Wow! What a magnificent move on the part of the WFCA. So many, for so long, have talked about establishing enhanced training and a certification program for floor covering retailers. Until recently, it has been just talk. Now, it is about to become a reality with the WFCA implementing a far-reaching and comprehensive certification and designation program for retailers.

Three distinct certification levels are available. These are: Certified Flooring Executive (CFE), designed for business owners and managers; Certified Flooring Professional (CFP), for administrative and operations people; and Certified Flooring Salesperson (CFS) for salespeople.

Retailers who wish to participate in the program, which is open to both members and non-members of the WFCA, will need to put forth no small measure of dedication and hard work to secure the coveted designation and earn the right to use it in the trade and with the public. Will it be worth it? You better believe it.

Certification tells the world that those who earn the designation are tried-and-true, knowledgeable floor covering professionals. These are the people who represent the upper echelon of the industry. What an outstanding goal for all in retail to shoot for. It is a career-building credential. And those who achieve it establish a competitive advantage that benefits them, their stores and the entire industry through higher performance standards.

Requirements for certification. The goal is not easily reached — nor should it be. To earn the designations, candidates must have a minimum of three years’ professional experience in the floor covering business, successfully complete at least 50 hours of documented continuing education for the CFE title, and 30 hours for CFP and CFS. Also required is attendance at a WFCA Regional Forum or Annual Educational Conference, submission of the Certification Application Package and the successful completion of a comprehensive examination.

Courses online. In July, WFCA opens its online campus with courses that can apply to the program. The courses can be taken any time, at the user’s own pace. They will be accessible through the Association’s website at For information on additional courses, contact WFCA Director of Education Harry Perdew at (800) 624-6880.

The certification program kicks off Oct. 26-27 during the WFCA Annual Education Conference in Reno, Nev. with a curriculum specifically geared for owners and managers. This represents a one-time opportunity for individuals with significant industry experience to earn their applicable designation by attending the conference and taking the exam. Those seeking to earn the designation during this meeting must complete a personal profile, which will be given extra significance, with documented previous business and educational experience.

WFCA Education Committee Chairman Tom Jennings beautifully sums it up this way: “Professional certification programs are a way of assuring the highest possible levels of training, competency and performance. It is a way of acknowledging individuals who have demonstrated high professional standards throughout their careers, and demonstrates the entire industry’s commitment to professional excellence.

The president of WFCA, Victoria Green, reminds all of us that, “the floor covering industry faces a challenging future marked by rapid change, increased technological complexity and aggressive worldwide competition. These challenges demand increased training and greater professional competence at all levels, and the WFCA Certification Program is part of the solution.” Well said!

Retailers have a golden opportunity to ensure both their present and future. This program separates the professionals from the also-rans. To ignore this opportunity is to commit an inexcusable business sin.