- THE MAGAZINE
Last month I discussed the many relationships that IICRC has developed over the years. This month I would like to key in on one of them.
Recently, the IICRC became a member of the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). The board of directors feels that this will be a very good relationship for both organizations. The CRI represents a little more than 90% of the carpet mills in the United States, and by working with them more closely, the IICRC will have both a better understanding of the problems that the mills have, and the mills will have a better understanding of the trials and tribulations that we face. Perhaps after learning more about their problems, we can come up with some ways to answer their problems.
We have already been asked to work with them through their School Facility Managers Conference. There will be eight conferences put on throughout the U.S. this year. The CRI is targeting many of the different schools that are considering removing carpet from their facilities. They are presenting the concept of maintaining the complete environment of the school building.
There are three primary speakers: Dr. Alan Hedge, Dr. Michael Berry and Dr. Bill Smith. Doctors. Hedge and Berry speak on the building as a complete environment; and Dr. Smith is a school facility manager from Florida who addresses the issues he faces and how he fixes them. Usually the fourth speaker, who is also a member of the CRI, is someone from the cleaning and maintenance industry.
Representing the IICRC at the Texas conference, I discussed the value of a proper maintenance plan and how to build one for the school facilities. We have had a booth at all the conferences, where we hand out our standards and promote the use of IICRC Certified Firms as the facility’s outside contractor. In our discussions with the attendees, they have been very happy to learn of the IICRC and feel that standards will be helpful in solving some of their problems. Various school representatives, as well as state health officials, have attended these conferences.
Another area that we have been working with the CRI is on the “Seal of Approval Program.” There seems to be a lot of confusion about this program. The purpose of the program is to enable consumers to identify companies dedicated to customer satisfaction—those willing to ensure their satisfaction with carpet as an installed product. The program is not a certification program and will not take the place of any other educational programs. The Seal of Approval Program is designed to insure that professional carpet manufacturers, carpet fiber manufacturers, carpet cushion manufacturers, carpet installation equipment suppliers, carpet retailers, carpet installers, and carpet cleaners have, and can demonstrate, some basic knowledge of carpet cleaning procedures. The program enhances other educational programs. An open-book exam is given at the end of the course. The instructors and schools of the course must pass certain criteria to teach the course. To my knowledge, within two years of passing the exam, the technician must take further education courses, such as an IICRC, Bane-Clene, or other course approved by the CRI. A representative from the IICRC has been invited to sit on the Seal of Approval Committee to help continue working on this program. I certainly look forward to working on this committee as well as any other committees that we are invited to work with.
As you can see, this is a very positive relationship. This is the first time that we are working as a member with the CRI. This can only be a win-win situation for both organizations.