- Sep 4, 2007
- Real Name
- Robert Allen III 'Tre'
- Business Location
- United States
Truck Mount Forums Exclusive Interview with Paul Pearce IICRC President!!
1)Paul Pearce, could you give us a short bio about yourself?
I have been on the IICRC Board for 12 years, worked in the industry since 1973. I own and operate my own carpet cleaning business, work as an inspector/consultant, teach CCT, CCMT and UFT certification classes, serve as technical director for the National Carpet Cleaners Association in the UK, and am married to Sandra and we have three wonderful sons.
2) Is there any way the IICRC can simplify keeping cleaner credits up to date?
Generally speaking registrants need two CEC's every four years. Inspectors, master and mold remediation technicians have a more frequent requirement. There are currently several hundred approved events. The events include certification classes, conventions, supplier workshops, trade shows, association events, on-line classes, computer based training, junior college classes and some in-house training programs. All the registrant needs to do is attend an approved event or program and either sign in on the official form that the event sponsor sends in to us or fill out a CEC form, get it signed by the event sponsor to verify attendance and forward it to us.
3) Is it true that one can go to a Convention to gain your credits, without participating in anything?
Not exactly; the intent is that the person will attend the convention seminars, programs and trade shows. After all, they paid to go to the convention why wouldn’t they attend the programs? We do not take attendance in the convention programs and so we rely on our registrants to be honest about attending programs to get CEC.
4) A lot of Carpet Cleaners have let their Membership status lapse because of not attaining ongoing credits. Would the IICRC consider allowing former members to re-join without having to undertake more classes, perhaps an online summery?
As a reminder, the IICRC does not have members – it has registrants. Often, IICRC Certification is what lapses. Asking professionals to complete two CECs in four years is not a huge burden – and professionals should want to continue their education in the field. We want to make sure we are helping IICRC registrants be the best in their profession and continuing education is another way to do that. Additionally, there is a misconception that the only way to get CECs is to “undertake more classes.” This is not the case since conventions, trade shows, supplier workshops, association meetings etc. are also approved for CEC credit. Registrants can download the form for submitting CECs on the IICRC Web site at ...
If someone’s Certification has lapsed for more than one year (that means they have not had at least two CEC credits for more than five years) there is still a reinstatement procedure available through the registrant standards committee. Contact headquarters at 360-693-5675 if you have more questions about this process.
5) Why is it important to have certified individuals and companies clean your carpets?
Certification is our industries credentials. While a person without certification may actually know what they are doing, they have no way to show that, short of actually doing the service for them. Consumers today want some basic assurances that people providing services for them are trained, qualified and ethical. There are accountants and certified accountants, both may know what they are doing, but the certified accountant has the credential that is recognized by companies, government entities and the like.
6) What is the greatest benefit for a carpet cleaner to be a certified IICRC firm?
The greatest benefit to being a Certified Firm is the right to display the trademark and trade on the fact that you are accredited with the industry recognized credentials. Recognized by carpet manufacturers, insurance companies, carpet retailers, government agencies, and becoming more known to consumers all the time.
7) Do most insurance companies want IICRC certified companies to do flood damage work etc?
Yes. Many of the major insurance companies are recommending Certified Firms and technicians for their property claims work. Many insurance companies are actually taking the step of putting their claims staff through the IICRC certification process. Most are recognizing the IICRC standards as the industry consensus standard of practice. Some of those that currently work closely with IICRC Certified Firms include State Farm, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Farmers and Travelers.
8) What steps is IICRC taking to get the word out to the public that it needs a certified professional to clean their carpet?
The IICRC engages in a public relations program to publicize the IICRC to consumers. This includes regular press release, proactive outreach to consumer media, a rapid response program and the creation of NAPS releases (short tip articles that are distributed to community newspapers around the country). In 2008, the IICRC was featured in a number of articles regarding spring cleaning, including the Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Idaho Statesmen, Intelligencer Journal and the Arizona Daily Star. Additionally, IICRC experts have been included as cleaning and restoration experts in several national publications and media outlets such as Woman’s Day, BobVila.com, WebMD.com, House Beautiful, Organize Magazine and in Martha Stewart’s syndicated “Ask Martha” column.
