A Look at IICRC
Many professional cleaners seem to have a misconception as to how IICRC operates. I made this observation following the many phone calls I received, asking me to fix this problem or correct that situation.
Unfortunately, most times I can do neither. I can point them to the proper committee and then follow up to see if the situation gets resolved. But the fact is, the IICRC operates with many checks and balances.
The Board of Directors is actually made up of 27 volunteer members and 11 paid administrative staff members. These paid staffers are employees of Kenway Consultants Inc., a firm hired by a majority vote of the IICRC board to act as administrators to this busy volunteer organization.
While IICRC has many volunteers, only 38 of them are responsible for running the IICRC -- and their own businesses. That said, it is difficult for 38 individuals to watch all of the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan. This means that we count on you to look out for companies that misuse or misrepresent themselves as certified firms or certified registrants.
IICRC works well because the work it undertakes is delegated among committees. I will explain the committees and their functions, and a bit about the chairperson of that committee.
The Certification Board
This board is comprised of IICRC shareholder representatives, IICRC-approved schools representatives, and individuals approved by the IICRC and Standing and Technical Advisory Committee chairpersons. Each representative has a single vote, but infinite input. This committee maintains IICRC's contact with all segments of the carpet, upholstery, restoration and related industries. It makes use of the knowledge and technical expertise that individuals within these industries offer. It also works to improve the IICRC course curricula and examinations in coordination with the Examinations Committee and the Technical Advisory Committees.
Jeff Bishop chairs this technical arm of IICRC. He is the workhorse of the organization. Bishop is known for his thorough research he brings to a project, and his findings to the board are both concise and understandable. He is a person who makes it difficult to track his volunteer hours because he donates so many of them.
The Certified Firm/Registrant Committee
This committee works with registrants and certified firms. If there are complaints or questions about a non-certified company using the certified firm logo, or a technician advertising certifications when he is in fact not certified, this committee investigates those complaints that are submitted in writing. It then takes its findings to the directors for further consideration. This committee may recommend action to take, but needs board approval before any action is taken. Ed Hobbs is the chairperson of this committee.
This committee, chaired by Darrell Paulson, creates the IICRC annual operations budget. It is watchdog of IICRC, making sure that money is spent as it was intended in the budget. Any time the Board of Directors decides on a special project, Paulson asks, "Where's the money coming from?" Over the last year, he has chaired the Applied Structural Drying Course task force, which is a new IICRC course in water restoration. He and his group are now working on a mold remediation course.
Instructors and Schools Committee
Because new schools and instructors are constantly applying to IICRC for approval, this is one of the busiest committees within the organization. Its function is to continually work with current instructors and schools, and recommend approval for the new applicants to the Board of Directors. If there is a question about an instructor or school, this committee investigates, makes recommendations and brings its findings to the board. Mike Reed chairs this committee, which is also responsible for reading all school manuals to verify that the information required in the exam is in the manuals.
Marketing and Public Relations Committee
Ruth Travis chairs this active committee, which is responsible for IICRC's marketing and public relations activities. It has been diligent in getting IICRC's name in front of every organization and person that could use our registrants. As committee chair, Travis makes numerous trips to promote IICRC registrants. She also is the editor of the Technician Newsletter, and works closely with IICRC's administration and the organization's public relations firm, CGI.
Because this Larry Cooper-chaired committee is responsible for ensuring that IICRC standards are industry and scientifically correct, it is constantly reviewing the Standards. It is a large committee because of numbers of industry, manufacturing and the scientific community people involved. Cooper also holds an honorary seat on the board. He is currently chairing the committee that is revising the IICRC Carpet Cleaning Standard S001.
Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
The TAC committees are broken down into the varying categories that IICRC recognizes and are as follows: Commercial Carpet Maintenance, Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning, Water Damage Restoration, Odor Control, Color Repair, Carpet Repair and Reinstallation, Fire and Smoke Restoration, Floor Care, Health and Safety, Carpet Inspector, Marble and Stone Inspector and Substrate Inspector. There are other categories being added to this list, which are still in the development stage. I will get into more detail about these committees in a future President's Message.
I know that IICRC is not perfect. As IICRC volunteers we try to do the best that we can. I will end with a saying that a friend of mine tells everyone who complains about IICRC. "Instead of spreading the pollution, become part of the solution." Step up to the plate and volunteer some of your time to make "our" industry the best it can be.