Last week we discussed the parts of the new RESNET Guidelines for Thermographic Inspections of Buildings that deal with imager specifications and the basic conditions needed to use the technology successfully to inspect building insulation and air sealing. This week, I want to share my excitement about the RESNET certification process that is detailed in the Guidelines.
Earlier this week, I was teaching a short course to new thermographers. One of the guys in the front row confessed to me before we began that he had a new, quite powerful thermal imaging system, but didn’t feel like he knew how to use it very well. During the seminar, he honestly turned ghostly white and his jaw dropped open! Afterward, he came up and thanked me, asking, “When is the next class in my area because I now know how much I don’t know? It is just a waste of time and money for me to be going out when I don’t know how to use this imager.”
A number of us in the industry pushed RESNET hard to develop a stringentcertification process and to implement inspection Guidelines. I’m thrilled to say that I believe we have achieved that goal! To provide thermography services under RESNET, a person must first be at least a RESNET Building Performance Auditor. This ensures that thermographers have an important foundation in both building sciences and familiarity with the network’s protocols.
There are two paths for thermography education:
- Method 1 is for anyone who has taken a Level I training course, regardless of which training provider is involved. That course must comply with the guidelines of the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) as do all of The Snell Group’s Level I infrared courses. The candidate must also pass a 3-part exam as part of the course—note that some training providers do not offer such exams, although, again, The Snell Group does includes them. I’m excited about Method 1 because it immediately opens the door to hundreds of our customers who have already taken Level I training and have field experience! If you are in this situation, I hope you will jump in and become one of the first thermographers to be certified under RESNET.
- Method 2 requires the candidate to take a 24-hour course that is in the process of being detailed by the RESNET committee. Approximately 16 hours will be in the classroom or online, and the rest will be supervised fieldwork. The course must be provided under the auspices of a RESNET Infrared Training Provider. At this time, The Snell Group is not a provider of this course, but we are working with others who are and who will be using our learning materials. Upon completion of the course the candidate must pass a 50-question exam.
After leaving either of these courses, candidates must have three months full time (or part-time equivalent) field experience using their imagers and a
blower door. Three reports are also required and must follow the protocols detailed in the Guidelines. At this point, you must complete and submit the RESNET Infrared Certification application form along with a $600 fee. The fee covers the cost of the application and reports being reviewed by a committee of experts. Those who wish to qualify under Method 2 will need to wait just a bit longer for training providers to bring the courses to the market and finalize an exam—both should happen in the second quarter of the year, though, if all goes well.
Also, keep in mind that the RESNET Conference is coming up in Orlando, FL February 28-March 2. I will be making several presentations and Fluke Thermography will be exhibiting. This conference is a great place to learn a lot more about buildings and how thermography is being used!
John Snell—The Snell Group, a Fluke Thermal Imaging Blog content partner