Quality Work Plan Guidelines and Standards Requirement

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The Weatherization Assistance Program's (WAP) comprehensive Quality Work Plan establishes a benchmark for quality home energy upgrades. The plan includes a Guidelines and Standards requirement that all WAP Grantees must meet. In this section you will learn more about this requirement and find resources and examples to help you meet this obligation in the field.


All measures and incidental repairs performed on client homes must meet the specifications, objectives and desired outcomes outlined in the Standard Work Specifications for Home Energy Upgrades (SWS).

How to Meet this Requirement

  • Grantees will make available to subgrantees comprehensive field standards outlining Grantee expectations of work scope and quality. These field standards must meet or exceed the minimum standards outlined in the SWS.
  • Grantees must revise their field guides and ensure that the relevant procedures in those guides will result in work that achieves the desired outcomes in the SWS. Field guides will reference the appropriate SWS for the procedure being described and clearly state the required specifications for that procedure.
  • A variance may be requested for individual specifications by submitting a SWS Variance Request Form to the DOE Project Officer for review and approval.
  • Tasks that are not listed in the SWS are not subject to this requirement.

Grantee Checklist

This document walks Grantees through the Guidelines and Standards requirement of the Quality Work Plan.

Resources for Meeting this Requirement

Grantees should refer to the above Checklist for the Guidelines and Standards Requirement, however these resources may also be of assistance.

  • Standard Work Specifications (SWS) Online Tool
  • Video: The Standard Work Specifications (SWS) in Action - This short video series discusses why the Standard Work Specifications (SWS) were developed and provides examples of how to use them in the field.
  • Webinar: The SWS + Field Guide Template  - This presentation was given by Chuck Kurnik of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory via the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings program on June 17, 2015.
  • Webinar: Using the NREL Field Guide Tool - This presentation was given by Chris Baker of the FSL Southwest Building Science Training Center at the 2014 NASCSP Mid-Winter Training Conference and includes reference to the online resource, Success with Home Performance. This presentation demonstrates that while the SWS will tell you what quality looks like, these "critical details" tell you how to get there. The critical details highlight the step-by-step processes used to accomplish common measures and to meet the standards outlined in the SWS.
  • Webinar: SWS Field Guide Collaboration - This presentation was given by Amanda Hatherly of the New Mexico Energy$mart Academy (NME$A) at the 2014 ACI National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show.
  • How to align field guides and standards with the SWS - This presentation demonstrates how to align field guides and standards to the SWS.
  • SWS Variance Request Form - As Grantees update and revise their field standards to align with the SWS, they may discover certain specifications that cannot be implemented precisely as described in the relevant SWS. In such cases, Grantees may request a variance from the relevant SWS.

Examples from the WAP Network

The National Renewable Energy Lab and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are currently seeking the below resources to further support the WAP network. Materials can be submitted to WAPinfo@nrel.gov.

  • Sample field guides that incorporate the SWS:
    • Basic example
    • Intermediate example
    • Gold standard example
  • Sample work orders referencing the SWS
  • Testimonials on meeting this requirement

Time Line

  • Program Year 2014 – Grantees will submit to DOE an implementation plan for complying with all components of this section by Program Year 2015.
  • Ninety days prior to the beginning of the Grantee’s 2015 Program Year, Grantees will submit completed field guides and standards as well as any variance requests to their DOE Project Officer for review.
  • Beginning of Grantee’s Program Year 2015 – Grantees will distribute field guides and field standards that conform to the SWS to all subgrantees and direct hire contractors.