What does the future hold? That’s a question every company or organization should be asking (and answering) for itself, and the IICRC is no different.
I’ve just returned from an IICRC Long Range Plan meeting, chaired by Past President Lee Zimmerman, where a group of IICRC volunteers and consultants gathered to revise the written guidelines regarding the future of IICRC. The LRP has been a vital document for the IICRC for many years. It reflects a strategic plan of growth and change in response to the needs of its registrants, both individuals and firms.
The LRP is reviewed and updated on a regular basis, usually annually, and is meant to project about two to five years into the future. Once reviewed and revised by the committee, it goes to the 28-member IICRC board of directors for approval. Thus, no one individual or group has undue influence in what the goals or direction of the organization will take.
The LRP is divided into three categories: Objectives, Goals and Tactics. Currently, there are twelve Objectives, which set forth the major benchmarks of the long-range plan. Goals describe the specific desired outcomes of each Objective, and the numerous Tactics set forth the specific techniques and activities suggested for achieving each Goal.
The first objective of IICRC is to be the Unifying Voice for the Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration/Remediation Industry. Our board of directors is made up of representatives of not only its 16 regional and international shareholder associations, but also “at-large” members representing other interests and concerns. Our certification council, chaired by Joe Dobbins, meets twice a year just prior to our board meeting and, in addition to all the IICRC instructors and industry technical advisory committee members, includes member representatives from dozens of affiliate organizations, including the American Home Furnishings Association; the Carpet and Rug Institute; the Marble Institute of America; the Floor Covering Installation Contractors Association; the International Sanitary Supply Association; the National Air Duct Cleaning Association; carpet mills; insurance companies and most major franchises. Several years ago, IICRC became an approved standards writing organization by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). We are actively investigating other third-party accreditation organizations for our courses as well. We literally have hundreds of volunteers working on various committees to help reach this objective.
Technology has moved into all facets of life. For those who work in the restoration, remediation, cleaning, and inspection industries, technology has become a significant influence in daily business. Likewise, the needs of IICRC-registrants, either individual or firms, are changing because of this influence. Therefore, Strengthening Technical Proficiency is another major objective of the IICRC LRP. Mike Reed, the instructors and schools chair, and Debbie Campbell, the exams chair, with help from their committee members, have spent hundreds of hours improving the criteria for enhancing each certification category, and reviewing and updating policies and procedures for schools and instructors with more stringent guidelines.
IICRC is a non-profit certification organization founded to set and promote high standards and ethics in the inspection, cleaning, and restoration/remediation service industries. As such, it creates course outlines and exams leading to certification in numerous technical categories. Developing New Certification Categories in Response to Industry Needs is also an objective in the IICRC LRP. In years past, IICRC was considered a cleaning organization only; however, now there are over 28,000 active water-restoration technicians (almost twice as many as carpet cleaning technicians), proving that the focus of the organization has indeed expanded.
As of mid-March, there were more than 4,500 IICRC-certified firms and close to 43,000 IICRC-certified technicians in the IICRC registry. IICRC certifications include carpet, upholstery, rug, and hard-surface cleaning; water and fire restoration; microbial remediation; both hard and soft-surface inspection categories; and odor control, color and carpet repair. Over the years the number of categories has grown tenfold; IICRC now has 21 approved categories, and there are several new ones in the development phase.
According to H. Stanley Jedd, “A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.” Without long range planning, IICRC could not have achieved another one of its objectives: To be the Most Recognized Certification Body for the Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration / Remediation Industry. With your help, active participation and on-going support, we’ll continue to maintain that important status.