The Concrete Foundations Association (CFA) recently unveiled its Residential Foundation Contractor Certification program. The program has been under development for nearly three years and its debut provides a measure of the experience, competence, and knowledge of companies involved in the residential foundation industry. The program is a company certification program but involves individual benchmarks in order for the company to be granted certification status. The program is open to all residential foundation contractors. After evaluation of the submitted information, a recommendation for approval or denial is provided by a third party. Approval is valid for a period of one year providing insurance and other stipulation requirements are maintained.
There are several reasons why a contractor should consider company certification. First, some building code jurisdictions require, or will soon, that companies be certified. In addition, this certification can separate your company from the competition. You can promote what the program entails, what you went through to obtain certification, and what it means for your clients. The CFA is promoting the availability of the designation and benefits of using a certified contractor to builders, code officials, and home owners. The CFA also will have materials that the certified contractor can use to help promote the program. Becoming certified is not an overnight proposition. The review process and sitting for the exam can take several weeks.
The requirements for the program and information evaluated during the certification review process include:
- Identification of the jurisdictions in which the applicant conducts business
- Evidence of minimum stipulated insurance coverage (ongoing)
- Listing of construction operations performed and equipment operated in the course of business
- List of other trade associations and civic organizations in which you are involved
- Employees or owners who have passed the basic knowledge exam (Residential Foundation Technician)
- Certification of adherence to established standards of practice
- Business and customer references
- A business practices statement (liens, licenses held or denied, financial information)
- An approved safety program
- Continuing education (after the first year)
The basic knowledge exam for the designation of Residential Foundation Technician is the only portion of the program that involves testing. At least one individual must be under the employment of the certified company at all times to maintain the company's certification status. Preparatory seminars and the exam are offered periodically by the CFA. Continuing education requirements can be met at a variety of industry venues including the CFA summer convention, World of Concrete, and other pre-approved venues.
The 80 multiple-choice question exam is open book, however it is highly recommended that applicants obtain and familiarize themselves with the study guide and exam materials.
If you have an interest in participating in the program, contact the CFA at 319-895-6940 or visit its Web site at www.cfawalls.org for the application forms and details of the program.