Hello. My name is Derek Schroeder, lead policy advisor for technical operations and technical project officer for the Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program. Today I'm going to do a brief webinar on the Weatherization Assistance Program's update to the quality work plan known as 22-4. The purpose of this webinar is to review weatherization program notice 22-4, the quality work plan requirement update, highlight changes in WPN 22-4 compared to the previous quality of work plan, 15-4, and review support materials associated with WPN 22-4.  

An overview of 22-4. This was drafted, reviewed and approved during 2021. This supersedes WPN 15-4 and memorandum 70, 50, 36 and 34. It includes the requirements that support and verify quality work within the Weatherization Assistance Program, defines what constitutes a quality installation of Weatherization Assistance Program measures, outlines how measures are inspected and validated and provides the list of acceptable training and credentialling of work.

The significance of the quality work plan. The Weatherization Assistance Program instituted a quality work plan under WPN 14-4 starting in December of 2013 that established benchmarks for energy efficiency retrofits in the lab and outlined specifications for work quality, work force training and individuals performing inspections of weatherization work. Each grantee application is required to include a training and technical assistance plan which indicated how T&TA funds will be used. The quality work pan defines the training activities and specifies the WAP workforce training and certification requirements. 

The organization of 22-4 is broken out into four sections. Section 1 details the standard work specifications also known as field guides. Section 2 details the inspection requirements, planning inspections. Section 3 details workforce training requirements and Section 4 details exemptions to some of those grantees that are not held to all the requirements within the 22-4 quality work plan update. Substantive updates that have happened in 22-4 is the refinement of required sections of the quality work plan, a clarification on the requirement to submit the revised field guides at least six months prior to the expiration date of grantees currently approved field guides and the additional option to utilize a mentorship model while uncertified inspectors are completing training towards obtaining their quality control inspector certification. 

Through the next section we'll walk through the updated quality work plan. General updates are that previous sections were combined, renamed or renumbered. And WPN now includes a variance request form which previously was in a memorandum. Resources are now separate from the WPN which will give DOE the ability to keep them up to date. Editorial revisions have also been made to clarify intent and streamline the content. 

Updates to Section 1, the standard work specifications. Field guides must be updated every three years instead of five years to align the current five year cycle for updating the standard work specifications. This previously was detailed in the memorandum. Field guides must now also be submitted for review six months prior to the expiration date of grantees currently approved field guides. Language was added clarifying that editorial changes to the field guides between full updates do not require reapproval unless those changes lead to a variance from the SWS or if it changes the objective. Language was also added clarifying that crew and contractor work orders do need to demonstrate performance requirements from the completed energy audit. Things like this would be to define minimum efficiency levels of heating systems, minimum R values to be installed and items like that. As a reminder the standard work specifications is housed on the NREL website. And the standard work specifications determines objectives for measures that are completed in the Weatherization Assistance Program.  

Updates to Section 2, inspections. The clarification was added that final inspections must include review and verification of the initial field data collected and completed energy audits performed to ensure that the energy modeling software called for the correct measures in all dwelling units. Language was also updated to indicate that those individuals approving subgrantee final inspections and grantee technical monitoring must have an active QCI certification, opening the option for a mentorship model or division of duties. Previously the requirement was that those actively performing the on site inspections must hold an active QCI. As you can see the change in the language is that those approving subgrantee final inspections. More details on the mentorship model are coming. 

As stated details about the mentorship model. The option was added to allow workers to conduct field site data collection, energy audit reviews and other portions of the final inspection and/or grantee technical monitoring under the mentorship of a certified QCI as they gain the required prerequisites to earn the quality control inspection certification. Policy guidelines were added for developing a mentorship program. The responsibility of designing and developing the mentorship program is for the grantee to determine. Within the updated quality work plan those policy guidelines, that second bullet, will detail and help guide grantees in developing those. These must be submitted as part of your annual plan so that the department of energy project officer can review and work with grantees to approve those mentorship models. 

A new requirement was added that grantees must perform quality assurance reviews, technical monitoring of at least ten percent of all completed units if the mentorship model is being utilized. It also clarified that grantee technical monitoring may not be conducted by the same individual who conducted the initial audit or final inspection for the subgrantee. Previous guidance included that this for subgrantee staff but omitted mention of grantee staff or contractors. 

Updates to Section 3, workforce training. Definitions were added and a training guidelines glossary were added to this section. Added requirement that grantees conduct some form of training needs assessment to identify training needs and inform the training and technical assistance planning. Clarifies that flexibility is encouraged in designing comprehensive training curricula to ensure that trainings are customized to meet the needs of the weatherization workforce. Clarifies that a T&TA plan can span multiple program years and recommends using the optional WAP T&TA planning and reporting template. Updates to Section 4. Section 4 now specifies the exact grantees that are exempt from the quality control inspector certification requirement. Those grantees are Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.

The next section that I'm going to talk about is additional resources that were upgraded for 22-4. As a reminder these are separate from WPN 20-4 which will allow the Department of Energy to be able to keep these up to date. The first resource that I'm going to talk about is the glossary of resources. As you can see this is a table that has been put together that's broken out by section which is on the right side of the introduction, the background, Section 1, Section 2, Section 3. And then with a list of all available resources that the Department of Energy has to date with active hyperlinks and a checkmark that indicates where they lie within the quality work plan. 

The variance request form is now added to the as an additional resource. As a reminder the Department of Energy still does request that you use the hyperlink that is contained within the quality work plan update as that is the most streamlined process. But if there is issues for grantees in accessing this document as it is housed on a Google website you have the optional variance request form cell spreadsheet that is also approved for use to the submitting variance request to the standard work specifications for your appeal guidance. We have added a what's new, a crosswalk. A crosswalk from WPN 15-4 to 22-4. This will better detail the exact changes between 15-4 and 22-4 so that when you're working with your network you can better point out those items that have been clarified, changed and any new requirements. 

I want to thank everybody for their time today, for listening to this update to 22-4. If you have any questions please contact your respective project officer with any additional questions so that we may answer them. Thank you and have a good day.

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