In response to member and market demand, ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers) is exploring a certification program that will focus on areas of the building environment such as commissioning, health care facility engineering, building operation, and sustainability.
The Society is pursuing partnerships with other HVAC&R related organizations.
“By offering certification, ASHRAE will make our members more valuable to the industry,” said Terry Townsend, P.E., ASHRAE president. “Certification from ASHRAE will add professional credibility to their work, as well providing educational resources to better enable them in designing and operating buildings that are more efficient.”
A market research survey conducted by ASHRAE last year showed a strong interest by members in providing certification. More than 80% of members indicated that ASHRAE should offer certification to individuals who complete a series of courses/seminars in a specific area of study.
In support of certification, ASHRAE will expand its existing educational program, known as the ASHRAE Learning Institute. “The Learning Institute will continue to provide fundamental courses for those looking for lifelong learning and professional development,” Townsend said. “But we also must provide more specialty courses for those eager to keep up with the latest technology.”
The program is expected to launch in summer 2007.
In addition, ASHRAE is working make it easier for members to keep up with their current professional development hours to maintain existing professional registration.
“We are looking at tracking educational course attendance to qualify for professional development hours,” Townsend said. “We must make it as easy as possible for our members to educate themselves so they can get ahead in their careers.”