Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) Director Martin Luymes recently met with the board of directors of the Healthy Indoors Partnership (HIP) to discuss opportunities for working together towards the development of a national training and certification standard for indoor air quality (IAQ) professionals.

The HRAI National Assembly last August unanimously passed a resolution submitted by the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors of Canada (HRAC). The HRAI board of directors has since agreed to act upon the resolution by committing funds towards the development of an IAQ training and certification program. HRAI's goal is to develop a program that will certify individuals as residential IAQ specialists capable of measurement, identification, and remediation of in-home IAQ problems. The responsibility for course development and delivery has been assigned to HRAI's SkillTech Academy.

Before proceeding to develop a training program that meets the needs of contractors, however, HRAI felt it necessary to solicit the support of government stakeholders to ensure that this training is founded on accepted, authoritative standards. The HRAI board is also working to establish a relationship with the Healthy Indoors Partnership (HIP). HIP, because of its relationship with key stakeholders and regulatory bodies (e.g., Natural Resources Canada, CMHC, the National Research Council, Health Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Statistics Canada, and others), potentially offers the ideal vehicle for developing IAQ standards on which training and certification programs might be built.

At the meeting with the HIP board of directors, Luymes requested that HIP take a lead role in facilitating the research, dialogue, and debate necessary to achieve consensus among relevant authorities around the standards upon which an IAQ certification program can be developed for HVAC technicians. The HIP board responded favorably to this request, and HRAI and HIP are now discussing how the consensus-building process should proceed.

For more information, e-mail Martin Luymes at mluymes@hrai.ca.

Publication date: 03/13/2006