MT. VERNON, IOWA — In an effort to increase the awareness of certification opportunities for concrete professionals, while promoting the advantages of such programs, nine concrete associations have joined forces to form the Concrete Industry Certification Consortium (CICC).
Comprised of the American Concrete Pumping Association (ACPA), American Shotcrete Association (ASA), Architectural Precast Association (APA), Concrete Foundations Association (CFA), Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association (CSDA), International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI), National Precast Concrete Association(NPCA), Post-Tensioning Institute (PTI) and the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA), the Concrete Industry Certification Consortium is a non-profit clearinghouse dedicated to serving those interested in improving the quality and safety of concrete construction and renovation. Through its participating associations, the Consortium seeks to increase the recognition of the concrete industry's commitment to quality through certification and to promote and distinguish companies with a demonstrated level of competence and history of positive contribution to the industry.
The Consortium initially plans a unified marketing piece that raises awareness of the program variety offered to the industry. This will be available in electronic format by the end of August and will be available through the websites of all participating organizations. Additionally, the Consortium plans a website for unified information and links to the certified personnel directories for each program. The unified message supporting the value and importance of certification in the concrete industry will be visible throughout organizational conventions and during the World of Concrete, to be held February 4-8, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nev. where master certification certificates and the majority of these opportunities are offered.
"The Consortium idea came about during gatherings of the Small Association Group Executives (SAGE), which the participating organizations of the Consortium started several years ago," states Ed Sauter, Executive Director for the CFA and TCA. "This networking effort has contributed to a wealth of variety and creativity."
The Consortium itself was spawned a little over a year ago as SAGE gathered during their regular spring meeting. Each association represented in the Consortium has been working for years to develop, refine, maintain and promote certification as the next step forward for the future of their respective industry.
As a group, the associations will concentrate on providing concrete industry professionals with certification opportunities. According to Christi Collins, Executive Director of the ACPA, maintaining the strictest standards for safety in the concrete industry is crucial. "Every contractor has an obligation to provide a safe work environment for their workers and utilizing the most qualified, knowledgeable and professional personnel in their respective fields will help them achieve this assurance. Through the collaborative promotion efforts of the CICC, we are able to expand the awareness of our pump operator certification program which will go a long ways towards improving the overall quality of our industry," said Collins.
"Certification of companies or individuals is a topic found in all segments of the construction market as builders and code departments attempt to establish competency and accountability in construction, " said James Baty, Technical Director of CFA and TCA. "In the end, it is about assurance and knowing that an industry segment has a commitment opportunity that results in that assurance. CFA determined that a combined message of the importance of certification throughout the concrete industry was the best way to hold the attention and the commitment of the entire industry rather than it being just another certification," said Baty.
According to, Pat O'Brien, Executive Director of CSDA, their existing company certification program for sawing and drilling contractors is the first of its kind. "Our three-tier audit program provides owners, architects, engineers, general contractors and government officials with a valuable pre-qualification tool to improve the knowledge and skills of cutting contractors and enhance their public image," said O'Brien. "We have found it very difficult to grow the recognition of our certification program individually. Of even greater importance is the holistic effort the concrete industry, across all technologies and markets, has toward the message of quality through certification. This Consortium then was a natural fit to strengthen the combination of recognition by the design and development industries as well as the commitment to quality throughout the construction industry."
Certification is also important for the companies that produce architectural precast concrete panels and cast stone products. The APA Plant Certification Program has been a trusted part of the construction community for over 18 years and APA believes it will be served well through the Consortium. "Assuring the quality production and performance of architectural precast products is crucial for not only successful project outcomes but for maintaining the highest quality standards and commitment to safety," said Fred McGee, Executive Director."