In 2009, the IICRC plans on continuing consumer-focused outreach, focusing on the importance of maintaining flooring in a down economy, particularly as homeowners look to refurbish household items rather than replace them. Additionally, we’ll continue to educate those in related industries on the importance of hiring certified professionals, including insurance, Realtors, interior decorators, facility management and asthma and allergy experts.
9) Some feel the IICRC is not transparent enough and this leads some to believe that some funds are misused. Is there any way that this can be alleviated?
The IICRC has its financial records audited by third party accountants every year and there has never been a hint of any misuse of funds. The IICRC makes every effort to ensure that registrant’s dollars are used appropriately and effectively. It could be briefly stated that IICRC spends approximately 44 percent of its budget on operations (labor, facilities, equipment, etc.), 10 percent on marketing and promotion, 10 percent on meetings and planning functions, 10 percent on standards and exam development and maintenance, 10 percent on insurance, 5 percent on supplies, forms, ID cards, and the like, and 10 percent on technical research and development. Of course these percentages are only estimates and averages, but they run pretty close to the annual numbers.
The IICRC is an open organization and we welcome any registrant or certified firm to call our offices and discuss any concerns they have over how the funds are used and we will be happy to answer their questions.
10) What future projects does the IICRC have planned?
During my presidency, I hope to focus our collective energies in three main areas: 1) marketing; 2) programming; and 3) leadership.
In terms of marketing, our goal is to expand the marketing efforts of the organization to reflect our standing as a truly global organization. Our registrant numbers outside of the United States have grown and parity in terms of marketing will help drive the success of the IICRC as a global brand across geographies. Among other possibilities, to this end, we will explore ways to broaden communications to registrants, firms and other stakeholders as a means of strengthening our respective understanding and awareness of relevant news and key initiatives.
As previous board efforts have, we will continue to grow our programming options in a way that provides value and enhances the credibility of the certification programs already in place. For example, we will review the continuing education credit (CEC) program and update it so that it is easier to understand and bolster its value to registrants. We will also create a task force to research and provide recommendations for the development of a collegiate-style program.
The IICRC has relied heavily on volunteers to lead the organization throughout its 35 plus year history, and, we appreciate the efforts of those that have contributed to our success. However, as we now approach a new era in our industry, the time has come to plan for more permanent leadership specifically with respect to the function and office of president. By the conclusion of my tenure, it is my sincerest hope that the role of president will be a salaried full-time position within the IICRC, a process that we’ve already started with an active search committee. The position I hold now will be “Chairman of the Board”. All policy decisions will still require approval of the elected board of directors.
11) Is the IICRC working with the carpet mills to help certified firms?
Yes, we work both with the individual mills, Shaw, Mohawk, Beaulieu, etc. and with the Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) which is the carpet manufacturing industry’s trade association.
12) Many are upset that the IICRC backs up the CRI program that has apparent flaws including but not limited to Rug Dr getting Gold status, what is your view on this matter?
I assume this is referring to the CRI Seal of Approval program. The IICRC does have representation on the CRI cleaning and maintenance committee that oversees this program. However, this is a CRI program and not an IICRC program. IICRC can only make suggestions and recommendations to the committee. The testing levels required to achieve gold, silver or bronze status are set by the CRI and the testing lab and not by IICRC. One of the risks of creating a program based on scientific testing criteria is that the results of the testing may not always come out the way you think it should. When you lay out a test criteria and someone submits to that test and is successful, you can’t very well go back and change the criteria after the fact to make it come out the way you thought it should have. In short, the Rug Doctor system was tested under the same identical protocols as all other systems and the numbers qualified it at the gold level.
13) What are you doing to improve the internal administration and customer service issues that members have been complaining about?
As mentioned above, the IICRC headquarters (360-693-5675) is always happy to take calls from IICRC registrants and Certified Firms, but we do ask that you be patient while we are trying to resolve an issue – we do have more than 46,000 registrants to serve. Generally, some of the things we are doing to decrease response times and improve customer service include upgrading our computer programs (data base, supplies sales, discussion boards, web sites), hiring additional administrative staff, adding additional telephone and internet capabilities, and expanding into a second building. Most of this is intended to give faster “turnaround” on exam processing, technician and firm renewals, and supply requests. If there are specific issues mentioned, please let me know and I’d be more than happy to address directly.