4 training modules + 1 assessment = 70 SMA ADVANCE installers.
The math looks easy enough, but the concept behind SMA ADVANCE in the United Kingdom is really quite sophisticated. The idea is to have highly qualified installers as our partners, trained by the SMA Solar Academy and certified via a real assessment. This goes far beyond generic customer retention schemes.
The SMA ADVANCE installer scheme aims to deliver a trained, qualified and competent installer network to the householder and consumer. This free program has been specifically designed to provide unparalleled access to information and resources to installers. SMA ADVANCE is an investment in a long-term partnership by both sides. “We put a lot of effort into developing and holding the different training modules for SMA ADVANCE. But likewise do our customers”, says Dean Kalek, SMA Solar Academy trainer in the UK. ”The installers believe in SMA. It is a real advantage for them. They realize that the consumer needs accreditation and endorsement from the manufacturer.”
PV installers who have already completed a series of mandatory SMA training modules can begin the SMA ADVANCE installer qualification process after completing the new SMA ADVANCE training module which includes deeper technical product knowhow as well as system troubleshooting and maintenance issues. On completion of the SMA ADVANCE module, installers are then required to undergo an Evaluation, Knowledge and Skills process to ensure that technical knowledge and competence has been achieved. The final stage is to check MCS registration validation and references before they are qualified as members of the SMA ADVANCE installer program. This level of training and education provides one of the highest rated company processes for consumer benefit. It also provides SMA with a greater level of visibility than most balance of system companies. Dean had a total of almost 150 training participations for his two-day ADVANCE training. SMA does not stop with providing details and information for installers but have also enabled a consumer portal, www.lifeshinesbrighter.com, that features an SMA ADVANCE installer area with a post code search engine, where the consumer can choose an SMA approved installer, safe in the knowledge that they have the competency, training and installation skills required to install SMA inverters.
And what do the installers think about this program? Do they find it sophisticated or taxing? The feedback shows that SMA UK is on the right track.
As an installer put it:
“I just wanted to say how much I’d enjoyed and got from this course. Everything was just ‘spot-on’. It’s a refreshing change that it was pitched at a more professional level than many installer courses often are and had a proper test at the end – i.e. one that passing means something!”
Learn more: SMA ADVANCE in the UK
Tillmann Blume (guest author)
Tillmann is part of the Solar Academy E-Learning team. When he is not standing behind a camera to bring one of his trainer colleagues to you via video, then he is busy developing new concepts to promote our online trainings even further.