The past several years at RIA have been best exemplified by one word: change. The organization changed its name almost three years ago from the Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration (ASCR) to the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) to better illustrate what its members do on a daily basis – they restore damaged buildings, improve and address indoor air quality and environmental issues, and clean and restore damaged contents.
Now the organization is taking the lead on several key initiatives that will impact not only the members of RIA, but the entire cleaning and restoration industry for years to come.
The first initiative has been in development for the last 14 months. The Glossary of Restoration Terms defines those words used by cleaning and restoration contractors in the daily course of their business. Conveying a consistent message when communicating with clients, insurance companies and vendors when writing contracts and seeking payment is critical to each restoration company’s success.
The Glossary is almost complete and is currently going through its final review. It will be available for public use and comment early in 2010.
The role of restoration contractors is to handle unplanned construction in emergency situations, and a critical component missing within the industry has been a lack of standardized contracts similar to those used by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). An RIA task force is currently developing four basic contracts, three of which will apply to both residential and commercial projects. The first contract to go into drafting is an emergency services agreement, and when completed, the remaining contracts will encompass 13 standardized attachment forms.
An RIA Accounting Task Force is working parallel to the Glossary task force to create an accounting standard for property-damage repair, using standardized terminology from the glossary. The central focus of the accounting standard is the separation of project expenses that are sometimes charged as overhead and thereby denied full reimbursement by some insurance companies.
This document will be an invaluable tool for contractors because it will illustrate for clients and insurance companies what expenses should be covered as part of the restoration process, and which are part of company overhead.
One of the most significant projects the RIA will be undertaking is the development of an ANSI-recognized standard related to fire-damage restoration. A subcommittee of the Indoor Environmental Standards Organization (IESO) will be taking the existing RIA Guidelines, recognized by the industry as a de facto fire damage standard, and using them as the basis for the new internationally recognized standard.
These long-term projects require a significant number of volunteers with various types of restoration experience. Anyone interested in participating on one of the subcommittees involved with drafting the standard should send an e-mail to Executiveoffice@restorationindustry.org with the subject line “Fire Damage Standard Volunteer.”
Certified Restorer Certification
The Certified Restorer (CR) has long been recognized as the pre-eminent certifications in the industry and was the first created to recognize the body of knowledge required for fire damage restoration professionals. In 2010, RIA will begin updating this program to ensure that it remains the premier certification in the damage repair industry. The 24-36 month project will require two teams of volunteers – one to develop the current body of knowledge required for the program and a second team to create the exam questions.
RIA is recruiting individuals who hold the Certified Restorer credential to participate in the program development. There is an application and selection process and anyone interested contributing should contact Cynthia Hereth, RIA’s director of education and certification, at firstname.lastname@example.org.