IICRC Certification: Certification Options and Benefits Guide August 22, 2017 – Posted in: Blog

What Is the IICRC?

The IICRC is a nonprofit organization that serves more than 25 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, UK, Japan, and more.

IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. It is a certification program and set of standards to facilitate the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industries. The idea is to protect not only the interests of consumers, but also professionals in these industries.

IICRC - Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification

Many restoration, cleaning, and inspection companies require IICRC certifications, and many customers look for these certifications when choosing a company to do work for them. There are various levels and classifications associated with these certifications — for instance, the IICRC Master status, which is awarded as the highest technical designation in the industry. This title is achieved by completing multiple courses within a track. Master designations available include Master Textile Cleaner (MTC), Master Fire and Smoke Restorer (MSR), Master Water Restorer (MWR).

In addition to completing the required courses, Master designations also have experience requirements.

Many will ask: “Do I need to be IICRC certified to work in the restoration industry?”

IICRC certifications set your team up for success, with certifications and training that you deliver high-quality results and instill a certain level of trust in your customer base.

What Does My Business Need to Do to Be IICRC Certified?

There is an application process for getting your business IICRC certified and registered. Before a business can be certified, you need to ensure any and all workers and professionals are certified themselves. There’s more to this than just making sure everyone earns their certification.

Requirements As stated by the IICRC:

Any business that wishes to qualify for IICRC-Certified status, must take several steps to prove they are both trustworthy and reliable. Those include proof of insurance, and proper documentation that shows the education and training requirements for certification have been met by all technicians. In addition, follow-ups and ongoing training must be documented.

Documentation needed to gain IICRC-Certified status

Finally, every business must deploy and maintain a proper customer complaint system – with related policies – that work to address issues as soon as possible and include the proper follow-up documentation.

Let’s break each of those down in more detail.

Offer Continuous Training for Employees and Technicians

You may hire professionals who have already completed the certification programs, or require new hires to complete the courses. In either case, you must provide continuous training and support for your employees and company technicians so they maintain their credentials.

This includes keeping them employed in the field, constantly earning experience, on top of everything else they’re required to do to earn a particular certification.

Maintain Proof of Insurance

An IICRC-certified business not only must provide proof of insurance, but maintain that protection throughout the course of its operating period. This includes retaining and sharing any and all documentation that relates to insurance coverage, as necessary. If a customer or IICRC representative requests proof, the business must provide it.

Have a Written Customer Complaint Policy and Documented Follow-Up

Similar to how the Better Business Bureau works, the IICRC is also invested in customer support and satisfaction. It specifically requires IICRC-certified businesses to create and maintain a proper customer complaint process. Certified businesses must also provide proof and documentation that there was an appropriate follow-up, and that they remedied or addressed any problems. Of course, as with most programs of this nature, the IICRC is also concerned with the timeliness of a response, and it must also be deemed appropriate for the situation.

Adhere to the IICRC’s Code of Ethics

Aside from the aforementioned requirements, a business must also adhere to a strict set of codes as set by the IICRC if they wish to maintain their certified status. These are often referred to as ANSI or IICRC standards, and they explicitly set the standard state of care which should be given by professionals in the industry.

ANSI or IICRC standards a business must adhere to

Before something can be considered a standard, participants have the opportunity to vote and weigh their opinion on the matter. Because of this, the standards are a joint effort or collaboration between the entire organization and community of professionals.

Think of these standards as the industry policing itself. The goal is to ensure that customers are provided the appropriate care and service, while protecting the rights and interests of all participants or professionals.

It’s a healthy and reliable standards process that looks out for the interests of all, as opposed to a single organization, company or group of individuals.

Certification Courses for Restoration Professionals

An IICRC certification s cement a “professional” reputation for your business, allows you to stay competitive and also provides ample support you need to grow.

Depending on the particular certification you are looking for, there are a variety of classes you may need to complete.

