A certified workforce

NRCA ProCertification™ is poised to begin accepting applications from installers and foremen

In September, NRCA launched the beginning efforts of NRCA ProCertification,™ the first industry-wide effort to certify roofing workers and foremen. But before we can begin to certify workers, we must identify a group of people who can properly assess those workers: Qualified Assessors.

Qualified Assessors will be charged with evaluating how a roofing worker completes specific tasks that demonstrate the worker's skill and competency in the discipline in which the worker is seeking a certification (for example, asphalt shingles, thermoplastic systems).

Qualified Assessors will have to meet eligibility requirements, complete online training and take a proctored exam before earning the designation. Writing and preparing exams for Qualified Assessors is tough work. NRCA's certification team (staff and volunteer leaders) determined Qualified Assessors must be able to identify when a worker makes a mistake, and NRCA must imbed in the exams mistakes a Qualified Assessor candidate must find.

Think about that for a minute. This is something that has never been done! Not only did the team need examples of correctly installed roofing materials but they also needed examples of workers incorrectly installing roofing materials. And then on top of that, all exams and supporting documents needed to be translated into Spanish.

Our certification team led by NRCA Vice President John Schehl is creating a robust program out of nothing. And they are accomplishing the task with high quality and a terrific level of enthusiasm. Getting it right is more important than getting it done quickly. It's been hard, rewarding work. The team has worked long hours and accomplished a lot.

But the certification team cannot do its work without the support and encouragement of NRCA members. Roofing contractors, manufacturers and distributors all have contributed countless hours to shape and form NRCA ProCertification policies and procedures, develop exam content and test several elements. For example, NRCA member Raincoat Roofing, Broadview, Ill., donated about 80 man-hours of skilled workers to help develop exam videos and pilot hands-on performance exams. In addition, NRCA member Sutter Roofing Co. of Florida, Sarasota, spent hours reviewing photos and staging photos of its crews to be used in preparation and exam documents.

In addition, several One Voice members contributed countless hours of their staffs' time to participate in piloting the Qualified Assessor training program.

Our first certifications for roofing workers are clearly in sight. Soon, you will be able to have your installers and foremen certified in thermoplastic systems and asphalt shingle installation. The exams will be conducted in English and Spanish. If you have concerns about your workers' literacy, every installer online test will be fully narrated in English and Spanish. Applications for installers and foremen will be available by the end of the year.

NRCA will be releasing more information soon; meanwhile, visit www.nrca.net/procertification, call (866) ASK-NRCA (275-6722) and ask for NRCA's Certification Department, or email certification@nrca.net.

Reid Ribble is NRCA's CEO.

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