By Doug Hoffman

What should I look for in indoor air quality (IAQ) and mold training? This is a question we answered many times at our first ISSA Conference in Dallas.  It’s a great question because making a sound investment in training requires a clear understanding of all the options. There are many training organizations out there, but not all training is of equal quality or is right for your specific company. Here’s what you should look for in an IAQ/mold training program.

Customized Training — Most IAQ/mold training organizations provide a specific set of trainings from which you choose, and these may or may not fit the needs of your company.  Find an organization that is flexible enough to develop a training program tailored to the business model or industry in which your company works.  Healthcare, educational, institutional, and industrial environments each have unique indoor air quality issues.  Talk with the training team and see if a class can be developed to fit your budget, time constraints, and training needs.

Scientific Foundation — Indoor air quality and mold classes are typically built on the assumption that some water event has taken place to cause the problems.  A wholistic training certainly covers the standard topics of water movement (diffusion and transport), extraction, and drying, but it should also broaden the discussion to include other water sources that feed mold, lidffdke relative humidity, condensation, and air infiltration.  For instance, students should learn the importance of regularly scheduled maintenance and the impact that an air conditioning and heating system can have on the quality of the air and surfaces in indoor environments.  Buildings are like living, breathing organisms, so understanding how they function will give you a better understanding of how to solve the IAQ and mold problems on an ongoing basis.

Added Credibility — Where state licensing is required for the profession, utilize an IAQ/mold training provider that is recognized and approved by all five states that require mold licensing.  Certifications should be offered that are specific to your industry and will bolster your strength in the marketplace.

Membership Benefits — Keeping your company membership current will ensure continued credibility and connection with the industry.  The mold profession is dynamic.  New laws and regulations are being written regularly, so staying on top of the industry is the best way to keep employees trained, deliver accurate information to your clients, and mitigate litigation.  Many training organizations provide significant discounts to existing members for ongoing training, which can easily offset the cost of membership.

The new strategic alliance between NORMI and ISSA will provide more opportunities for ISSA members to learn about the training and credible certifications offered by NORMI.  For more information on how NORMI can provide site-specific IAQ/mold training for your company, contact NORMI at 877.251.2296 or email

Doug Hoffman is the CEO of NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors. He can be reached via e-mail at