Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between SAPVIA, the PV GreenCard, AREP, and the P4?

AREP and SAPVIA are both non-profit industry bodies created for the benefit of the renewable energy industry.  Both organisations fulfil various roles in the industry, and both offer a Solar PV quality assurance program.

The P4 and the PV GreenCard are both Solar PV quality assurance programs created to address the need to improve the standard of Solar PV installations.  These programs offer a form of training and accreditation specifically focused on Solar PV practitioners.

What does P4 accreditation guarantee?

Candidates who want to achieve P4 accreditation undergo evaluation as per the requirements of each tier of P4 accreditation. When a candidate has successfully passed these evaluations, the assumption is that candidates gained valuable information in the process, enabling them to understand solar as a technology.

Is the P4 program formally recognised?

AREP’s P4 is an informal quality assurance program widely accepted by key industry stakeholders including the AMEU (Association of Municipal Electricity Utilities), SALGA (South African Local Government Association), local municipalities, financiers, insurers, distributors, installers, and end-users, to name a few.

Are all P4 accreditations the same?

No.  P4 accreditation has 5 tiers:

P4 Sales Accreditation: A basic understanding of Solar PV principles to assist sales and support personnel in the Solar PV industry.

P4 Level 1: Basic solar design and installation principles

P4 Level 2: Small-scale residential and commercial Solar PV design and installation principles.

P4 Level 3: Level 2 Accreditation plus a practical assessment of one of the practitioner’s instalments.

P4 Trainer Accreditation: A person is fully accredited to train others on the content and requirements of the P4 quality assurance program.

What is the recommended P4 qualification?

AREP recommends that installers/ Solar PV practitioners have a minimum of a P4 Level 2 qualification.

Does the P4 program comply with all necessary standards and regulations?

Yes.  The P4 program and AREP’s accompanying Hybrid Test Report are aligned with local and international standards including: 

  • South African National Standards (SANS) as hosted by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) 
  • International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards
  • NRS guidelines as produced by NRS Association under guidance of Eskom

How can I find out more about P4 Accreditation?

For how long is P4 Solar PV Accreditation valid?

The P4 Sales Certificate is valid for 12 months

The P4 Level 1 Certificate is valid for 12 months.

The P4 Level 2 Certificate is valid for 36 months.

The P4 Level 2 Registered Solar PV Practitioner’s Card is valid for 36 months.

The P4 Level 3 Certificate is valid for 36 months.

The P4 Trainer Certificate is valid for 36 months.