The ECOWAS Certification Body for Sustainable Energy Skills is the West Africa's foremost Regional Certification Body (RCB) established for all ECOWAS countries with the support of EU, IRENA, GIZ and other partners to promote sustainable energy quality assurance and occupational standards. RCB offers certifications and credentials for sustainable energy skilled professionals, specialists and those new to working in the areas of RE and EE through a regional certification scheme known as the ECOWAS Certification of Sustainable Energy Skills (ECSES) scheme. The scheme consists of the standards and systems for initial certification, maintenance of certification and re-certification of renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) practitioners.
The establishment of the ECSES scheme started with the development of the Job-task-analysis (JTA). The JTA was presented to stakeholders from seven UEMOA member states in a workshop organized in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in April 2015. A second workshop was organized in July 2015 to present the draft JTA to representatives of the remaining ECOWAS member states and to gain their commitment for the regional certification scheme. These two workshops marked the start of national consultation processes with all ECOWAS member states to review the content of the JTA.
The results of these consultations were then integrated into the final French and English versions of the JTA which were validated at a regional workshop with all 15 ECOWAS member states held in Praia, Cabo Verde in December 2015 and later translated into Portuguese. At the Praia workshop, which brought together representatives from the ECOWAS member states, the structure and functioning of the regional certification scheme were also discussed, candidates for the planned technical committee were suggested for consideration. ECREEE was also nominated to serve as the RCB while the organizational and management structure of the RCB is established in ECREEE to the operation of the ECSES scheme.
Figure 1: Flowchart of the ECSES Scheme.
The overview of the certification process is illustrated in figure 1 below. The figure also shows the organs and relational flow of the ECSES scheme. The organs of the ECSES scheme is made up of the fifteen (15) ECOWAS member countries, partner training and examination institutions, stakeholders, industry experts and players, observers (GIZ, IRENA), and a fifteen (15) technical committee member representing each ECOWAS country. The ECSES scheme began operation in 2019 after all the framework documents of the scheme were developed and validated by the technical committee and stakeholders in all ECOWAS member states. The RCB is committed to providing regional certification programs of high quality and to make sure its certified practitioners abide by the adopted codes of ethics to the satisfaction of consumers. RCB understands the importance of impartiality in carrying out certification functions and treats all applicants, candidates, and credential holders fairly and impartially by following the guidelines and procedures. Currently, all the structures and procedures of the ECSES scheme are aligned with the requirements of the standard ISO/IEC 17024:2012.