ICS Magazine

In Search of Excellence

May 19, 2004
The continuing challenge of making the IICRC curriculum the best the industry has to offer has created many changes in the way certification courses are created and revised.

The creation and updating of course outlines and exams is a lot more difficult than it used to be; once completed, however, you can be assured that the information covered is fair, accurate and well documented. I know of no other certification organization that goes to this much trouble.

This process has been going on for many years in varying forms. It began when industry consultant, author and trainer Jeff Bishop chaired the IICRC committee for examinations and standards. It continues right up to the present with the current work of the standards committee chaired by Barry Costa and the recently renamed certification council chaired by Joe Dobbins.

The IICRC continually searches for the best possible way to provide high-quality education and to raise the bar for all certification categories. In particular, IICRC Examinations Committee Chair Debbie Campbell has taken her job very seriously over the past two years. She has become one of the industry's most dedicated volunteers, and has written an outstanding examinations policy document to guide all 19 of the technical advisory committees through the outline and exam development process. She has worked closely with Galton Technologies, a worldwide provider of comprehensive, technology-based testing and assessment services, taking information gleaned from Galton and completely changing the way IICRC courses and exams are created and maintained.

After 32 years of service and 19 (soon to be 21) certification categories, the IICRC continues to put forth the very best in training programs for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries.

Today's IICRC courses and exams undergo psychometric evaluation and review before being released to industry schools for instruction. Starting with a job task analysis (JTA), courses must have a mission statement, course outline, allocation of questions/answers in relation to the course outline, and documentation of exam questions and answers for verification. Following this developmental process, a legal review is completed to ensure further quality and to help minimize liability for the IICRC and its registrants. Ultimately, this process ensures that we are turning out the best-educated inspectors and technicians possible.

I know what these people are going through. Ask any TAC chair who has gone through this process just how this painful "birthing process" ultimately has benefited the course and exam. This time consuming process probably has tripled the workload of committee members.

More research is being done now than ever before in the history of the IICRC. The dedicated volunteers involved in this work are searching the Internet, visiting libraries and researching legal documents to find the reference material needed to get the job done. Not only have we put a process in place to ensure excellence for all IICRC courses and exams but, as revisions take place, requirements for instructor qualification are being upgraded as well. Students can expect more-stringent classroom requirements, more hands-on training, and advance study guides to assist in exam preparation.

IICRC registrants and firms have a right to expect increasingly higher standards of quality in all that the IICRC does, in standard writing, in marketing certified firms, and especially in course and exam development. Thanks to the efforts of many selfless volunteers, these challenges are being met and exceeded!