RIA Advance Certifications Improve the Industry and You
Certifications are one vital way restoration professionals can continue to improve their skills and demonstrate their commitment to a higher industry standard. The Restoration Industry Association (RIA) provides education that helps you earn or maintain a variety of advanced certifications, including:
Why Get Certified?
Earning a certification shows that a professional has been properly trained and has extensive knowledge in a dedicated area, such as water loss (with the Water Loss Specialist certification) or mold restoration (with the Certified Mold Professional credential). Completing the education courses and passing the related exam demonstrate proficiency in that area, as well as a commitment to meeting a higher standard of work. In a competitive industry, certifications often separate those who are working at a higher level from all the others.
One RIA member says that the Water Loss Specialist (WLS) certification benefited not only them but the business as well.
“Both me and our business have benefited from this certification.,” they said. “They are great marketing tools, especially to have high-level certifications on board. The training department benefits from the certificates as well.”
The same RIA members also wanted to further their education in the industry and be more qualified, which allowed them to be more capable at their job and help more customers.
Beyond that, the continuing education required to maintain certifications ensures that professionals carrying the credential are current on the latest techniques, tools, and guidance that inform the safety and efficacy of restoration work. Professionals who commit to earning and maintaining certifications commit to being at the forefront of the restoration industry.
How Certifications Work
Earning a certification is a process. While it isn’t easy, it is attainable by dedicated restoration professionals who are committed to advancing their knowledge and career.
To be eligible to pursue certification, an applicant must first meet some qualifying requirements, such as education and work experience, and is required to take prerequisite courses. After completing the prerequisite courses, applicants register for the certification training course and exam. Once they have completed the training course and have passed the certification exam, applicants submit a formal report as the last step in the process. The report is reviewed and, if approved, the applicant earns the certification.
The New Fire Loss Specialist Advanced Certification Program
The Fire Loss Specialist Advanced Certification Program (FLS) is the newest of the four pillars of the enhanced Certified Restorer program provided by the RIA.
RIA saw the demand for specialized education and developed an advanced fire restoration course for those who are looking to advance their career and to become a recognized expert in Fire Loss.
While there are many technical courses and certifications that will allow one to become a Master Fire and Smoke Restorer, there hasn’t been a course that addresses the specific contracts, ethics, project management, report writing, and consulting in the discipline of fire damage. The FLS covers those subjects and many more.
Registration is open now for all of those who are interested in this new certification program at www.restorationindustry.org.
Benefits to Professionals
In addition to advancing expertise, earning and maintaining certifications can be a valuable marketing tool for businesses.
Consumers’ growing awareness of the significance of professional certifications, along with the increased scrutiny on the legitimacy of contractors, helps certified restorers stand out in the industry and earn consumers’ confidence. National media and trusted resources for homeowners, consistently cover the pitfalls of hiring uncertified contractors while promoting the importance of hiring certified professionals. As consumers become more educated about their options, they are more likely to seek out certified professionals.
After earning a certification, professionals may use the related credential with their name and promote the certification on their company website and in other communications. This helps to raise consumer awareness of the professional standard and also sets them apart from the competition.
Another RIA member recommends RIA’s certification training courses because it helps professionals and their companies overall.
“I absolutely recommend the courses,” they said. “I recommended it today in my training class. It will only help their career, their company goals, and our customers. Our industry needs leaders, and RIA helps develop them.”
Earning and maintaining professional certification has benefits beyond career and knowledge advancement—it elevates the industry as a whole and serves as a valuable marketing tool for your business.