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Members of the Associations that Matter…..

January 12th, 2012

Accreditations / Associations, All posts

Members of the associations that matter…….

So what does it mean when a company or individual uses the term “Professional”, “specialist” or “expert” or wraps their vehicles and letterheads with logo’s and badges. Naturally anyone would assume the company is a professional knowledgeable organisation with a proven track record as the term and badges imply – although this is not always the case…..

So what do all these badges and symbols mean? who are they awarded by and do they all imply your contractor is an expert in his field, as he calls himself?

Most of us have been misled in some way or another, myself included. I once employed a specialist window cleaner at my home who turned up in trainers with half a bucket of cold water filled with the cheapest detergent. Whilst cleaning my1st floor windows he broke the tiles of my bay window – frustrating, misleading and annoying. I now employ a professional window cleaner that cleans my upper windows with a reach and wash system on a pole – all the gear and with all the right ideas.

We constantly receive calls from clients who have had repair work undertaken by a contractor which has failed, only to find when they try to contact the installer and redress under the conditions of the guarantee, they’ve either gone bust or the guarantee provided only covers materials and not workmanship.

Unfortunately, these types of calls come far too often for us and in nearly all cases the contractor used has multiple logos and badges on their letterheads and vehicles yet no professional accreditation in our industry. This is where my problem lies, how is “Joe Bloggs” the domestic client expected to understand what all these logos and badges mean.

Almost every industry today has a trade body or association watching over it, and in my opinion any professional operating in their field of expertise would naturally want to become accredited proving their knowledge and skill to potential clients. The purpose of these associations is to ensure clients receive correct advice and service from an expert.

There are so many different governing bodies today that understanding what they all mean can be difficult. What really matters is that you look for the associations that regulate the service your after. After all I didn’t ring a gas safe plumber to fix you broken roof tiles, did I?

Here’s an example, you flick through the yellow pages looking for a remedial company to visit and asses your damp problem. There’s hundreds of companies all claiming to be professionals, so how do you choose which one to ring? Safe bet, pick the fanciest advert and the one with loads of badges and symbols – They must be good – Right!

So here’s the badges, which one matters to you?

Well all of the badges mean something, and not wanting to discredit any of the above associations they all carry weight in their appropriate field. Although only one applies accreditation and regulates the remedial industry, which after all it’s a professional in damp you’re looking for and not a national house builder or gas fitter.

A list of the above associations and links to their websites is provided at the bottom of the page so you can investigate what they represent if you wish.

Like most industries the remedial profession has a trade body, a standard setting organisation that provides guidelines and standard codes of practice to the industry, and of course only awards accreditation to only those companies who can prove they have the technical capacities to provide correct diagnosis and repair.

In the preservation industry our leading body is the Property Care Association (PCA) formally known as the British Wood Preserving and Damp Proofing Association (BWPDA). The Property Care Association is the leading trade body for structural waterproofing, wood preservation, damp proofing, flood remediation and structural maintenance in the UK and only accredited companies can display the PCA badge of membership.

To achieve accreditation and industry recognition from the PCA members must meet a number of strict criteria to ensure they meet the required standards which include; employing qualified surveyors, trained technicians, implemented company policies for all aspects including Health and Safety.

Complying with this criteria the PCA ensures the highest levels of professionalism operate among its members, and that’s not all…. PCA accredited companies are all audited on a regular basis to ensure their high standards of workmanship are maintained.

Member companies must also demonstrate financial stability to ensure were in business for the long term, not just boom and bust leaving clients with worthless company guarantees. As PCA companies have proven financial stability and are vetted by an FSA (Financial Services Authority) regulated insurance company, we can apply for additional insurance on all of our specialist work. This is insurance protection only available to PCA members.

This ensures that if our company were to regrettably cease trading your guarantee would continue to provide protection for the work undertaken. If your contractor goes out of business the insurance company will provide another PCA contractor in his place to rectify any problems under the guarantee, free of charge.

This is one of the many benefits of using a Property Care Association Professional, not only must your contractor prove he is a specialist and is regularly audited, but you also receive the insurance that if the company fails to continue trading, the work undertaken is insured.

It’s also common for companies in the damp and timber industry to display manufacturers logo’s a few examples are below;

Again not intending to discredit the manufacturers as many of these companies produce some excellent products for our industry, these manufacturing companies also run excellent short courses on the installation and application of their products. Again this does not necessarily imply anyone who sits on the course is a specialist, it means they have attended a course designed and run by a manufacturer on the use of their products. Each year I sit a course on first aid but i wouldn’t claim to be a paramedic…..

Sometimes manufacturers will be approve attendees of the course to install their products and are often willing to guarantee the work undertaken – provided they buy and use their products, of course.

Manufacturers courses are all well and good and I would expect anyone using a product or system to attend a course on how best to use it, I do, but again on it’s own merit does not imply they are a specialist. As a client, you should also be looking for reinforcement and professional recognition from the correct industry body, spercificaly the body that regulates the service you are looking for.

Remember it costs nothing for a company to call themselves “experts” or “specialists” but it does cost years of experience and dedication in training and education for a company to achieve recognition as a specialist from an industry body. When looking for a contractor make sure yours is a PCA member, as all companies working within the remedial industry should really strive to become PCA members.

Please remember accreditations for compliance with regulations, codes and practice and health and safety are all important and ideally you should also expect your chosen company to have these in addition to the relevant industry recognition.

Dryfix preservation specialise in providing professional reports and repair solutions for; dampness, flood repair, woodworm Infestations, wet rot, dry rot, condensation, structural problems and other building defects.

We Full Members of the Property care Association achieving the highest level of accreditation in the remedial industry a company can achieve for damp, timber and structural maintenance repairs.

Dryfix have also achieved professional recognition in the specialist cleaning and restoration industry being a certified firm with the Clean Trust formerly known as theInstitute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

The Clean Trust is the world’s largest certification body for the disaster restoration industry managing water damage restoration, structural drying and mould remediation. The Trust is a non-profit standard-setting organization dedicated to raising industry standards through technical proficiency. By administering a strict process of certification, the Trust provides a means by which consumers can receive the highest quality of service from trained, knowledgeable, professional technicians.

Our accreditation from the IICRC comes after nearly two years of continuous studying and training from our senior surveyor Russell Rafton and other Dryfix technicians on IICRC courses. Russell from Dryfix has set exemplary standards passing examinations with results 90% upwards. Tom Hill, IICRC Executive Administrator, States Russell Rafton has demonstrated the desire to provide customers with a thorough, professional, and caring service and now joins the ranks of the true professionals within the cleaning, restoration, and inspection industry.

Russell Rafton our senior surveyor is qualified through examination in the fields of Fire & Smoke Restoration, Odour Control, Water Damage Restoration, Structural Drying and Mould Remediation all achieved through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning & Restoration.

Dryfix have a reputation built on the solid foundations of education, training, experience and accreditation, we feel proud to call ourselves specialists.

I hope this article helps you make an informed decision about choosing your contractor.
– is your contractor a PCA / IICRC member? if not ask why not?

Russell Rafton C.S.R.T / A.Inst.SSE
Dryfix Preservation Ltd – Surveyor

Dryfix Preservation Ltd “Yorkshires Leading Damp & Timber Specialists”

As promised links to the above mentioned associations in order or appearance.;;;;;;;;


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