NATE Talks Certification With ICR Crowd

November 2, 2003
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
WASHINGTON - A seminar titled "Raising the Bar of Technician Competence" brought some familiar faces and names to the podium at the International Congress of Refrigeration (ICR): Rex Boynton and Pat Murphy of the North American Technician Excellence (NATE); Skip Snyder, a Philadelphia-area contractor and NATE chairman; and Herman Kling, Carrier vice president for sales and NATE vice chairman.

The turnout was small but certainly international.

When an audience member from Switzerland said the turnout showed a worldwide lack of concern for qualified technicians, Snyder said, on the plus side, that those in the audience in effect become ambassadors in promoting the message that technicians need to be properly trained and tested.

The Message

Boynton outlined the development of NATE, noting that there has been a rapid increase in the number of technicians taking the exams.

Murphy outlined the process that goes into developing questions used in the various exams.

Snyder spoke of the importance of a contractor having qualified technicians as measured against a standard like that of the NATE tests.

Kling told of Carrier's efforts to have contractors in its Factory Authorized Dealer program make sure that at least 50 percent of their technicians (per company) are NATE certified.

The departure from normal NATE presentations came with the nature of the questions from the international audience.

The Swiss attendee noted that NATE sees success when end users eventually demand NATE-certified technicians. He suggested that such customers are homeowners; in Europe, not that many homes have air conditioning.

He said principal customers for contractors in Europe are businesses, whose bosses expect the work to be done properly and on budget and hold the contractor accountable regardless of the competence of the technicians. "People don't demand certification," he said.

An attendee from Italy said technicians in his country are expected to follow standard procedures. "I don't even know if they are tested," he said.

Conversation eventually moved to the problem in the United States of counselors and parents pushing high school students toward four-year colleges rather than vocational programs.

An attendee from Spain noted that in much of Europe, students who are 13 to 14 years old are steered either into a vocational career path or to a high school that prepares the students for university studies. But even with the earlier encouragement to enter a vocational field, he said qualified students are lacking in many fields. Others in the audience echoed his comments.

International Direction

Boynton said that at this point NATE is focusing on the residential and light commercial areas. He said larger commercial and industrial sectors would follow, as will more attention to refrigeration. He also said he hopes NATE can take its approach to an international level.

Kling said the NATE component of the Carrier dealership program is already in place in the United States and Canada, with consideration now being given for a similar approach in Mexico.

Publication date: 11/03/2003

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

Recent Articles by Peter Powell

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 Energy Efficiency Forum

Highlights from the 25th annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, D.C.

Podcasts

NEWSMakers: Mark Satterfield

Mark Satterfield, founder and CEO of Gentle Rain Marketing Inc. and author of “The One Week Marketing Plan” talks about his book and the importance of HVAC blogging. Posted on Sept. 19.

More Podcasts

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 09-15-14 cover

2014 September 15

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Venting R-22

The NEWS reported that a man received prison time for venting R-22. Should EPA step up enforcement?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con