The Association of Rug Care Specialists assumed ownership of the Certified Rug Specialist (CRS) certification program from the Restoration Industry Association on January 4. The CRS designation represents the highest level of training and education in the cleaning and repair of Oriental and specialty rugs offered in the marketplace today.
The transfer of ownership, which followed several months of cooperative discussions between officers of the two associations, has significant implications for both rug care professionals and the rug care industry.
Current holders of the CRS designation will benefit from the ownership transition because their certification will now be recognized by the ARCS, the only international trade association representing rug care professionals. The designation is currently held by an elite group of 65 rug care experts across the U.S.
In addition, experienced rug care professionals seeking to advance their technical skills will now be able to take advantage of a reinvigorated CRS certification program under the auspices of the ARCS. The last CRS certification program under the RIA was held in January 2009.
The ARCS is expected to launch a CRS certification program in the first quarter of 2013. It will be open to experienced rug care professionals who have successfully completed the ARCS intermediate level courses. The rigorous curriculum will include five days of intensive training with an emphasis on the history of handmade rugs, rug identification, cleaning and repair techniques, and potential cleaning problems based on a rug’s origin and construction. Successful candidates for the CRS designation must pass a two-part written examination and complete a paper on a topic relevant to the cleaning and repair of Oriental and specialty rugs.
Holders of the CRS designation have a significant advantage in the marketplace because their certified technical expertise sets them apart from the competition and enables them to provide greater value to consumers. In addition, the CRS designation can be a powerful marketing tool with consumers who want to ensure that their valuable rugs are cleaned and repaired by highly trained professionals.
Finally, the rug care industry will benefit from ARCS ownership of the CRS designation because the association, which was formed in January 2011, is now solidly positioned to fulfill its mission of educating rug care professionals at all levels and advancing the art and science of rug care to the benefit of consumers. Further information on its educational offerings is available at www.rugcarespecialists.org.