donating their time, committee members cover all of their travel costs.

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