RIA Water Loss Specialist (WLS) Advanced Pillar Designation

Water Damage Specialist Certification

Restoration Industry Association (RIA)'s Water Loss Specialist (WLS) Advanced Pillar Designation is one of the four pillars of the enhanced Certified Restorer (CR) program

WLS incorporates a wide variety of vetted industry-related courses representing the four major Domains of Knowledge as part of its pre-requisite course requirements. Like all RIA advanced certification programs, the WLS includes a rigorous course of self-study, combined with live instruction from well-known industry leaders. 

With the completion of this 3-day course, you will be granted 19.5 CEC credits. 


Step 1: Meet Pre-Qualifying Requirements (Education & Work Experience)

  • High school diploma or equivalent education; OR active RIA CMP or CR Certification
  • Five (5) years of verifiable work experience or three (3) of verifiable supervisory experience (Experience can include: restoration worker, project supervisor, estimator, consultant, inspector, restoration company manager, facility manager, restoration instructor)

Step 2: Complete the Water Loss Specialist Prerequisite Courses

All 2022 candidates and beyond have 30-days prior to the course to complete the required prerequisites in order to become certified. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@restorationindustry.org for upcoming course offerings and assistance. 

To be eligible to receive the WLS certification, candidates must complete the course requirements in each of the following domains. A certificate of completion will be required as verification that each domain requirement has been satisfied.


Prerequisite Courses

Domain #1
Basic Skills in Water Damage Restoration

(minimum of 12 contact hours)
Domain #2
Hands on Water Damage, Restoration & Drying Training

(minimum of 18 contact hours)
Domain #3
Microbial Remediation

(minimum of 18 contact hours)

Domain #4
Health & Safety Training

(minimum of 12 contact hours)

Domain #5
Building Science

(minimum of 7 contact hours)
Domain #6
Project Management & Commercial Loss
Training (minimum of 12 contact hours)

Step 3: Take the WLS Prep Course and Exam

Candidates must apply and register for the WLS Prep Course & Exam. Be prepared to upload the following documents with your application:

  • Resume
  • Prerequisite certificates of completion for each domain (if you have completed any at this time)
  • Letter of Recommendation (from immediate Supervisor)

This is the final course for those pursuing their RIA advanced certification, the Water Loss Specialist, and incorporates lectures, specialized presentations from subject matter experts in their field, case studies and group study work.

Step 4: Complete the WLS Formal Report 

Bring a draft of your Formal Report to the WLS Course and receive immediate guidance and advice. Finalize your Formal Report within 180 days of completing the course.

Reference Documents