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What's going on with UAMCC Certifications? What is it? What stage is it at?

Bill Booz

UAMCC Board of Directors
Here is a statement I made today at PWI. This is where we are and what is happening, this is not an official release, but an update on what we are doing.

Hi guys,
I currently chair the standards and practices committee that houses the individual certification and standards committees. I wanted to give some clarification on how it is working so far and what we are still debating, where the money will go who's making them etc. I imagine it wont be long before some of our documents will be released, but we are actually still debating some of the criteria/requirements. Due to this, some of what I express in this statement will be my opinion, not that of the UAMCC as a whole or its other directors. I will try to distinguish what are my views and what are the more agreed upon things.

A little about me, I have been power washing since 2005 and before that was a Union asbestos worker for 7 years, some college, a couple years of sales, and some small other business attempts.
I attempted to create standards at the RCIA which unfortunately did not peruse my advice to become a 501-c-6 and is no longer in my opinion a viable platform for helping our industry. I also was invited to work on the PWNA certification for roof cleaning but did not actually participate in the released version of their certification. The views of what a cert means and is for where different than my own by the people I worked with in these groups.

The People: Currently the standards and practices committee is chaired by myself and Charlie Soden, along with Blaine Krugard as a nominated committee member. This committee overseas the developing standards and testing committees for each field. In those committees we currently have 5 working committees, and 2 developing committees. Each of the working committees, has 2 chairmen, and some of those have more committee members under them. The developing committees are being formed still. Each committee was appointed by the bod's agreement and each committee is appoint-able by the chairs. This means the chairs may appoint members to their committee if the appointee accepts the appointment.

The testing/certification:
The idea behind the certifications at UAMCC is to create and evolve standards and practices for varying fields of duties for technicians in the field to adhere to. It is not designed for companies as much as for individuals with careers in mobile cleaning. The certification and testing for certification are to show that someone has a certain amount of experience, education and a comprehensive understanding of the standards and practices in their field. Currently 5 committees have 100 question tests we have been beta testing on a very powerful platform run by blackboard's software coursesites. The 100 questions are generated from larger pools of questions at random from the predetermined pools, making each test taken unique. They timed tests. They are graded by the software and a passing score is currently 80%. (some of this may change slightly but this is what we currently have built) Upon failure the testing is planned to be re administered in 30 days.

The education: The education can be produced from anywhere that is relevant to the field applied to, so if you use climbing gear or ladders OSHA fall safety and fire hall or roping schools would all suffice, so would education from any distributor or other association relevant to the field or standards. Currently we have debated anywhere from 100's of man hours to 5 man hours of education. It appears we are leaning toward 5-10 per renewal or perhaps per year. We are also debating whether in house safety programs, such as Friday safety meetings may apply for renewing members. We (the UAMCC) may participate or invite educators at shows, but we do not plan to actually endorse or prefer any education platform. Instead we want to use the criteria stated above of being relevant to the cert you are applying for. This may be decided by a review panel for applicants, with an application and appeal process.

The Standards and Practices as amended by the United Association of Mobile Contract Cleaners: This is what it is all about to me! This is what I believe our industry is lacking and leads to events like the Houston reclaim issue when there is no one to look to for theses entities. They contacted the UAMCC and got no response. This is an enforcement group that passed fines onto contractors that looked to the UAMCC to help them understand if this was the right thing to do and the UAMCC at time had nothing to offer and gave no response. This is a time when existing standards and practices could have saved real contractors real money, time and legal issues, by showing there were practices that made sense rather than banning people from working or forcing them to reclaim every drop they every use in every situation. (that is my opinion)
Currently the UAMCC is still developing Standards and Practices side by side with the tests as that is what the cert is mostly for. Making sure people know what they are doing. These standards do not lock out practices, but rather focus on safety, chemical knowledge, professionalism, substrate knowledge and contaminate knowledge, along with understandings of multiple techniques in a way designed to protect the employee, company represented and customers property. That is the goal, protect the people and be able to show customers and legislatures that there is an agreed upon way to do things by all the people that certified to maintain these practices to the best of their abilities. Over time this should allow us to show a history of these S&P's working.

The Money:
There is not a ton of money in the coffers now. I believe the minutes on the UAMCC forum state the treasurers report, but I may be wrong of if they are public or not. Any non-profit still needs revenue, to promote its members, and operate the orgs tasks. We need to pay a lawyer and accountant, we need to have some shows, we need to sponsor growing organizations and offer financial benefits to our members, such as scholarship programs for their children. and there are tons of little things i cant even imagine, just as all of you discovered those expenditures in your business. The money is the UAMCC's money, partially overseen by the directors, the treasurers, the tax attorney and the accountant. From my understanding as a not for profit we have to publicly display these numbers to our members yearly. If that is not the law (as I believe it is) I personally will advocate for it to be so at our org, and know that the majority of the BOD already agree with me on this from similar discussions about our minutes.

I am sure I could say a lot more, but hopefully this brief summary of our last few months efforts will help people to see a little better what the idea is.

Jason Reider

New member
Bill - I am looking forward to seeing the UAMCC's final creation and plan for this certification process. Keep up the great work Bill. It's wonderful to see another York County native doing something good for the industry.

Bill Booz

UAMCC Board of Directors
Will do, I should be in contact with you guys tomorrow or Saturday. Swamped so please bear with me :)

David Phillips

UAMCC Associate Member
Any updates on the UAMCC Certifications? We have lots of staining and sealing contractors who are on the fence about joining UAMCC, but since it is an org based mainly on cleaning, they have a hard time seeing the benefit. Embracing the the guys out there that are not only cleaning, but also beautifying and protecting their customer's investments would bring a lot of new quality members to the group. Offering a certification might just get them off the fence.