"You cannot exceed the level of your knowledge."
I must credit long-time industry stalwart Bob Bonwell for the phrase he coined many years ago that I have heard and repeated countless times. It's no wonder, then, that education is the key to success. I recently had the distinct pleasure to be invited to visit Advanced Specialized Equipment in Sydney, Australia in September to see, among other things, their new Interactive Training Institute (ITI) and flood house.
This is indeed the most advanced educational facility for the cleaning and restoration industry anywhere in the southern hemisphere, if not the world. This world-class facility includes a well-thought-out flood house incorporating all the various sundry building and interior products we've come to expect for a flood house being used for ASD training, but when was the last time you saw one with a baby grand piano? (Not to mention a big screen TV) The coup de gras is the eight cameras strategically placed within the structure to document all the school proceedings and provide video that can not only be reviewed in the onsite classroom but can be transmitted as well, creating distance learning or at least taking it to a new level.
ASE's school will host many IICRC courses as well as new courses being developed by ITI. According to John Hickey, owner of ASE and ITI, the goal for now is to be the leading provider of education in Australia, eventually expanding to become the leader worldwide. "We will not be keeping ITI to ourselves, rather we will want to share it with our American partners, like Steam Way International, and others," Hickey said.
In addition to visiting Advanced and ITI, I also attended Ausclean. This show is much more than carpet cleaning and restoration, and includes jan/san and building service and facility management products and services.
I had the opportunity at Ausclean to visit with the Australian distributor of quite a few American companies, as well as see a number of Aussies that I have met throughout the years at various industry and supplier functions. I also had the pleasure to meet a few of our ICS Online bulletin board users.
Additionally, I attended and was asked to speak at an IICRC registrants meeting that included members of ARCCA and NUCCA. One of the highlights was the announcement that IICRC will be retaining a management company in Australia to better serve registrants in Australia and New Zealand.
Due to the logistical impracticality of providing print copies of ICS Cleaning Specialist magazine to professional cleaners and restorers across the Pacific, we have had very limited circulation of our industry-leading magazine Down Under. That said, I was pleasantly surprised at the recognition of ICS magazine and myself, as well as the keen interest and desire to receive our magazine and the information it contains in any way we can provide it.
I was accompanied on this journey by IICRC President Carey Vermuelen, IICRC International VP Paul Pearce, Steam Way International's Mark Farley and Shawn Bisaillon, and Rachel Adams of Indoor Air Management.