Welcome to the Home Performance Forum.

This site is read-only for archival purposes. Please visit BPA Connnections to continue the conversation.

Setting up a Healthy Homes program. Looking for BPI train-the-trainer course recommendations.

I manage a weatherization program for a regional government in remote Alaska, and I am interested in taking it in a healthy homes direction. Next week, my field manager and I are attending a state-sponsored training for the new BPI Healthy Home Evaluator credential. Since I am the only person on my staff of 9 that holds BPI credentials, only I will be able sit for the exam.
The cost of sending my team to certification training in the Lower 48 is prohibitive. The cost of bringing in a trainer for a single weeklong training is too high for my comfort as well. My solution was to propose establishment of a BPI Test Center at our local two-year tribal college, which could also provide BPI exam prep and other relevant instruction through their trades program. (I would proctor the exams.) This would first require sending a couple of their instructors out to a “train the trainer” type course. The college accepted this arrangement, so now I’m in the market for this training.
This is where my knowledge and discernment of the available options gets thin. I’ve attended several technical trainings over the years, but haven't done BPI stuff recently, and I’ve seen quality vary widely. Does anybody have a recommendation for a good BPI train-the-trainer facility/provider, preferably in the Western U.S.? You can send me a direct message if you prefer.
To be clear, no one is currently requiring us to get BPI certification. This is strategic move that I hope will help us model a healthy housing program framework for local government (at the state level, I know Missouri just finalized a policy allowing reimbursement of home health assessments for practitioners with the HHE). Fortunately, we have a lot going for us: huge political will to improve housing, a health department eager to engage on the issue, and a budget to actually get some things accomplished.
Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • Healthy Homes Specialist by NEHA
    http://neha.org/professional-developmen ... ntials/hhs
    This organization has been testing Public Health Specialties since 1937. An alternative that allows more experience than just a BPI certificate.
  • Thanks John. I am sitting for the NEHA HHS exam, too, next Friday (it's going to be a busy week). My understanding is the HHS is geared toward environmental health professionals, while HHE is for the housing sector. (Both credentials were mentioned in the slide I saw about Missouri's policy.) But what I'm looking for is a provider to train instructors in the BPI BA curriculum so they can in turn deliver training to to weatherization pros. If AK were to eventually follow MO's precedent (not that they're anywhere close), we would need the HHE, anyway, which requires the BA or another core BPI credential.
    Aside from all that, though, we have relatively high staff turnover, and it would be nice to be able to get our workers up to speed on basic building science without breaking the bank to send them down to the Lower 48.
  • The credential may be available but I think the curriculum is still a little ways away. To pass the test is one thing but to become a practitioner is a little different. I have taken the beta exam and been to the first TTT. At the TTT in KC we I believe as a group decided that more tweaking and content would be needed. I know there are a few more trainings in the works so be looking for some news by the end of the year or first of next. Just my 2 cents
  • Thanks for chiming in, Rick. I'm at a training for the HHE credential this week, and I agree, it seems like the curriculum has lots of room to evolve. I should have been clearer that for now, I'm just focused on providing the core BA training. That way, if the HHE credential becomes a must-have to access funding, we'll have a prerequisite out of the way, and have better-trained weatherization techs to boot.
  • Hello Griffen. We should definitely chat. My cell is 443-257-6710. We as Efficiency First Arizona and with www.gothermalstar.com BPI Training Center just presented on a Train the Trainer program at the National Tribal Workforce Council http://www.ninaetc.net/. We discussed exactly what you describe with several Tribal Nations in Alaska and have plans in motion. We're also working closely with BPI on advancing the HHE curriculum.
  • Besides doing the right thing and thinking about healthy housing, what is the value in another credentialing program? Credentialing is for several reasons- 1- to train someone-that should not be locked into one entity, lots of local and state green building programs can offer similar education. 2-Who cares if you're certified? ( funders?) I went through the NEHA healthy homes inspector training in 2011, no one has ever offered us a competitive advantage because I have it.. If it's not a contract requirement, train your staff for less, just make them smarter- there might be links on the WAPTAC website? AND yes, much may not be climate specific- I'm in Florida- you;re probably not overly concerned why we worry about hot, humid climates- but than neither is DOE :)
  • I share some of your reservations about the value of credentialing, Bill. I think BPI certs in particular are as much a license to learn as to practice. But I certainly respect the content of the BA standard, and given the difficulty of accessing other training resources (we're hundreds of miles off the road system), it seemed like a turnkey solution to 1) get less experienced workers up to speed on basic building science, 2) leverage our partnership with the local technical college, and 3) lay the tracks for an eventual healthy homes program.
    On a related note, I took my NEHA and BPI exams last week, and I thought the curriculum wasn't quite ready for prime time. That indicates to me there are probably years of hard work ahead before reliable funding makes these credentials worthwhile in every state, but we've got to start somewhere. I'm hoping we are able to contribute by demonstrating a model for local health departments that can be adapted throughout our state. In that respect, I think if using a credential can lend even the appearance of a credible approach, it could be worthwhile. Then again, this is somewhat uncharted territory, so I could be way off the mark, hence my fishing around on here. Thanks for weighing in!