Certifying the industry

NRCA ProCertification™ will revolutionize the roofing industry

After four years of research, planning and development, NRCA is proud to announce the launch of NRCA ProCertification, its national certification initiative designed to create a competent, sustainable and high-performing roofing industry workforce.

Using a series of assessments, NRCA will certify workers and issue verifiable professional certifications. The first of 18 total certification offerings, the following industry NRCA ProCertifications are available in English and Spanish: NRCA ProCertified™ Asphalt Shingles Installer, NRCA ProCertified Thermoplastic Systems Installer and NRCA ProCertified Roofing Foreman.

Certification benefits

According to Reid Ribble, NRCA's CEO, NRCA ProCertification will play a key role in advancing the roofing industry's professionalism by establishing an industry workforce with credentials that inspire confidence among customers.

"NRCA ProCertification certifies tradespeople who have the knowledge, skills and experience to be designated as true professionals in our industry," Ribble says. "Consumers, manufacturers, contractors, government agencies, insurance bodies and others will be able to independently verify a worker on a job site has been trained and tested for the job he or she has been hired to do. This is a revolutionary development."

Enhanced customer confidence can translate into increased sales and referrals, and the additional benefits for companies that employ certified workers are impressive.

Rudy Gutierrez, president and CEO of SHELL Roofing Solutions, Chino, Calif., recognizes the positive effect certified workers can have on the quality of roof system installations.

"A certified roof system installer will make fewer mistakes and have a higher degree of accuracy during roof system installations," Gutierrez says. "These workers deliver the highest-quality results for customers."

A reputable company with professional, certified workers that routinely provides excellent workmanship for customers likely is an attractive employer for potential employees. By certifying its workforce, an employer demonstrates its commitment to its employees' futures. NRCA ProCertification provides the opportunity for workers to be recognized for the skills and expertise they've worked hard to develop while giving employers an opportunity to offer a clear career path to anyone potentially interested in entering the roofing industry—something the industry has lacked until now.

Rich Nugent, CEO of Nations Roof LLC, Mobile, Ala., recognizes how NRCA ProCertification can help employers present roofing work as a viable career option.

"Not everyone is cut out for college whether it be because of the high cost or a lack of interest," Nugent says. "The roofing industry offers a great alternative, and NRCA ProCertification gives men and women solid career opportunities where they can earn a good living and invest in themselves rather than heaping on debt. We know what a great industry this is, and we need to be proud of it and communicate its benefits loudly to attract people into roofing."

Of course, new recruits still will have to learn and practice roof system installation techniques before they are ready to earn certifications, but the promise of professional development opportunities can be appealing to those looking for a rewarding career.

For experienced roof system installers who are ready to earn recognition of their skills and knowledge, NRCA ProCertified Asphalt Shingles Installer and NRCA ProCertified Thermoplastic Systems Installer are the first opportunities to do so.

Roof system installers

Earning an NRCA ProCertification roof system installer certification demonstrates an individual knows the correct way to install a specific type of roof system and verifies his or her professionalism.

First, roof system installers must meet eligibility requirements, which vary for each roof system discipline. All roof system installer certifications require an installer to have adequate safety knowledge and roofing experience.

To be eligible for the NRCA ProCertified Asphalt Shingles Installer certification, a roof system installer must have at least 18 months' experience installing asphalt shingle roof systems, some of which must have occurred within the past 12 months, and experience installing flashings, valleys and various shingle types.

To be eligible for the NRCA ProCertified Thermoplastic Systems Installer certification, a roof system installer must have at least 24 months' experience installing thermoplastic roof systems, some of which must have occurred within the past 12 months, and experience with sheet layout, membrane attachment and flashing installation.

A roof system installer also must submit a current employer's signed attestation that the candidate has successfully performed several key tasks during his or her experience. Once an installer has proved his or her eligibility, certification is achieved in two steps. An installer first must pass a proctored online exam to demonstrate his or her knowledge of the roof system for which he or she seeks certification. The online exam has between 60 and 80 multiple-choice questions and is offered at NRCA-approved testing centers throughout the U.S. After successful completion of the written exam, the installer must schedule and pass a hands-on performance exam while being observed by an NRCA Qualified Assessor who will assess the installer's applied knowledge and skills. (To learn more about Qualified Assessors, see below.) A certification then is issued after the installer passes the hands-on exam.

The fee for a roof system installer certification is $799 for an NRCA member and $1,599 for a nonmember. The fee includes one attempt at the online exam. The fee for retaking the online exam is $199 for a member and $399 for a nonmember. The fee for taking the hands-on exam is negotiated with the NRCA Qualified Assessor proctoring the exam.

Roofing foremen

NRCA ProCertified Roofing Foreman is the third certification currently available. The NRCA ProCertified Roofing Foreman certification is issued with a roof system-specific designation. A roofing foreman seeking certification must prove he or she has enough experience and working knowledge of specific roof system installation practices and industry safety practices to recognize when an installer is not following manufacturers' requirements and/or violating a safety regulation(s).

