Behind the IICRC Certification: The IICRC Organization
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC)(1) is neither a training institute nor an employee union; instead, it is a non-profit organization that offers industry certifications to professionals within the restoration services industry. Members of this industry include carpet and rug cleaners, odor control specialists, water damage restorers and mold remediation professionals, upholstery cleaners, and master fire and smoker restorers.
Since the organization does not operate any training programs, there are no actual IICRC courses available. Instead, industry professionals rely on the organization’s accreditation of existing schools, courses, and instructors. At the time of this article, the IICRC recognized 139 instructors and sixty-six schools.
There are twenty-three different IICRC certification skills in the United States:
- AMRT: Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
- AMRS: Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist
- ASD: Applied Structural Drying Technician
- CCT: Carpet Cleaning Technician
- CMT: Commercial Carpet Maintenance Technician
- CRT: Color Repair Technician
- CTI: Ceramic Tile Inspector
- FCT: Floor Care (Hard Surfaces) Technician
- HST: Health and Safety Technician
- ISSI: Introduction to Substrate Subfloor Inspection
- LCT: Leather Cleaning Technician
- MSI: Marble and Stone Inspector
- OCT: Odor Control Technician
- RFI: Resilient Flooring Inspector
- RFMT: Resilient Floor Maintenance Technician
- RCT: Rug Cleaning Technician
- RRT: Carpet Repair and Reinstallation Technician
- SMT: Stone, Masonry and Ceramic Tile Cleaning Technician
- SPI: Carpet Inspector
- SRT: Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
- UFT: Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning Technician
- WLFI: Wood Laminate Flooring Inspector
- WRT: Water Damage Restoration Technician
Recognized schools may teach certification classes in more than one skill. For example, the TM Cleaning & Restoration Schools in Round Rock, Texas teaches certification courses in CCT, OCT, SRT and WRT. Other schools may specialize in only one certification such as water damage restoration.
Prior to seeking out one or more certifications, professional may need to obtain prerequisite certifications first. For example, before being eligible to earn the RCT (Rug Cleaning Technician), the professional must first obtain a CCT or CMT as well as the UFT.
Earning an IICRC Certification: Online or Offline?
The current training catalog(2) showcases that the coursework is designed to be held offline. Due to the hands-on nature of the subject matter, this makes sense. For example, WRT and ASD combination classes are taught as intensive five-day courses. CCT coursework can be covered in just one day.
It is noteworthy that the IICRC makes the concession that if an industry professional cannot find a particular class in her/his area, s/he should contact some of the approved schools and see if the instructors there might be able to offer further assistance.
Beyond Initial Certification: Continuing Education
Professionals with one or more certifications must keep their status current by obtaining a continuing education certification. One-day courses earn one CEC while two-day (or multiple-day classes) earn two CECs. Examples of these classes may be found at Steamatic(3), an IICRC approved school. In 2010, the service provider offers continuing education in disaster recovery, dehumidification, and water damage restoration.
It is noteworthy that continuing education classes may be found and taken online. For example, the IICRC gave the Professional Home Inspection Institute’s certified mold remediation course its approval with respect to counting as CECs. The cost of taking this online class is $350 as of 2010. It gives the student two CECs in cleaning and restoration, another two in the inspection field, and one CEC in AMRT studies.
This recognition makes it convenient for the professional with an initial certification earned in person to maintain this status with IICRC online classes even if s/he should set up shop far away from recognized training providers. IICRC certification online is, therefore, a great option for maintaining professional status in the field.