Property Preservation Certification
The interest in Property Preservation Testing and Property Preservation Certification has become much more common and publicized in the last couple of years.
Several reasons for the increased interest of testing and certification have been identified and in this discussion I will attempt to give you as much information as possible from my point of view.
- There are many industries effected by the HUD requirements to preserve and protect properties. To mention just a few industries that may be involved, I am sure you would agree that the list could include property management companies, real estate companies, attorneys and others in the legal profession, surveying companies, pest control companies, building contractors and the list goes on. With such a wide reaching effect, it would be natural that many of these industries would have an interest in the general well being of the property preservation industry. My contact with other effected industries disclosed one prominent concern from all: determining who is actually qualified to do the work. Most agree that it is much too easy for unqualified contractors to enter into the property preservation field and thereby jeopardize the well being of others involved in one way or another.
- The majority of companies that use the services of independent contractors for property preservation have their own contractor qualifying procedures in place. The company’s qualification determination may be nothing more than a conference call with the contractor or it may be as involved as an online test or face-to-face interview. Of course, each company strives to ensure they are hiring competent contractors and design their qualification determination procedures accordingly. This is the point at which the effected industries start having their concerns. The HUD regulations may be interpreted one way by one company and another way by yet another company. Most of these interpretation differences are minor but the potential for problems is compounded as more companies with more differences are added to the mix. Each company’s procedures are put in place for the benefit of that company which is quite natural and is to be expected. However, again this procedure may not take into consideration the effect, good or bad, on related industries.
- The non-existance of a central authority and the lack of an industry leader to step forward and take control has been endured too long by some industries. It is not that the effort has not been made – many companies have made the attempt at setting industry standards, testing procedures and certification procedures. However, it appears that most companies are unwilling to accept the efforts of one of their competitors.Some companies are reluctant to take any action toward training and testing in order that they may help insure continued existance of the independent contractor status. Hence, continued fracturing of the industry.
- There are on-going efforts by some individuals and organizations to create standards that would be accepted by the industry as a whole. There are continued efforts by some to have the industry accept materials or procedures they have put in place. These efforts have been going on for years and still there is no agreements or acceptance. Effected industry interests have, in some cases, created the procedures , training or testing needed to secure their own position within the industry. Some representatives of these industries sought third party assistance to prepare and present the needed materials or procedures. That is the motivation behind the efforts of Terry Platt and Gulf Thunder Corporation to create and maintain www.WebExam.us and www.CubicYard.us. We were asked to create and maintain certification exams for these industries representatives.
- So what does the current state of affairs do to the contractor in the field? It pretty much gives the contractor the option of doing nothing and accepting things as they have always been or do as some contractors are now doing and promote themselves as individuals and companies that have taken it upon themselves to promote change.Who accepts the testing and certification at www.WebExam.us? Obviously it is being accepted by the organization, industry or person that sends the contractor to the site for certification testing. Other than that, there has been no endorsment to Web Exam’s materials other than from individual contractors. These contractors tell me they are presenting their certification to potential employers in hopes that the certification awarded by Web Exam will have some merit. Over one hundred contractors have tested for certification at www.webexam.us. We must be headed in the right direction.