Recently, the IICRC approved a new certification category designated as Floor Care Technician (FCT). This was accomplished after a few years of study by the board of directors, guided by the hard work of the members of the Hard Surface Inspection Task Force. The new certification is designed as one of the pre-requisites for completion of any of the hard surface inspection categories; however, the IICRC sees it as a program that can cross several boundaries.
I cannot continue without giving credit to Hard Surface Task Force Chair, Claudia Lezell, for bringing together an awesome group of colleagues and experts in the industry to help make this a reality. Having already been appointed as the chair of the Senior Inspector committee, Claudia found the time to bring several new certification categories that previously had not been included in our programs.
There are also several members of the FCT Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) that have proven to be valuable members of the Hard Surface Inspector Task Force. As TAC chair, Bill Griffin has provided great insight into the training parameters common in the hard surface flooring cleaning industry. Thanks to him, we have a viable program, from course outline to exam to instructor qualifications, which can be developed into a new certification category.
Special mention is also due to the two vice chairs serving with Bill. One vice chair is Stanley Quentin Hulin, who many of you may recognize as an ICS columnist. He is one of the most knowledgeable persons that I have ever met regarding hard floor care. We’re lucky to have him aboard. The other vice chair is Bob Merkt. Bob recently served on the IICRC Board of Directors and is past president of the Association of Wisconsin Cleaning Contractors (AWCC). He’s a true hard surface maintenance professional. We’re fortunate that the Institute has been able to tap his experience and knowledge.
As the IICRC continues to develop the hard surface inspection categories, there are several new opportunities available to inspectors. Included in the plans are a Substrates Certification, Marble and Stone Inspector, Wood and Laminates Inspector, Ceramic Tile Inspector and Resilient Floors Inspector. All the aforementioned designations, along with FCT, will be the curriculum needed to fully prepare an inspector on the hard surface side of inspections. This has been a tremendous effort by many people, and we aren’t finished yet. Several of the courses are not yet ready but they are all in the pipeline to be brought before the Certification Board in the near future.
The FCT course holds particular interest for IICRC not only because it is the Institute’s first foray into the hard surface arena, but also because this is going to be considered a stand alone course as well as a pre-requisite for the inspector designations. Registrants not planning to become inspectors can take the course, pass the test, and begin to offer their customers the services of a trained technician to care for their hard surface floors, in addition to the services they already offer. For the commercial cleaner, this benefit may prove very profitable. As cleaning professionals, if we keep our customers from having to choose another company to clean the hard surface floors in a building, then we are able to develop longer lasting relationships, which can lead to longer and more profitable contracts.
The benefit for IICRC registrants doesn’t stop there. It continues with the potential of allying with organizations to partner with in offering certification. With the combination of CCMT and FCT, the IICRC can approach organizations that represent property managers, school districts, building service contractors and others that previously had shown little interest in certification. This can lead to additional revenue, training opportunities, and relationship development with sectors of the cleaning industry previously not open to off-site cleaning and restoration companies.
The opportunities are limitless and the time to think about changing the way cleaning and restoration companies do business is now, not after all the classes and certification programs are underway. How all this benefits the cleaners, inspectors and restorers of the world, is up to us. What you do with the information is up to you.