RIA Advanced Pillar Designations


Considered the premiere designations within the restoration industry, the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) oversees a variety of advanced restoration designation programs. The RIA advanced pillar designations help you stand apart as an expert in specific areas of loss.

Once you complete the four pillar programs (Fire Loss Specialist (FLS), Water Loss Specialist (WLS), Content Loss Specialist (CLS), and Environmental Risk Specialist (ERS) you may apply for the RIA master certification - the Certified Restorer (CR). Membership in RIA is not a requirement of certification. 

RIA certificants agree to:

  • Comply with the RIA's Code of Conduct
  • Comply with trademark infringement policies
  • Maintain continuing education credits
  • Submit payment of their certification renewal fee every three years. 

RIA Advanced Designations

Restoration Industry Association Certified Restorer (CR)

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Fire Damage Specialist

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Water Damage Specialist

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Restoration Industry Association Content Loss Specialist (CLS)

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Maintaining Your Restoration Certification

Once you become certified, you must maintain your certification. Upon formal notification from RIA, Certificants begin their 3-year certification cycle, which runs on the calendar year. Example: The 3-year certification cycle for a professional who becomes certified in October 2018 would run from July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2022. 

By taking a 3-day RIA Pillar Designation Course, you can obtain 19.5 CEC credits. 

Step 1: Obtain Continuing Education Credits

Certificants must actively pursue ongoing professional development through educational coursework, attendance at industry-related events, association involvement, presentations, mentoring, and more. 

  • Certificants are required to maintain a total of 48 continuing education contact hours within their three-year certification cycle.
  • All CEC activity must be documented.
    (Examples: attendance certificates, paid receipts with course brochure, copy of ID badge with class description)
  • All CECs must be obtained within the three-year cycle. 
  • CEC contact hours exceeding the CEC hour requirements within a 3-year cycle cannot be “carried over” into the next certification cycle.

Step 2: Renew Your Certification

3-Year Certification Cycle
Certificants are responsible for submitting the CEC documentation and paying their certification renewal dues in accordance with their 3-year certification cycle.

Multiple Certifications 
If you hold multiple pillar designations, the newly gained certification will automatically be placed on the same certification cycle as the currently held certification(s). Starting with the June 30, 2019 renewal window, the renewal date of the CR would determine the renewal date for all earned certifications moving forward. For dual certificates with no CR, the default renewal date will become that of the first attained certification. Moving forward, all new dual, triple, or quadruple certifications will assume the certification renewal date of the first attained certification.

Required CEs and Fees for RIA Advanced Designations
The number of CEs required and the fee required at renewal is contingent upon the number of RIA Advanced Designations achieved – CMP, WLS, FLS, ERS, CLS, CR. 

CEC Submission & Renewal Tracking Form

Questions About Renewing Your Restoration Certification? Contact the RIA Helpdesk!

The RIA Helpdesk will assist you with:

  • Renewal Invoices
  • Account Updates
  • Continuing Education Credit Awards
  • Exam Results
  • Exam Retesting
  • Research Paper/Formal Report

Your dedicated Customer Service Representative is:
Mona Gaspar

Contact the Help desk

Additional Certification Reference Documents