Cleaning & Restoration Association News

The IICRC is Gaining International Momentum

We are often too focused on what is going on right here in our own backyard to realize what is going on around the rest of the world.

I have now had the opportunity to represent the IICRC in Japan, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Although the IICRC's growth around world is slower by comparison to what it is in North America, it is becoming more significant with each year that passes.

Being able to meet IICRC registrants and promote our programs is the best part of my job. On a recent trip to Australia, I spoke to cleaners and restorers at four different venues about the benefits of IICRC certification and the importance of following IICRC industry standards. I was amazed to see how much impact we have had around the world.

Although there are always some misunderstandings about IICRC policies, the awareness of our programs and standards is really quite amazing. Here I am, 12,000 miles from home, and people are walking up to me and introducing themselves, and thanking me, as if I was a celebrity, with many showing me their IICRC registrant cards and comparing numbers.

IICRC International Vice Chair Paul Pearce and myself went to Australia to seek out and interview different management companies and set up an Australian office for the IICRC, based on the office that was created in the United Kingdom a few years ago.

Paul and I also attended the Ausclean Convention, a large show with about 140 exhibitor booths and a dozen lecture sessions over three days. I was very happy to see a lot of our own North American based manufacturers already there, selling equipment and cleaning products through the local suppliers. I was most impressed with the quality of some of the hard-surface maintenance equipment, which was more efficient than any I have seen before.

Paul and I were both able to speak on their program, telling a very captive audience what was new at the IICRC and how we could help the industry Down Under by promoting certification and standards. Much of our message was to promote IICRC from within their own group increasing awareness among themselves and the rest of the cleaning and restoration industry in Australia and New Zealand.

Spreading the message from within is also something we need to look at right here in North America. We need to be promoting our certifications and designations everyday, showing our cards, brochures, explaining what it is that we do. If we could get every one of our 40,000-plus registrants to explain to one new person every day what IICRC is, we could reach more than 200,000 people every week. Now that's powerful marketing, and think about the public awareness we could create by promoting from within.

Let us do ourselves a favor: start spreading the word about certification and training every day with our own staff, and technicians. And let's make IICRC a household name!

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Recent Articles by Carey Vermeulen

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