The apprenticeship and training department implemented the Ironworker Apprenticeship Certification Program (IACP) for local union apprenticeship programs in 2005, designed to improve and standardize the quality of apprenticeship training to ensure graduates are skilled ironworkers able to meet the needs of employers, contractors and joint apprenticeship training committees (JATC) and trade improvement committees (TIC). The apprenticeship and training department will grant certification to all local union apprenticeship programs that comply with the evaluation procedure, meet established standards and adhere to the IACP policies and procedures.
In 2017, discussion to review and upgrade the program took place and the process to update the program began. The IACP program manual was completed and became effective April 1, 2018 with a mandatory date of November 1, 2018. The new program documents are available from the Iron Workers Online Bookstore or by request from the apprenticeship and training department.
Certification is a method to ensure ironworker apprenticeship and training programs meet or exceed established standards and requirements in areas such as implementing the core curriculum, ensuring instructors have appropriate credentials, maintaining appropriate training facilities, providing access to current tools and equipment, ensuring safety of apprentices and providing on-the-job training to prepare skilled ironworkers.
There are many reasons for implementing the IACP:
- Certifies an apprenticeship program has met established standards.
- Enhances the credibility of the apprenticeship program with contractors.
- Creates goals for self-improvement and stimulates apprenticeship programs to seek higher standards.
- Involves the coordinator and instructors in strengthening their own program.
- Strengthens apprenticeship programs at the local, district and international levels.
- Provides the public with a positive image and validates an apprenticeship program meets or exceed high standards.
- Helps prospective apprentices in making the decision to become an ironworker.
- Provides external peer-review to verify apprenticeship program quality.
- Keeps apprenticeship coordinators and instructors knowledgeable and in step with current practices.
- Facilitates linkages with colleges and universities.
- Facilitates the process for apprentices to receive college credit and pursue degrees through Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana and Washtenaw Community College.
The IACP involves three phases: internal evaluation, external evaluation and a recommendation for certification. During the internal evaluation, the local union JATC/TIC labor and management representatives will perform a comprehensive examination of all aspects of their apprenticeship and training program. The process involves apprentices, instructors, the coordinator and possibly local contractors, all of whom contribute to the creation of a report detailing their findings.
After the internal evaluation, a site visit is conducted to assess strengths and weaknesses of the program, consisting of a qualified assessment team to examines policies, procedures, records and facilities and to conduct interviews to determine if the program follows established criteria. When internal and external evaluations are complete, a final a report with recommendations is made to determine whether to grant, continue or withdraw certification.
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