ICS Magazine

IICRC Develops Consensus Agreement for IEP Designation

December 15, 2006
VANCOUVER, Wash. – December 13, 2006 – The IICRC S520 Standards Revision Consensus Committee recently met in effort to build industry consensus and develop a plan regarding the use of the term “indoor environmental professional” (IEP) in the IICRC S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation.

VANCOUVER, Wash. – December 13, 2006 – The IICRC S520 Standards Revision Consensus Committee recently met in effort to build industry consensus and develop a plan regarding the use of the term “indoor environmental professional” (IEP) in the IICRC S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation.

Most importantly, the plan specifies that the IICRC will maintain the term “indoor environmental professional” and “IEP” in S520 and will not retain trademarks on those terms.

In an historic move, prior to drafting the plan, the IICRC invited several representatives from the remediation industry, as well as representatives from the following trade organizations to participate in the discussion:
  • Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA)
  • American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)
  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)
  • Association of Specialists in Cleaning & Restoration (ASCR)
  • Indoor Environmental Institute (IEI)
  • Society of Cleaning & Restoration Technicians (SCRT)
  • Indoor Environmental Standards Organization (IESO)
  • American Indoor Air Quality Council (AmIAQ)

Representatives from AIHA, IEI, SCRT, and IICRC, as well as several independent industry representatives met with IICRC President Ruth Travis and representatives of the IICRC Standards Committee.

During an open discussion, IICRC representatives listened to the group’s thoughts regarding use of the term “indoor environmental professional,” including related certifications, designation and trade marking.

The IICRC then held a meeting of the IICRC S520 Standards Revision Consensus Committee, led by Larry Cooper. By a vote of confidence of the S520 Standards Revision Consensus Committee, Cooper was chosen to chair the committee during the meeting and until successor is named. Following the committee meeting, a seven-point plan was drafted and agreed to by all members of the committee. The seven points are as follows:
  • Retain the term “IEP” in the S520 and keep the IEP Chapter in the document.
  • Seek to enter into a revised memorandum of understanding (MOU) with IEP stakeholders that establishes an agreement to mutually defend against third parties attempting to trademark the IEP terminology.
  • IICRC will not retain trademarks on the terms “indoor environmental professional” or “IEP”.
  • Language will be developed and approved by the S520 Consensus Body for insertion into the IEP Chapter, or possibly the Foreword, which negates the ability to trademark the terms and the ability of anyone to use the terminology as a designation or certification. This language is intended to remove any economic incentive associated with use of the terminology, to the extent possible.
  • Oppose the listing of specific designations or certifications in the S520 that are deemed equivalent to the definition of an IEP.
  • That this agreement be approved by the IICRC, and thereafter communicated to the IEP stakeholders.

The agreement was presented to President Travis, at the IICRC S520 revision meeting. Travis then convened an online meeting of the IICRC Executive Committee, and the committee voted in favor of supporting the agreement. The IICRC will immediately move to implement the plan into the new revision of the S520, where necessary, and in all workings surrounding the mold remediation document.

“Thousands of IICRC registrants are engaged in mold remediation projects around the world, and in order to best serve the consumer, they need strong working relationships with IEPs,” said Travis. “It is my hope that qualified IEPs across the industry will step forward in a proactive effort to work with IICRC registrants to perform the services needed to help consumers return to safe, clean environments and to achieve this important industry goal.”

Qualified IEPs perform assessments; develop sampling strategies, as necessary, which includes taking samples, maintaining a chain of custody, selecting a sampling laboratory, and interpreting sampling data; determining contamination conditions; writing remediation protocols (job scopes), and verifying the return of the environment to Condition 1 status.

The IICRC will continue to strive toward developing solid working relationships with other organizations to meet this critical need in the industry.