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Online Certification ~ Pro's and Con's?

Carlos Gonzales

New member
Just throwing this out there to you all but wanted to see at first blush what the pros and cons to any type of online certification is?

This is a General Discussion!!
 

Terry Miller

New member
Carlos,
I am not sure what online Certification exactly is. If it is gaining Certification through online training and testing, I believe it could be part of an actual Certification. I also believe the actual training, testing, etc. should be done by qualified individuals. Not necessarily individuals who have years of experience or a profitable business. The Accreditation I hold presently is actually done through individuals who are not even in my work field. They are educators and business people. Some are skilled craftsman and all are trained in the field of training and or business. After all, we are looking for an education more then a piece of paper that says we know something. Too many folks sell Certification for profit. Unfortunatly the only winners are the seller. I also like hands on training. This could be done at a UAMCC sponsored event or convention. I hope I'm not way out in my thoughts. Thank you.
 

John Tornabene

New member
Terry good answer. I don't see a problem with doing online certifications if its done right. It all how you market most of this stuff anyway. Maybe you can have an initial class with a certification test afterwords and then a few years later those people for a cost may be able to renew there certification thru an online process.

There is so many different ways to look at this.
 

Ken Fenner

Fuckhead
This is where I think WRAPI hit it on the head. I'm not a big fan of the whole certification thing but if I were to participate I'd like to see a two part program. Online testing and printed manuals could be one phase but field work is where its at. WRAPI was going to be set up with wood working masters. These masters would then mentor and test people from their region. The effect becomes like a pyramid or hierarchy and the training spreads mwithout everyone have to travel to coporate headquarters to spend a week somewhere.
 

Damaris Sutton

New member
I think an option of Classroom and Online study courses with practical application in the science of cleaning and use of proper chemicals would be nice.

Also, I think when the person passes all the class room (on-line) study there should be a week of in field training to apply all that was learned, sort of like an applied science. What is the use of the knowledge without the appl;ication of it. What is the point of application left to yourself. There would still be a learning curve with all the info from an on-line certification in of itself.

So in essence there needs to be head knowledge and back application.
 

Mike Schoeben

New member
Certification only makes money for the folks who conduct the certification. How many customers actually check out anyone's certification in any field?

The biggest problem I see is who exactly is the "authority" in our respective fields? Who's the best roof cleaner, deck refinisher, pressure washer, or vent hood cleaner? Who's to say? Why would I throw away good money to get certified for something I already know how to do?

Like Don said, lacks credibility all the way around.
 

RMedbery

New member
I hold an FAA Airframe & Powerplant certificate and an FCC General Radiotelephone Operators certificate. They are both very credible, as a mater of fact you cannot work on those respective systems without them. So it depends on the credibility of the certificate issuer. Again the issuer should not also be the trainer.
 

Ken Fenner

Fuckhead
Mike, that has always been the problem with certification. I feel qualified to train guys in wood restoration using the right chems and low pressure. There is a guy in Texas that performs outstanding deck work and he uses high pressure and bleach and cheap stain. What benefit would he get from me ramming my technique down his throat?

With that being said, certification is primarily for new guys or for those looking for a piece of paper they can market to customers. Look how long hood certification has been around and to this day, that industry still fights over it.

I think the power washing industry is looking for a set of standards but I cannot see any washing standards being adapted that wouldn't conflict. The only certification that a customer would really appreciate is being "business" certified. (ie all licensing and insurance in place). I used to flash my Wolman certification and 8 out of 10 people would say "what's a Wolman?"

I think there is so much other stuff the UAMCC (just my contractor opinion) could work on that would better the industry from the top down versus opening the certification can or worms.
 

Thad Eckhoff

New member
Too many folks sell Certification for profit. Unfortunatly the only winners are the seller.
How much does a piece of paper or online certificate cost?
It can be very profitable. You just need a really cool sticker.

It obviously lacks credibility all the way around.
Terry good answer. I don't see a problem with doing online certifications if its done right. It all how you market most of this stuff anyway.
The only real use for online certification is for a sales tool.
And I'm not saying that I definitely wouldn't use it.

