Become a solar water geyser or heat pump installer with IOPSA

03 Dec 2015 9:58 AM | Anonymous

The Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) is paving the way for plumbers to become qualified solar water geyser and heat pump installers in terms of the new apprenticeship qualification.

The plumbing environment is changing and the question is are you ready? The Department of Energy (DOE) is gearing up to roll out a new solar hot water rebate system, coupled with the legislative requirements to install min 50 % alternative hot water heating technologies in new buildings. This means that the plumbing industry needs solar geyser and heat pump installers.

How can you, the plumber, upskill yourself and become a certified installer? There are two routes that you can follow to become qualified as a solar geyser or heat pump installer, which will allow you as an individual to be certified as a solar geyser or heat pump installer and issue a Certificate of compliance (CoC) as required by the National building Regulations.

The first route applies to qualified plumbers that have not completed their solar geyser / heat pump qualified (those who do not have the solar geyser or heat pump PIRB designation). You will be required to go through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route at an accredited skills development provider (SDP) ‘training provider’. Once the training provider has established that you have met all the requirements through the Recognition of Prior learning process the Skills Development Provider (SDP) ‘training provider’ can apply to IOPSA for you to complete the final summative assessment.

The second route as a new learner is that you must complete the training in order to be recommended for the summative assessment ‘Trade Test’ and receive your professional designation. Accredited solar geyser and heat pump SDPs can be found on the IOPSA website.

The Quality Council for Trade and Occupation (QCTO) has appointed IOPSA as the Assessment Quality Partner (AQP) for the solar geyser and heat pump qualifications. To carry out the summative assessment all learners will have to go through the new solar geyser and heat pump training programme.

IOPSA is rolling out a pilot project in January 2016, establishing test centres where summative assessments (Solar geyser /Heat pump ‘trade tests’) can take place according to IOPSA set standards and procedures. There will be two test centres, one in Johannesburg, and Cape Town to begin with.

Anyone who meets the requirements as detailed above can apply for either of these assessments and must do so through their SDP i.e. training provider, college or school, to IOPSA.

This qualification is made up of the following compulsory knowledge and practical skill modules, as well as work experience:

1. Knowledge Modules – 14 credits required

2. Practical Skills Modules – 23 credits required

3. Work Experience Modules – 30 credits required

4. Final Summative assessment (trade test) required to complete qualification

The summative assessment will comprise of two sections being theory and practical components.

Theory assessment will be carried out in a controlled environment at an accredited test centre. Candidates must successfully complete their theory assessment before they can progress to the practical assessment.

Practical assessment will also be carried out at an accredited test centre for new learners.

Qualified/licensed plumbers who have worked on solar or heat pump installation under adequate control and passed the solar geyser or heat pump theory summative assessment will be able to submit five CoCs as proof of practical and workplace experience of which two will be audited. If the audit report complies with regulations (i.e. no re-fix items are necessary), it will result in the awarding of the qualification.

Alternatively a temporary solar geyser / heat pump designation within PIRB system can be allocated and five training CoCs will be issued to a licensed plumber. The five installations will need to be completed and logged for their practical and work place experience submission of which two will be audited.

For more information, contact IOPSA on 0027 (0)11 454 0025.

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