There are a number of certification courses offered by the IICRC for restoration, cleaning and inspection professionals. These courses contribute to the different course tracks and designations mentioned above.

Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT)

Abbreviated as WRT, the Water Damage Restoration Technician course is required by several certification tracks. You will need to complete this course to earn Journeyman Water Restorer or Master Water Restorer certification. This course is also a prerequisite for the Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT) course, the Applied Structural Drying Technician (ASD) course, and several others.

This course covers the effects of water damage and techniques for drying affected structures. You need to understand the steps, requirements and equipment necessary to dry a water damaged property and return the property to pre-damage conditions. It also includes dealing with mold and similar health issues that can arise due to heavy moisture in an environment.

This is typically a 3-day course, which includes 19 hours of course time and additional time for exams.

 Applied Structural Drying Technician (ASD)

The prerequisite for this course is the Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT) course. This course covers the effective and efficient drying of water-damaged structures and materials. It includes classroom discussion and hands-on training to professionals make appropriate decisions when dealing with a water-damaged property.

This is typically a 3-day course, which includes 21 hours of course time and additional time for exams.

Water Damage Restoration Technician and Applied Structural Drying Technician Combination Course (WRT/ASD)

The joint course is a combination of the Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT) and Applied Structural Drying Technician (ASD) courses. Both the WRT and ASD exams must be passed to complete this course.

This is typically a 5-day course, which includes 31 hours of course time and additional time for exams.

Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT)

The Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT) course is required to become either a Journeyman Fire and Smoke Restorer or Master Fire and Smoke Restorer. This course covers technical procedures and recommended approaches used when restoring a fire- and smoke-damaged structure.

This is typically a 2-day course, which includes 14 hours of course time and additional time for exams.

FSRT course explanation

Health and Safety Technician (HST)

This course can you increase workplace safety and reduce the chance of being penalized for unsafe conditions or practices. It includes dealing with OSHA standards, the appropriate equipment, hazardous materials and chemicals, and dealing with bloodborne pathogens. In addition to being a required course for Master Fire and Smoke Restorer (MSR) and Master Water Restorer (MWR) designations, it can also be a valuable asset to show your insurance company and potential customers.

This is typically a 2-day course, which includes 14 hours of course time and additional time for exams.

Building Moisture Thermography (BMT)

The Building Moisture Thermography (BMT) course covers thermography as it pertains to water damage, restoration, mold remediation, indoor air quality inspection, and more. It’s a highly scientific course that provides additional training on the use and application of thermodynamics, the use of infrared camera equipment for infrared radiation (IR) inspection, and the principles of psychrometry.

This is typically a 2-day course, which includes 14 hours of course time and additional time for exams.

Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT)

To participate in this course you must have completed the Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT) course (or the WRT/ASD combination course), including passing the exam. Mold and sewage remediation requires a very particular skill set and set of actions. This course will cover all the necessary aspects in the restoration of a property or home associated with microbial issues like mold or sewage contamination.

This is typically a 4-day course, which includes 28 hours of course time and additional time for exams.

Applied Microbial Remediation Technician course requirements

Commercial Drying Specialist (CDS)

To participate in this course you must have completed the Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT) course (or the WRT/ASD combination course), including passing the exam. Commercial drying jobs often involve more hazardous conditions and materials than residential projects. While this course is not intended to be a health and safety course, it will professionals to evaluate and assess commercial water-damaged structures in order to safely and effectively remediate the damage.

In addition to completing this course, professionals are encouraged to review their local/regional safety rules and regulations and complete appropriate safety training programs, such as the OSHA 10-hour course.

Hazardous conditions Commercial Drying Specialists experience

Because of this particular field’s requirements and the common environment professionals will be working in, commercial drying deals with extremely hazardous and unsafe conditions. This includes things like high-voltage machinery and equipment, hazardous chemicals and heavy, dangerous tools. This course is usually accompanied by health and safety requirements to ensure everyone has the appropriate training background.

