There have been rumors about many changes in the IICRC, along with a lot of speculation about the reasons behind these changes. Much of the speculation is not accurate or correct.
First up: The new Mold Removal Specialist designation and exam being developed is not a replacement for the Applied Microbial Restoration Technician (AMRT) program. Rather, it is a whole new level of accredited certification that will offer additional benefits to those who achieve it. Perhaps a little background and history will help clear any confusion.
In 2006, IICRC achieved recognition from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an accredited Standards Developer. In an effort to achieve similar recognition for IICRC-approved training and certification programs, IICRC began the process of becoming ANSI accredited as a certifying organization as well as a standards developer.
We learned that several major upgrades to our systems and procedures were needed before we could meet the stringent ANSI requirement. These upgrades included changes in the very structure of IICRC: changes in how exams are developed and administered, as well as internal processing changes and controls, needed to be put into place.
Meanwhile, some states began passing legislation requiring mold remediators to be state licensed. Among other things, the license requirements included passing an approved exam, demonstrating competence in the field. IICRC registrants holding the AMRT designation were grandfathered into the program, but only those that completed the process by March 2011. Today, remediators are required to pass a separate, approved licensing exam; requirements include the exam needing to be third-party accredited, and ANSI accreditation would more than meet any of this requirement.
Since these regulations have centered around mold remediation, IICRC decided to develop an exam and credential that would meet not only the state requirements for licensing, but also meet ANSI standards for accreditation. This project has been moving forward at top speed for several months now, and it is our hope that the new Mold Removal Specialist designation will achieve this goal.
While training such as the AMRT class is strongly encouraged, specific classes are not a requirement for a candidate to take the new exam and earn this designation. It is our plan that by completing this new exam and earning the Mold Removal Specialist designation, IICRC registrants will meet or exceed all state licensing requirements, and hold an ANSI-accredited certification to complement their other IICRC certifications.
Within the next few months, the new Mold Removal Specialist exam will be ready for candidates to set themselves apart, as well as meet any state licensing requirements that may be in the works. IICRC is planning to use this exam as our introductory application for ANSI accreditation, gaining the recognition as a certifying organization that will do even more to enhance the credibility and recognition of our registrants.