Successful ITI pilot program leads to California MATT Levels I, II courses

In preparation for the California Energy Commission (CEC) launch of the 2019 Title 24 standards on Jan. 1, the International Training Institute (ITI), the education arm of the unionized sheet metal industry, created two new Mechanical Acceptance Test Technician (MATT) courses, MATT-1 and MATT-2.

Prior to launching the new courses last October, the ITI ran three pilot versions of the MATT-1 and MATT-2 courses at Locals 104 and 105 in California.

“During each pilot of the courses, we learned a lot. For the last pilot, we adjusted the curriculum and set the final training hours for each level,” said Darrell Garrison, ITI field staff, who helped draft the curriculum. “We also trained instructors on how to deliver both levels of training. Instructors as well as technicians were then certified in either MATT-1 or MATT-2, based on their needs.”

The ITI operates pilot courses for every new program it creates, Garrison said.

“Pilots help us refine our programs and ensure that we are offering the best possible courses with realistic training outcomes,” he added.

A proposal has been submitted to the CEC for review and consideration that outlines the following:

  • For a MATT Level 1 technician, a minimum of three years of industry experience and be certified in filling out the nine required forms under the 2016 and 2019 Standards for new construction of, and additions and alterations to, residential and nonresidential buildings.
  • For a Level 1 certification, students can expect the training to take about 40 hours, as they will need to complete 12 to 14 hours of hands-on verification in a certified lab as well as roughly 16 hours of online training.

Because it is not required for a student be a testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB) technician, some basic TAB training may be necessary.

The MATT Level 2 course covers the 2016 and 2019 forms and steps required in the Standards to complete all 18 of the MATT Level 2 forms. In addition, the student must be a TAB technician certified to take this course. It takes about 24 hours to complete the online portion of the training prior to taking the Level 2 exam. The courses are now available online through the ITI website at

“California is the only state right now that requires the strict standards defined in Title 24, but many other states and counties are watching to see if this is successful,” Garrison said. “They may follow the same model, or they could adopt a similar version to what California is doing. We’ve been told that as soon as there are 300 certified techs in the state, they will begin enforcing it. This could mean there will be a need for possibly 1,000 technicians, if construction continues at the rate it is going. That’s why we offer the courses online to all SMART members, not just California residents.”

ITI Field Representative Lisa Davis, who worked with Garrison to refine the pilot programs, sees the courses as a great opportunity for SMART members in California and beyond.

“I think it’s going to be a good program for our members, especially as we look to the future of energy efficiency,” she said.

ITI supports apprenticeship and advanced career training for union workers in the sheet metal heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), welding and industrial, architectural and ornamental, and service and testing, adjusting and balancing industry throughout the United States and Canada. Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, the ITI develops and produces a standardized sheet metal curriculum supported by a wide variety of training materials free of charge to sheet metal apprentices and journeymen.

More than 14,000 apprentices are registered at 148 training facilities across the United States and Canada. The ITI is jointly sponsored by SMART, the International Association of Sheet Metal Air, Rail and Transportation Workers and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA).

For more information about ITI and its available training curriculum for members covering sheet metal trade work, visit the website or call 703-739-7200.