Mark F. Miller, P.E. CCP
Building Commissioning Association
There has been much debate, discussion and discord in our association and industry around the question “Should a Commissioning Authority (CxA) be a licensed PE?” While this question is being asked, I’m not sure this is the real question that the commissioning industry should be addressing. Rather, I suggest that the real question we, as an industry, are trying to answer is: what does it take to be a qualified CxA? The BCA and the Building Commissioning Certification Board have outlined through the Certified Commissioning Professional (CCP) process a provider has the following:
Experience: Recommendations from the owners’ where they have completed successful projects.
Education/Knowledge: This is confirmed by completing the exam.
I believe we need to get to the next level of specificity. What are the knowledge, skills, abilities (KSAs), and core competencies that a CxA must possess to be successful and the job task analysis.
We need to be in agreement with our membership and other industry stakeholders of the job tasks performed by the CxA. BCA recently engaged in two separate processes to determine the job tasks, knowledge, skills, abilities and core competences of a CxA. The first is through the partnership with PECI, California Energy Commission, NYSERDA, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and others to create a national training for commissioning authorities and energy auditors. The second is through an initiative by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) to determine job tasks and skills as they relate to commissioning as a profession. The results from the PECI work are now complete and training is slated for launch in the fall of 2012. NREL’s results are out for public review and the BCA has provided comment.
No doubt, there is a lot of information to review. While some are quick to position themselves on either side of the PE debate, getting agreement with all the industry stakeholders CxA qualifications will take time.
Once there is industry agreement on the job task analysis with the knowledge, skills, abilities and core competencies of the commissioning profession, the requirement of professional licensure can more readily be determined. State licensure boards will have more information to base decisions and ultimately our industry will move in a more productive direction. A review of current information and position of the BCA will be presented and discussed at the National Conference on Building Commissioning (NCBC) on May 15-16, 2012 in Nashville, TN in the panel session titled
“ATTRIBUTES OF A CXA.” I hope you will join us there to discuss this important issue.
Mark F. Miller, P.E. CCP