European Solar Thermal Industry Federation


Common quality certification & accreditation for installers of small-scale renewable energy systems



ESTIF is a partner in the QualiCert project. This project aims at providing to the EU Member States input for accreditation & certification schemes for installers of small-scale renewable energy installations. This intends to support the work they have to do on the framework of the RES Directive, which is to develop and mutually recognize such schemes by December 2012.

In order to achieve such an ambitious goal, QualiCert relies on an interdisciplinary multi-stakeholder approach involving builders and installers through their EU associations, existing training providers and accrediting bodies, the RES industry through its European associations, and a number of national energy agencies.

In this context the contribution of the industry is crucial, hence the participation of ESTIF in this project.

For more information please visit the project website or contact ESTIF: info(at)

Project newsletters are available for download.

Manual of Key Success Criteria

As a part of the process, Qualicert has released a comprehensive manual for the implementation of specific accreditation schemes for training courses and for the certification procedures. This manual will serve as a tool to be used by Member States when designing their accreditation and certification schemes.

It contains the following chapters:

  • review of existing schemes in different European countries;
  • key success criteria for setting up a certification/qualification scheme that have been identified during the project;
  • chapters dedicated to each technology: solar thermal, PV, biomass and heat pumps
  • general and technology specific recommendations.

This manual has been printed in English and translated into the other six languages in e-version (French, Italian, German, Polish, Greek and Spanish).  Please note that it is not intended to develop a standardized approach for accreditation/certification for all Member States as it is crucial that a Member State takes into account existing schemes when designing its accreditation/ certification scheme to be in compliance with the RES Directive.

ESTIF is actively engaged in QualiCert, including on the elaboration of this manual. Therefore, we would be happy to receive your comments and contributions.  Please contact Pedro Dias at pedro.dias(at), + 32 2 400 10 80.

Project Description

In anticipation of an obligation for all Member States, arising from article 14 of the Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (COM(2008)19 final) to develop certification schemes for installers of small-scale renewable energy installations, QualiCert proposes a concerted action among different Member States on certification and accreditation of installers of small-scale building-integrated renewable energy systems. The project precisely addresses the RE Directive’s requirement of certification schemes in each Member State that obey to a set of similar criteria and recognise each other’s certification.

To guarantee broadest possible support to the future accreditation and certification scheme, QualiCert is relying on an interdisciplinary multi-stakeholder approach involving builders and installers through their EU associations, existing training providers and accrediting bodies with grassroots experience, the RE industry through its european associations, and anumber of national energy agencies. This EU-wide concerted approach will allow going beyond national discussions, which are sometimes highly politically-tainted and blocked, to have a more pragmatic, result-oriented outcome based on the best identified methodology valid for EU-27.

Beyond the proactive approach anticipating the EU obligation, QualiCert is also addressing the genuine market need for a comprehensive system to certify installers in order to guarantee quality installations and satisfied customers, which in turn will spur further market deployment.

QualiCert will result in the adoption of comprehensive schemes for accreditation and certification based on jointly elaborated and agreed success criteria in 5 Member States.

The project will first collect information to assess the existing schemes in the EU. Based on this analysis, a set of success criteria for technical, legal, institutional, financial and communication aspects will be distilled. The identified success criteria will be subject to reality checks in a series of 6 stakeholder validation workshops. The resulting validated success criteria will be summarized and explained in a manual. Then, political backing is gained through national roundtables in 5 countries and the help of the high-level steering group. Among the countries involved in the action, only France, Italy and Austria have functioning schemes for accreditation and certification of installers of small-scale RES.

Political agreement should result in France, Italy and Austria adapting their current schemes to make them compatible with the joint approach. Poland and Greece should decide to set up own schemes based on the joint approach. Once political agreement is reached, a series of practical implementation workshops will bring the methodology and knowledge elaborated in the project to the stakeholder communities in each country.

The whole action shall be accompanied by targeted communication and information actions, culminating in a final EU conference, which should motivate additional countries to join and apply the approach developed by Qualicert.


Work Programme

WP1: Coordination and Management (Leader: ADEME - Duration: 30 months)

WP2: Assessment of existing accreditation and training schemes (Leader: Qualit'EnR - Duration: 6 months)

WP3: Validation of success criteria and manual development (Leader: EREC - Duration: 6 months)

WP4: Adoption and recognition of common approach (Leader: ADEME - Duration: 30 months)

WP5: Implementation and promotion of common approach (Leader: CEETB - Duration: 30 months)

WP6: IEE dissemination activities (Leaders: ADEME/EREC - Duration: 30 months)


Project duration

30 months (July 2009 - December 2011)


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