ICS Magazine

The IICRC Certified Firm Program

July 12, 2004
The IICRC Certified Firm Program is by far the most unique in the industry. It is also the most underrated.

Ed Hobbs, certified firms committee chair, and his predecessor, Peter Masi, have turned certified-firm status into a privilege. Certified firms are required to maintain business and tax licenses, liability insurance, workers' compensation insurance, and certifications and continuing education for technicians in all the disciplines they provide.

With estimated referral revenues in excess of $15 million, for a company that employs IICRC certified technicians, the certified firm program is the best value around. Today there are about 3,500 IICRC-certified firms, along with some 28,000 certified technicians.

The IICRC promotes the program in a variety of ways. Through the IICRC Referral Network, certified firms can be accessed immediately. The IICRC actively promotes certified firms to consumers, retailers, carpet and upholstery manufacturers, insurance companies, interior designers, and various legislative bodies.

Promotional materials, including the IICRC registered trademark, consumer brochures, restoration brochures and educational articles produced by the IICRC marketing committee, are available only to certified firms. The IICRC is represented at more than 20 trade shows and conventions each year, including shareholder associations, insurance-industry conventions and other industry-related groups. Promotion through trade magazines like ICS continues to grow. Newspaper articles and radio spots targeted at consumers concerning cleaning and restoration related topics are released by the IICRC's public relations firm Fletcher, Martin, Ewing almost weekly, with one recent release reaching more than 36 million people in 33 states. Matte releases for exclusive use by certified firms are available for publication in local newspapers.

We have industry experts available to present programs on a variety of cleaning, restoration and installation related topics to qualifying industry organizations. IICRC Technical Advisor Jeff Bishop represents us daily to the consumer, the media, and all related industries, spending upwards of 30 hours a week promoting the IICRC. The IICRC recently ran a series of workshops around the country, promoting the recently released S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation. The development, revision, and publication of our industry consensus standards, such as S100, S300, S500 and S520, is an ongoing process. IICRC consultant Larry Cooper, along with Barry Costa and his Standards Committee, spend countless hours working to improve and promote our standards.

The IICRC newsletter, published and distributed three times annually to registrants and industry related partners, helps us reach out to new industries and create more new business opportunities for certified firms. Web-based training has been available for some time, enabling technicians to acquire Continuing Education Credits (CEC). In the future, I can see other forms of education being made available, including certification via the Internet. IICRC E-Media Chairman Cliff Grost has made great progress in this direction in a few short months.

Every IICRC volunteer works very hard to promote the organization everyday. That dedication helps make the IICRC Certified Firm Program one of a kind.