The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), St. Louis, is developing a new certification program for distributors, manufacturers and others in the channel: the Certified Electrical Professional (CEP). The first tests for both inside and outside sales will be offered in June 2009. Applicant bulletins will be sent in March 2009 and actual applications will be available in April 2009, the association says. The NAED Education and Research Foundation Board of Directors unanimously approved the Education and Development Council's (EDC) recommendation to develop an industry certification program that would validate the training, baseline knowledge and skills required for key positions in the industry. Initial certification offerings will be for inside sales and outside sales, and NAED plans to offer certification for additional positions in the future. The Certified Electrical Professional credential is available to both distributor and manufacturing professionals.

“This program will raise the bar for professionalism across the electrical industry,” says Michelle McNamara, NAED vice president and executive director of the NAED Education and Research Foundation. “The CEP credential will provide a way for companies that invest in training and employees who develop their skills to stand out from their competition.” The requirements to sit for the inside sales test are:

  • 18 months' experience in an inside sales position in electrical distribution

  • High school diploma or GED (General Educational Development) credential

The requirements to sit for the outside sales test are:

  • A two-year degree combined with five years' experience in the electrical distribution industry and two years' outside sales experience in the electrical distribution industry, or

  • Three years' outside sales experience with five years' experience in the electrical distribution industry (with no degree)

All those who receive inside or outside sales certification must be recertified after three years, which requires 30 credit hours of coursework that has been verified, transcripted or otherwise “officially” recorded. In addition, certification is specific to the person taking the exam. While companies may provide the training and testing to have employees certified, the employee “owns” the certification. For more information about the certification program, visit www.naed-cep.org.

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