Over the last several years we have noticed that, in the restoration industry, companies have started to specialize. You rarely see any companies doing both water restoration and fire restoration that have been in the industry for very long. With all of the changes that have occurred with these categories, it is easy to see why companies have begun to specialize.
The board of directors has been watching the industry make these changes and made a change by adding the advance designations. The changes include Master Textile Cleaner instead of Master Cleaning Technician, and the division of restoration certifications into Master Fire and Smoke Restorer and Master Water Restorer instead of just Master Restoration Technician.
Master Textile Cleaner received a new name, and color repair was added to the requirements a couple of years ago. This created controversy with everybody because many registrants feel that they are not interested in doing any dye work and “That darn IICRC is just trying to make more money for their instructors!” What the color repair course did for me was to give me a much better understanding of what is going on with the carpet when I see color loss or color added to it. It made me a better cleaner.
As far as making money for the instructors, there are six instructors on the IICRC board of directors. Out of those six, only two of them teach color repair. But guess what, all of them also have to go to a color repair course because one of the requirements for instructors is they must be masters. By the way, any other board members and their employees that are masters, they have to spend their money and time to go to the course also!
Now for the latest changes: the Master Restoration Designations that have caused the most recent controversy. First of all, let me state that no one is losing any designation at this time! You have until your renewal in 2005 to update your courses before anything happens to your master designations.
Master Fire and Smoke Restorer requires three years from your original certification, either one of the carpet courses, upholstery and fabric, odor control, fire and smoke and the addition of health and safety or equivalent.
Master Water Restorer had the biggest changes in its requirements. These changes are three years from your original certification, either one of the carpet courses, repair and reinstallation, water restoration applied structural drying, applied microbial remediation, and health and safety. Those who want to have both Master Fire and Smoke Restorer and Master Water Restorer will have to invest in our education. I feel that, even though I do not do much fire-restoration work, I want the knowledge to make me a better technician.
Let me remind you one more time, every decision made by the board members affects them as well. The IICRC board felt that making these changes raises the bar of the industry. You will now be seen as specialists in your field of expertise.
Since these changes were made, we have heard from many of you. Some have made complaints about the changes, but we have received some very good suggestions from others. I want to thank those of you that have tried to be part of the solution. Many times IICRC is seen as an “unfeeling entity” but these are real people, making their living, just like you, in the cleaning and restoration industry.