Many people do not know what NETA is. Before I can explain my views of NETA, the following statement is directly from NETA’s website.
What is NETA?
The InterNational Electrical Testing Association (NETA) is an organization that serves the electrical testing industry by offering accreditation of third-party electrical testing firms, certifying electrical testing technicians, producing of American National Standards, hosting PowerTest – Electrical Maintenance and Safety Conference, and publishing NETA World technical journal.
All of NETA’s programs are fueled by thousands of hours of volunteer effort donated by industry experts, many of whom own, operate, or are employed by NETA Accredited Companies.
What makes NETA so important?
NETA sets up the guidelines for testing technicians to follow. They set up standards that can be followed when manufacturers literature cannot be found or is available. NETA also sets up certifications for technicians to acquire to prove that they are qualified to be performing quality work. They are an independent standard that is not biased to take a customers side, or a manufacturers side. They provide standards to assure that electrical equipment functions properly and as intended per contract drawings.
Over the course of my 15 year career in the electrical field, I have seen many things. I have seen employees come and go, new technology vs old technology, new industry standards vs old industry standards. One of the biggest issues that Test Technicians express is the ability to maintain a NETA certification forever is only possible if you are working for a NETA company.
They express that NETA only does certain things for the money. Any way they can make money off of somebody, they will. I do not believe this is true. For one, the NETA board consists of volunteers. They are not on NETA’s payroll. They fight to ensure people are receiving functional equipment and technicians are properly trained. They work to make our industry better.
I have seen a NETA technician leave a NETA company, and assist a testing job 2 years later, and was very obvious that simple tasks as contact resistance and insulation resistance could not be performed with confidence. All of the training we receive is “Use or Lose”. If you are not working for a NETA company performing NETA testing, you will lose the knowledge that you once used.
You may be skeptical, but it is absolutely true. I am not advertising for or against NETA. This is to make everyone aware that testing standards make our industry safer and more reliable. If you don’t agree and still feel NETA is a bunch of blood sucking vampires, so be it. They are absolutely a benefit to our industry.
Where can NETA standards be used?
NETA standards can be applied in Industrial, Commercial, and Residential work places. These standards were not only designed for one use or another. They cover all different types of electrical applications.