The IICRC Board of Directors held its second-annual strategic planning meeting, in conjunction with the Surfaces trade show and our winter board meeting, in January. This planning session used input from instructors who attended last October’s Certification Council meeting, where the initial feedback stage of the strategic planning process took place as well as results from recent surveys of all our stakeholders (instructors, schools, volunteers, Certified Firms and registrants). We appreciate your time and feedback in our planning process, and as we committed to, we look forward to giving you a status update and a copy of our plan at the April Certification Council meeting.
Our strategic plan has near-term, mid-term and long-term components that cover key aspects of our organization. One goal that I’m particularly grateful for is our ongoing efforts in improving our relationships and communications with our instructors and schools – something that is critical to all our success. We recognize and understand that our instructors and schools are working day-in and day-out with our registrants, so we want to ensure that these lines of communication remain open and effective as they are our ambassadors and teachers for our programs and our services. Through listening, we all lead better. We can take everything into consideration and work with instructors and schools to determine the best path and practice forward.
Another part of our relationship-building efforts that has grown are those with our industry partners and other like-minded associations through Memorandums of Understanding (MOU). These relationships help promote best practices through advocacy, standards and professional qualifications. The Board of Directors is looking forward to hosting our spring Certification Council and board of directors meetings around the RIA convention at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on April 23-25, as RIA is one of the organizations with whom we have an MOU. The Certification Council meeting is set for Monday, April 22. We hope you can take advantage of these collaborative dates to attend and support both meetings.
I am also excited about our current standards that are out for public review and comment. Thank you to all involved for your many years of service, development and quality of work produced. The BSR-IICRC S600 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Carpet Installation and the BSR-IICRC S800 Standard and Reference Guide for Inspecting Textile Floor Coverings are available for review until March 11, 2013. The development of these new standards represents our commitment to work with industry partners to provide the most relevant and consistent information to our registrants, Certified Firms and the industry. This review period is important to ensure balance and fairness in each standard, as all comments submitted during the 45-day peer review process have to be addressed, responded and archived, per ANSI essentials and our own internal policies.
Additionally, the IICRC has completed its first exam-only certification: Mold Removal Specialist (MRS). The test results from all of our beta testers were distributed last month and we’re in the final stages of officially launching the certification exam. This was a successful but costly endeavor of time and resources for the last two years - thank you to all of our beta testers and committee leadership and members for your commitment and patience. Anyone who has been in the mold industry for more than one year qualifies to sit for the IICRC Mold Removal Specialist exam. The MRS certification does not replace the current Applied Microbial Restoration Technician (AMRT) exam; it is an additional level of certification. It’s the first certification not tied to a particular course; it’s a stand-alone exam.
The Board of Directors has selected new management in the UK and Australia. The Association Specialists, Ltd. will lead all administrative operations for the Australian division and The National Flood School will lead all administrative operations for the European division. Our new international management companies are an important part of the IICRC and will be working on improved software and an updated process by developing a policy handbook for management services. As you may have noticed, our website, IICRC.org, has been updated to now include our key regions. These improvements will prepare us to grow globally as we continue to receive inquires and realize opportunities from around the world. This was also set up to help streamline all of the information and show the global reach of our organization.
The winter Board of Directors meeting has us energized and excited to take on our next challenges and turn them into accomplishments. We’ll continue to map our successes against the organization’s strategic plan that was formed with input and service from our key stakeholders. Thank you for all of your input throughout this process. We wouldn’t be where we are today without our volunteers, instructors, schools, board members and industry partners. Thank you as we spring forward, happy spring to you all on March 20. Enjoy the season!