Archive for July, 2015

Is Training Really Necessary?

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Abita Springs, LA

Some people our industry view training as unnecessary.  Whether initial training or continuing education training, they view any legislation regarding licensing “unnecessarily burdening” if it includes a requirement for training, either in the field or in the classroom.  This seems to ignore some pretty important reasons for training.

“When I was working as a Roofing Contractor in the State of Florida, the rules and regulations, along with the Building Codes changed on a regular basis,” proclaimed Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI.  “Hurricanes and other wind events required the administrators of these rules to review them on a regular basis and make changes to the regulations as they needed.  Frankly, had I not been required to take 14 hours of continuing education every year for my license, I would still be nailing every single with three nails instead of five!  It’s cheaper and, after all, it was good enough for my Dad!”

The mold industry is very dynamic.  New chemicals are being developed every year that are less toxic and more eco-friendly.  New air scrubbing techniques have been produced which are less expensive and more effective.  The understanding of symptoms related to building illnesses is ever expanding as is the medical world beginning to link health concerns with indoor environmental issues.  How would a mold professional be incentivized to stay up with this trend if they aren’t required to do so?  Realistically, there is little incentive.

Many professionals come into this mold industry with little or no field experience.   They see an opportunity to make a lot of money but don’t have the skills or knowledge to complete projects expeditiously and economically.  The legal industry is jammed with lawsuits against incompetent and untrained contractors who hold themselves out to the public as “certified” when they got their certification through an online agency without having taken a single class.

The State of Florida is setting the standard in the industry for Mold Assessment and Mold Remediation.  There is little doubt that they have written a solid licensing law which requires both initial training and continuing education for its licensees.  Washington DC has followed their lead and, we suspect, more States will.  Louisiana, the first state to put a licensing law in place, requires 24 hours of training with an additional 4 hours of Law and Business Ethics.  Frankly, how else would a professional understand his legal obligations to the citizens of the state without such training?

We encourage all legislators who are considered licensing this industry to take a good close look at the elements of the licensing law they are requiring.  Require certifications from good, competent and credible certifying agencies who, in their certifications, require some level of training and field experience.  The public is relying on your expertise to protect them from the incompetent, untrained contractor who, just yesterday, was working as an unlicensed handyman.

For more information on the licensing requirements in your state or for information on NORMI, contact us at 877.251.2296 or support@normi.org