Instrument certification continues to be a hot topic. The necessity for a certification credential in instrumentation remains a requirement for employment within this industry. Even in these hard times, instrument work remains in high demand for qualified workers. The IBEW/UA Instrument Certification program provides the necessary credential for Journeymen and it provides assurance to employers that the skills of Journeymen are constantly improving.
The NJATC is constantly striving to improve the instrument certification program that is widely adopted by local JATCs and Local Unions. Several requirements of the instrument certification program create a “hard to obtain” status for Journeymen. One area of concern for the IBEW is the issuance of “Recertification” or “Certification Renewal” credentials. Certification renewal presently requires a Journeyman to complete all levels of certification in order to have a pathway to renew. For example, a Journeyman that has completed the Part A Exam (written test), must successfully pass the Part B Exam (handson) in order to obtain a pathway to renew their certification. This requirement creates a hardship for Journeymen that do not have access to the Part B Exam.
Journeymen that have the Part A Exam credential must “re-take” the Part A Exam in order to keep their certification credential current; unless they pass the Part B Exam. The good news is the recertification process for the IBEW/UA Instrument Certification program is changing. Starting January 1, 2012 any Journeyman that seeks to renew their certification credential
will have a pathway to recertify. Journeyman that have completed the Part A Exam will be able to recertify at Part A “level” without having to re-take the Part A Exam. A Journeyman will be able to remain at Part A level until such time they have access to the Part
B Exam. Those Journeymen that need to recertify at Part B level will simply be able to re-take the Part B Exam even if their certification credential has expired up to a period of two years! This means that a Journeyman that has let their certification credential expire will be able to recertify at the Part B level. This two-year “cushion” allows for the Journeyman to locate a JATC that offers the Part B exam and challenge the exam so that they will not lose their certification credential.
This one set of changes to the recertification process has been sought after by our local JATCs. Now there is a pathway to recertify
all Journeymen that wish to recertify. The only caveat is that Journeymen now have a period of time, two years after their credential expires, to recertify at their present level
of credential. There are a couple of additional areas of concern, particularly to those JATCs that offer the Part A and/or the Part B Exams. First, starting January 1, 2012, all exams for the Part A and the Part B Exams will have a charge of $20.00 each. This is a change from the current model, but simply stated, it just means that each exam will cost $20.00 no matter if it is for the Part A Exam or Part B Exam. This charge for exams is a necessary charge for repeating and increasing costs incurred by the NJATC for this credentialing program. Compared to “other” certification programs being offered that generally run in the $280.00 range, the
NJATC believes that the $20.00 charge per exam is less of an expense to the Journeymen and it helps the
NJATC maintain the program at the level needed for success.
Also, as a lot of programs are aware, the necessary equipment requirements for the Part B Exam have
remained constant for the past 10 plus years. There will be a few additional items added to the Manual of
Guidelines for the certification program. The additions are to be added to allow JATCs to purchase equipment needed for the exam. Some of the original specifications are no longer obtainable as they have been
replaced by newer models. Those JATCs that have older equipment will not be required to update their calibration equipment. This is for the JATCs getting into the certification program to be able to offer the exam.
The Manual of Guidelines will reflect all the changes necessary and new version (3.0) will be available
January 1, 2012 for download at: http://www.njatc.org/downloads/ManualOfGuidelines.pdf.
As a summary:
1. Manual of Guidelines updated January 1, 2012.
2. Recertification for Part A- Journeymen do not have to take Part A Exam to receive recertification.
3. Recertification for Part B- Journeymen may recertify at Part B even if credential has expired
4. All exams for Part A and Part B will be assessed a $20.00 charge by the NJATC.
5. Newer model calibration equipment and devices will be added to the Manual of Guidelines. This
does not require existing programs to purchase additional equipment.
This article was reprinted from the original NJATC article in the NJATC News bulletin for January 2012.