I dont think certifiers should train nor trainers certify.
Somebody ban Roger. Quick!
He's making logical sensible posts. Can't have that.

Certification only makes money for the folks who conduct the certification. How many customers actually check out anyone's certification in any field?
It can be used as a sales tool, depending on how well you sell it and how impressive the sticker is.
 

Jeff Wible

New member
Unfortunately, the fields of work we're speaking of are "considered" in most part to be doable by just about anyone. The general public would consider certification in our fields a joke. Would be like certifying the lawn guy. It's not state regulated at all, and has no set guidelines or "tests" to pass. Never gonna be worth any time or money put into it. Easier to focus on what it is,... and what you can make out of it by being your best at it and let your customers decide who is considered "certified",...simply by proving it,...over and over again!!

Jeff
 

Damaris Sutton

New member
I think there will come a time with certification. If you do not believe that just look to the EPA. If they can regulate water use and chemical use, then they will require there be a certification. Why jump on their wagon later instead of creating our own now?
 

Beth Borrego

New member
This was a popular topic with PWNA in the past also, but they never did anything about it. As I recall, part of the discussion was regarding contractors who became certified but then let certification lapse, or who simply could not afford to travel and attend certification classes. In either case the online certification (or re-certification) was appealing. Another appealing thing they did was to accept certain things as CE credits so that you didn't have to re-certify if you had done certain things.

I know we would be interested in being able to test and retest online, as needed.

Beth
 

Gary Schell

New member
Hmmm.

Pros
-convenient
-flexible, meaning gives the person ability to do it on their time

Cons
-other than a marketing tool, what does certification really prove in this line of work?

A contractor's body of work should be certification enough
 

Damaris Sutton

New member
I guess the whole certification thing is to somehow be able yo justify the prices we give. Lets just do this. "I am sorry you can not seem to afford my service Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner, maybe if you had not lived beyond your means you could afford a few hundred dollars for once a year service :eek:

Too blunt you think...:biggrin:
 

Henry Bockman

New member
I'm a big promoter of education and certification. If the UAMCC comes up with a class and certification I'll take it. I've won a LOT of contracts because of the training and certs we have taken over the years. Maybe training doesn't mean much to some of the guys on here but if it means anything to the customers I'm bidding a job for and other bidders don't have it... Then it's priceless! As we do more larger contracts our training and certification is really a nice edge to have. I'm bidding 28 shopping centers in the DC area and the price is well over $100,000.00, and they specifically asked for EPA compliant cleaning.

How many people in the DC area have taken any type of EPA compliance training or courses for pressure washing?

I know Beth, Rob and I have. Anyone else? It looks like there may be some value in training after all!

Even if our clients don't care about our certifications, at least we know how not to screw something up that will jack up our insurance rates after some claim!
 

Jeff Wible

New member
I think this thread is leaning toward certification in knowing how to do the work in general, not how to be compliant in different aspects. Although that would be part of being certified, I don't think what you speak of is of relevance to this "certification" thread,....because there is apparently already a certification test for EPA compliance,...so this thread wouldn't be debatable.
But with that being said, there probably should be a standard in this business set by the state that requires EPA certification, it would be good for the environment and stop a lot of guys from just jumping into this work for extra income.

Jeff
 

John Orr

UAMCC Treasurer
A goal of every business should be to work hard to create a difference between themselves and the competition; to give your customers a reason to choose your company. That's why we work hard on ads, websites, truck lettering, uniforms, etc.

If a certification is relevant to your business, why wouldn't you want it? (How many of us are "Wolman Certified" and use their products?)
 

Henry Bockman

New member
That's a good point Jeff and I'm already working with some AHJ's here in Maryland to require licensing for pressure washing and I'm also working with the EPA departments in Maryland to create BMP's for the state. I've been talking with these people for years and slowly starting to bring them around. I think I'm finally starting to make some major headway though!
 
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