HERS Rater Training: Comparison of Styles
HERS Rater Training programs typically come in three styles:
- Jam, Cram, Regurgitate
- Let’s Do Something!
- Think About What & Why
Most HERS Rater training falls into the Jam, Cram, Regurgitate model. The trainer presents information, the student memorizes it, and vomits the information back on command. The danger of this method (there are many!) lies in the inability of the student to make the deep associations between facts that would allow them understanding of the subject that brings freedom- freedom to reason, make independent decisions, and to reach reasonable conclusions. Congratulations, you passed the exam (if you were taught the answers to the questions), but you aren’t qualified to do your job.
There are a few HERS Rater training groups that fall into the “Let’s Do Something!” well- and that well can be very deep! Eager to keep the learning experience active, they provide a steady stream of non-stop activity- sometimes overloading the students. The students learn how to do the mechanical tasks very well, but lack understanding of the basic science that supports the task. Congratulations, you have mastered the art of blower door testing, but you can’t pass the exam at the end of HERS Rater Training- so we’ll have to come up with a special exam just for you!
Now we get to a much smaller group of HERS Rater Training Providers- the elite “Think About What & Why”. This group attempts, in a very short time frame, to teach students the facts about the job, the mechanical tasks of doing the job, and how to think about what they are doing and why it must be done. These courses are:
- more intellectually rigorous
- take more time, effort, and energy
- tend to be more expensive
- tend to have a higher pass rate on the exam
Congratulations, you have earned the right to become a certified HERS Rater, but more importantly- you have learned how to acquire, organize, and apply information that improves you and your work.
The HERS Rater training groups that use the first two styles of instruction (Jam, Cram, Regurgitate & Let’s Do Something!) have confused having a certificate with having some level of competence- and nothing could be further from the truth!
Before you waste valuable training dollars, find out what style of training you will get- and don’t forget that your most precious asset is your people.
In my experience, the Rater training organizations that fall into the elite group are EnergyLogic, EnergyVanguard, Saturn Resource Management, and IBS Advisors.
In my next post, I will try to settle a debate that has gone on longer and has deeper implications than ventilation standards.