When you think of the state of the IICRC these past couple of years, the term “wonky” might come to mind.

It’s a favorite word of mine… wonky. If you aren’t sure what that means, here are a few definitions: Askew, unsteady, shaky, faulty, messed up…

Yes, you may have other words in mind to describe what has happened to the IICRC. You might have said out loud some of those words. You may have had to cover the ears of young ones in your presence when you used those words.

Your frustration — as an IICRC registrant or Certified Firm — could have spawned from many different factors. It could be you simply couldn’t get in contact with IICRC personnel. Maybe an email you sent was ignored. Perhaps you received two or more invoices for the same thing you paid for previously. And, probably at the top of the list, when you attended an IICRC-approved class, you never received your test results or they were woefully late in getting to you.

So what happened? A previous board of directors decided to choose a management company that was, to put it kindly, a little lacking in its ability to follow through with what was expected of it. So it was given the boot. Now, we have in-house management and with that total control of the exam grading and the entire certification process.

The IICRC has a president who is new to our industry yet who seems to me to be a straight shooter. When I speak with him, he doesn’t make excuses and he admits that the transition can and may be a little rocky. I get that. But at the end of the day, what matters is what they do with the organization and how that adds value to you, the registrant or the certified firm.

I recently met Richard Greene, the new president of the IICRC. I asked him point-blank what the IICRC would do so things don’t go wonky again. Here is what he said:

“The IICRC still has critical issues to face on several fronts, but I’m confident we can work our way out of this. With help from IICRC leadership and volunteers, we are improving every day. There may be some expected unpleasantness on this journey, and some long-held institutional elements may need to be discarded to make room for innovation. I plan to do all I can to make sure our course forward is deliberate, that important decisions are made in a timely, well-thought-out manner, and that input is received from the complete spectrum of IICRC constituents. Although the IICRC has been through a difficult period over the last 18 months, right now is an exciting time as we take this good organization and make it a great organization.”

Lights, camera, action

After that, I put him in front of a camera for a video interview and asked him a few additional questions. I told him I had an IICRC Carpet Cleaning Technician (CCT) class coming up the following week. And I asked him what I could tell my students regarding when they might see their test scores.

His response was terrific. He said “That’s an exciting question, as you can see from the grin on my face.” At that moment, I knew I would like Richard Greene moving forward. He made a commitment on camera that upon receipt of the exam materials from me the IICRC would grade, score, process the certification and cards and have them out to the registrants within 14 days.

I marked my calendar. And it happened. Exactly as Richard said it would.

Now, I know what you are thinking. They had a challenge and were playing ball. Yet I really doubt IICRC staff was waiting at the door at headquarters for a packet from Jeff Cross so they could jump on it. In fact, I didn’t put my name on the packet so no doubt it went into the pile of exams as normal.

If you want to see the video interview, go here: Cleanfax.com/news/IICRC — it’s about three minutes in length.

After the interview and my students receiving their exam results so quickly, I attended an IICRC Certification Council meeting in Las Vegas on October 14th. Richard spoke to all instructors in attendance and made a neat promise. He said that the IICRC would grade and return exam results as quickly as instructors can get them into headquarters. “If you get them to us in seven days, we will get them out in seven days,” he said.

Quite a promise!

So what does this all mean? The IICRC is now accountable to itself, with no blame to go to a contracted management company. While there are still challenges in “catching up” it seems to be moving in the right direction.

Let’s keep an eye on the state of the IICRC moving forward. While my prognosticating abilities are often lacking, I do feel things are improving with the organization.