Getting your HCT Certification is only the first step in the ongoing education and training of technicians and support staff in the cleaning industry.
House Cleaning Technicians who have earned their HCT Certification from the Institute of International Cleaning Restoration Certification (IICRC) stand out as leaders in their field. They have shown the initiative to become knowledgeable about the surfaces, finishes, chemistries, and best practices in their profession. And, yes, it is a profession. But this industry is not standing still. Every year manufacturers are bringing out new materials, altering the composition of old ones and adding new finishes. All of this affects the way the technician needs to clean and care for them. So House Cleaning Technicians need to be continually updating their knowledge.
This is why Continuing Education Credits (CECs) are an important part of all IICRC certification programs. House Cleaning Technicians need to earn at least 2 CECs every four years. These can be earned in several ways. Attendance at an approved function such as the ISSA/ARCSI convention earns 1 CEC. The easiest way to claim the credit is to go by the IICRC booth at the event and register. If there is no IICRC booth, or, if you forgot, you can fill out a CEC request form which should have come with your certification packet.
Another way to earn CECs is to take another class in the IICRC cleaning division. This would include, in addition to the HCT class, classes in Carpet Cleaning, Color Repair, Odor Control, and Upholstery Cleaning among others. One CEC is earned for each day of class. The technician does not need to take the test to receive CECs and once certified, retesting is not required unless the technician lets her certification lapse. Even without the need for earning CECs, re-taking the class in the technician’s certification is a good way to refresh her knowledge and stay up on her field.
This is easier than ever for IICRC Certified Firms. There is now a scholarship program that will pay ½ of the tuition of an IICRC course up to $200.00. Certified firms should have received an announcement about this program, but if it got buried in email, more information and an application is available by emailing email@example.com. There is a limit of one scholarship per firm per year.
As is true of any profession, updating one’s knowledge is essential for continued success. At the rapid pace of change we are currently experiencing in surfaces, finishes and technology, continuing education has become critical in the House Cleaning profession.
Bruce Vance is a widely recognized expert. He runs Town & Country Cleaning, a million-dollar house cleaning company located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and is the leading IICRC-approved instructor for the only internationally-recognized third-party House Cleaning Technician certification.