The Solar Training Centre (STC), in partnership with the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) and the South African Energy Efficiency Confederation (SAEEC), is offering its PV GreenCard course digitally for installers working in the solar photovoltaic (PV) sector.
The PV GreenCard programme focuses on education, skills development and training to build installer capacity, as well as improve standards development and compliance in line with international best practice. More than 800 participants have been trained through the programme over the past two years.
"The SAPVIA PV GreenCard is an industry-led quality label that was developed to promote safe and high-quality solar PV installation," SAPVIA notes.
The week-long theoretical course is usually hosted at Potchefstroom, but the first digital class was held via Zoom in June.
This is the first ever live, digital PV GreenCard training course to be presented in South Africa, SAPVIA says.
Presenting the course in this format had its challenges, such as connectivity and the added self-discipline required from not attending a class physically, says course facilitator Faure van Schalkwyk.
"Going online, however, opened up the training to a bigger market, as accommodation and some travel expense were eliminated. Attendees tended to be less engaging at times, but an SAEEC administrator supported the attendance registration system; verified daily and for regular attendance throughout the day."
The theoretical part of the course, usually completed in three days, was presented live and incorporated visuals and videos to explain complex concepts.
"It was a challenge to work through all the course material on time while faced with the challenges mentioned. Moving forward, the theoretical training will be split into two parts, with classes presented over two weeks with no price changes. This will give more time to convey and absorb the information and allow participants to tend to their day-to-day activities during the week," says Van Schalkwyk.