The IICRC continues to reach out to consumers, insurance companies, and various government agencies in an effort to raise awareness of the value of using well trained, certified technicians and firms to perform necessary restoration and remediation work. For example, in recent flooding in the state of Washington, the IICRC worked with the public health department to educate officials and consumers on how to take steps to prevent water damaged property from developing mold contamination while at the same time referring many certified professionals to those seeking qualified remediation specialists. A similar effort was successful in getting work into the hands of trained professionals following the disastrous wild fires in California last summer.
As a part of the continuing effort to provide first-class services to both Certified Firms and their customers, the IICRC referral search system has been recently revised and upgraded. The referral search located on the IICRC consumer Web site (www.certifiedcleaners.org) has several new features, such as a consumer opt-in where inquiring potential customers can leave contact information for cleaning and restoration contractors to contact them. Another new feature is the option for the consumer to select the search radius they desire, ranging from 5 miles out to 200 miles from the center of their ZIP code. The site also now brings up all Certified Firms within the search area selected, giving the consumer greater numbers to choose from.
The new IICRC Government Affairs Committee continues to monitor state activities involving possible legislation that could directly affect certified cleaning and restoration firms, and whenever possible raise the awareness of the use of standards such as the IICRC/ANSI S500 Water Damage Restoration Standard or the IICRC S520 Mold Remediation Standard. These documents are rapidly gaining increased acceptance by many agencies and legislatures as well as major insurance companies.
There continues to be rapid progress on two new restoration-related certification categories, Applied Sewage Remediation Technician and Commercial Drying Technician. Both categories represent specialized advanced skills and services related to the field of restorative drying.
The number of IICRC Certified Technicians and Firms continues to grow, with Water Damage Restoration Technician leading the way as the fastest growing certification category. The WRT Certification Exam has just been recently revised and updated, and all IICRC-approved WRT schools are updating their programs, manuals and materials to be consistent with the revised exams. All IICRC exams and class outlines are reviewed and updated regularly in order to assure that the students are receiving the most current and up to date information available. While it is not necessary to maintain their certification, many Certified Technicians choose to revisit and audit classes they sat through years ago to pick up the newly updated materials as well as get refreshed on the materials from the past. This not only satisfies their continuing education requirements, it assures they are current on the latest technology and procedures. Other ways to get CECs include attending conventions, workshops, trade shows, or supplier seminars.
At this point, 2008 looks very bright for the IICRC as it continues to bring quality training opportunities and recognized certification credentials to the professional cleaning and restoration industry.