A roofing foreman can demonstrate he or she meets the eligibility requirements by either achieving an NRCA ProCertification roof system installer certification for the roof system in which he or she wants to be designated or having at least two years' experience as a roofing foreman overseeing installation of the roof system in which he or she wants to be designated.

In addition, a supervisor must confirm in writing he or she has observed the roofing foreman consistently responds to safety and quality violations in a timely manner; motivates installers; models professional behavior; and demonstrates effective leadership.

Once a roofing foreman has proved his or her eligibility, he or she must pass an online exam given at an NRCA-approved testing center. The exam features general questions about safety, job quality, productivity and customer service, as well as questions about the specific roof system for which the roofing foreman is seeking certification. A certification is issued after the roofing foreman passes the exam.

The fee for a roofing foreman certification is $1,199 for an NRCA member and $2,399 for a nonmember. The fee is for one roof system type and includes one attempt at the online exam. Each additional roof system type is $379 for a member and $759 for a nonmember. The fee for retaking the online exam is $199 for a member and $399 for a nonmember.

More to come

Every candidate who passes the necessary exams and achieves certification will receive a digital badge that can be displayed on social media and/or a website and/or printed on a business card and two weather-resistant decals for displaying his or her badge, as well as a laminated photo ID wallet card containing a QR code that others can use to verify the credential electronically.

NRCA ultimately will create certifications for all major roof, waterproofing and rooftop photovoltaic system installations, plus roof system repair and maintenance. There will be 18 certifications—15 disciplines for roof system installers, one for roofing foremen, and two for service and maintenance personnel.

NRCA encourages industry employers to take advantage of the initiative to certify employees, recruit new workers and elevate the industry to a level of professionalism never before obtained. For more information and to apply for NRCA ProCertification, go to www.nrca.net/NRCA-ProCertification.

Sara Baldwin is Professional Roofing's editorial assistant.

Qualified Assessors

NRCA ProCertification™ Qualified Assessors serve as performance exam proctors for candidates seeking installation certifications. Qualified Assessors evaluate and verify NRCA ProCertification participants' hands-on skills; they are the only people qualified to schedule and conduct hands-on NRCA ProCertification performance exams.

NRCA Qualified Assessors are uniquely qualified to serve as proctors by meeting eligibility requirements, completing three self-paced online training modules and passing a proctored online exam offered at an NRCA-approved testing center located throughout the U.S. Qualified Assessors can represent various sectors of the roofing industry, including manufacturers, distributors, consultants, contractors and other roofing professionals. A Qualified Assessor cannot proctor exams for employees from his or her own company or subcontracted employees.

The benefits of achieving NRCA ProCertification Qualified Assessor status are significant. Qualified Assessors can expand their current businesses by being available to assess NRCA ProCertification candidates; gain access to NRCA ProCertification materials, including educational content, resources, documents, manuals, policies and procedures, and testing locations; receive professional recognition and Qualified Assessor digital badge certificates from NRCA; and become experts in all aspects of NRCA ProCertification.

For more information, call (866) ASK-NRCA (275-6722) and ask for NRCA's Certification Department, go to www.nrca.net/nrca-pro-qualified-assessors or email QAsupport@nrca.net.

Frequently asked questions

Why is certification important?
Earning certifications sets workers apart by proving they know how to do their jobs the right way. Professional certifications can help advance an industry by creating career paths, elevating professionalism and increasing customer confidence.

How many certifications can a roof system installer earn? How many designations can a roofing foreman earn?
A roof system installer may earn a certification in each roof system for which he or she qualifies, and a roofing foreman may earn a designation in each roof system for which he or she qualifies.

Are there training programs available?
Although NRCA ProCertification™ is not a training program, NRCA University is developing curriculua for training new industry workers that will be available later this year.

Are study materials available?
A candidate handbook and Job Task Analysis—that outlines the knowledge and skills needed to earn certification—are available for each certification. The Job Task Analysis documents can be found in the appendixes of each handbook. The Roof System Installer Handbook is available at www.nrca.net/nrca-pro-certification-roof-system-installers. The Roofing Foreman Handbook is available at www.nrca.net/nrca-pro-certification-roofing-foreman-process.

What if a certification candidate cannot read well?
Roof system installer certification online exams are available in an audio option in English and Spanish, and a candidate may choose to use headphones provided by the testing center. Roofing foreman certification exams do not have an audio option.

How long does it take to be certified?
After a roof system installer's application is approved, the time it takes to successfully complete the online and hands-on exams is about six to eight weeks. After a roofing foreman's application is approved, the time it takes to successfully complete the online exam is about four weeks. The time estimates are best-case scenarios and will vary based on a candidate's schedule and, in the case of roof system installers, availability of NRCA Qualified Assessors.

How much does it cost to become certified?
The fee for a roof system installer certification is $799 for an NRCA member and $1,599 for a nonmember. The fee for taking the hands-on exam is negotiated with the Qualified Assessor proctoring the exam. The fee for a roofing foreman certification is $1,199 for an NRCA member and $2,399 for a nonmember.

How long are certifications valid?
Roof system installer certifications and the roofing foreman certification must be renewed for a fee every three years. Renewal requirements include continuing to work in the role and completing training in topics related to the certification's Job Task Analysis.


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