ICS Magazine

Apprentice Training Now a Reality for the IICRC

September 8, 2005
The IICRC is in the process of implementing another groundbreaking move to help firms further along the educational trail with the introduction of the IICRC Apprentice Training Program.

Past IICRC President, IICRC instructor, and long-time advocate of entry level/basic skills training Mike West said, "Getting staff and newly hired people involved in your firm's training or certification system builds career-minded employees."

These are employees who will produce more and help you deliver a better range of services to your clients, which in turn helps keep existing clients, attracts new clients, and increases your company's bottom line. West brought this concept to the IICRC several years ago. His experience in the JanSan industry gave him an inside view of an industry crying out for more structured, consistent, entry-level training.

West, TAC Chair for Floor Care Technician Bob Merkt and TAC Chair for Stone, Masonry/Tile Cleaning Technician Dane Gregory have brought this concept to fruition. The IICRC Board of Directors approved the concept, and a Request for Proposal was sent out to many industry schools, and manufacturers.

The response favored designing courses in the same fashion as the typical IICRC certification courses, and letting various schools and providers come into compliance, get approved, and start teaching the courses. Gregory led the committee to put the final changes on the program and make it available to the interested schools and manufacturers.

The training concept will be similar to the IICRC's existing certification courses. However, the new ‘Basic Skills' training will not be for certification. Attendance of a 4- to 6-hour course and successfully passing an exam will provide the attendee with a certificate signifying his or her attendance.

The ‘Basic Skills' training concept was originally aimed at the commercial carpet cleaning industry, for those individuals cleaning the largest percentage of carpet in the marketplace. Often times, these people have little or no training, resulting in poorly maintained carpet that can ultimately discourage its use.

The committee went one step further, looking at apprentice-training courses for most of our cleaning and restoration categories. This will enable firms to send office staff as well as technicians to an entry-level course, making them more customer friendly and productive when working with experienced technicians. It will also highlight for firms those employees who are dedicated to learning and advancing in the industry.

These courses will be short and to the point, providing enough information to an attendee to understand the basics of a subject while making them aware of the other training available to them. This should expose IICRC Certification Courses to literally tens of thousands of potential cleaning professionals. The ultimate goal is to provide better-trained technicians, thereby providing a better value to the flooring investments made by facility owners across the continent.

Drop by the IICRC booth at the Connections Convention and Trade Show, Sept. 23-25 in Las Vegas, to get all of the details on this and many more, new and exciting programs at the IICRC.