If you would like to see a more complete and comprehensive list of required courses and their descriptions, visit the official IICRC website.

Benefits of Being IICRC Certified

There are a number of benefits of being an IICRC-certified professional or business. The training and accompanying designations can cement your company’s reputation and your client base to grow.

Industry-Specific Training and Safety

Because the business and related professionals are certified by widely accepted industry standards, customers can rest assured anyone working on their home or property has the appropriate knowledge and skills to do the work. This is extremely important because it also means they have had the appropriate training and are aware of the necessary safety precautions for both workers and building occupants.

IICRC certification assures customers that anyone working on their home or property has the appropriate knowledge and skills.

Hiring and IICRC certified professional, or requiring certification post-hiring, can ensure that your entire crew understands necessary safety standards and precautions in order to keep everyone involved safe and prevent expensive mistakes that can extend projects and cost your company money.

Customer Trust

Because your business and employees are certified, customers will place a higher level of trust in you and the work you do. This is one of the reasons why IICRC standards and codes are so effective. By maintaining consistent standards and expectations, IICRC-certified businesses are considered to be more credible and respected in the industry.

IICRC Database of Certified Professionals

IICRC certified businesses are eligible to be listed in the organization’s official database of certified professionals. Customers can search this database when they are looking for trustworthy professionals. It’s a community where customers and potential clients will go to find recommendations and contractors.

Business Relationships and Networking Opportunities

Due to the nature of the community behind the IICRC, you will also be able to build relationships and collaborative efforts with other brands and companies. This can provide valuable networking opportunities and open up new doors for you.

You can build relationships and collaboration efforts with other brands through the community behind the IICRC.

Benefits to Consumers

The IICRC provides a number of benefits to consumers as well. The rigid standards are developed by the industry’s top professionals and evolve as necessary with new information and technology. Customers know they can trust the organization and associated companies and professionals.

Certified Technicians Have Standardized Training

Since IICRC-certified technicians and businesses must all earn the equivalent credentials, customers know they can trust who they hire.

Customers can hire a team and trust that everyone has the knowledge and skills to get the job done safely and effectively. This is important because contractors and organizations could essentially hire anyone to do the work, even without the appropriate training.

For obvious reasons, that could cause many problems not just for the business, but the customer, especially if someone were to get hurt on the job site.

Continuous Learning and Training Are Required to Stay Certified

In some industries, earning a certification is a one-time event. That means even if you leave the industry and your skills become rusty without experience, you can still return years later without refreshing necessary skills. This scenario presents a dangerous precedent that allows nearly anyone to practice a particular line of work, even without updated training.

The inspection, cleaning and restoration industries are constantly changing, and continuous training is what allows professionals to stay on the cutting edge of that change and complete quality works safely.

IICRC Certified Businesses Must Carry Insurance

For all businesses, insurance is a necessary part of the operation. If something happens on the job, insurance s ensure the team, the customer, and the property are properly protected.

Insurance is a necessary part of operation for all businesses.

Because every IICRC-certified company must provide proof of insurance, customers know coverage is not a concern in the event of an unforeseen accident.

IICRC-Certified Professionals Adhere to a Strict Ethics Code and Have a System for Handling and Resolving Customer Complaints

Customers need reassurance that if and when there is a problem, it will be remedied appropriately and promptly. All IICRC certified businesses have an effective and trustworthy way to process and resolve any customer complaints.

In the end, IICRC certification courses for professionals and businesses serve as a way to protect any and all parties involved in a related job. It ensures the professionals doing the work have the proper training and safety knowledge. It also ensures they meet other requirements that protect the business and the customer, such as carrying the proper insurance.

The IICRC standards and codes adhered to by the community of the inspection, cleaning and restoration professionals have power because they require strict adherence and are constantly updated by professionals working within the industry. These standards keep both professionals and consumers in these industries safe.