"The graduates of NOFMA Certified Wood Flooring Inspectors are among the country's best-trained and most capable wood flooring inspectors," said Mickey Moore, NOFMA technical director and the man responsible for overseeing the certification program. "They each have undergone many hours of training in all aspects having to do with proper manufacture, installation and performance of wood flooring. And through supervised field testing they've proven their ability to properly inspect a floor and report their findings."
The NOFMA - CWFI program is the only certification program to require a combination of educational training, practical experience, and both site review and report review in order to earn credentials. The program qualifies the individual requiring they have experience in the flooring industry. The inspector must successfully complete a five-day training course and pass a written exam at the conclusion of the course.
Those who pass the exam must then complete a minimum six-month probationary period during which they are required to conduct on-site wood flooring inspections accompanied by a NOFMA representative. In addition, certification prospects must submit reports from other site inspections, each of which describes a different type of flooring performance problem.
"It's not enough to simply pass a test and become certified," Moore explained. "The probationary period ensures the inspectors can truly perform the inspection as well as issue a report that meets NOFMA's standards."
Because inspections often are used in dispute resolution between homeowners, flooring contractors and manufacturers, the ability to accurately and succinctly report findings is just as important as an inspectors knowledge of wood flooring, Moore explained. Other flooring inspector certification programs entail simply passing a written exam to achieve certification credentials.
The certifications earned by Dewitt, Dixon and Smith will be effective for two years. Certification must be maintained through continuing education and practice in the flooring inspection field. Certification maintenance requirements include submission of at least four inspection reports per year (each detailing a different problem) to NOFMA for review and evaluation.
The inspectors must also complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education in wood-related or inspection related course(s), or participate in other related activities such as serving as a monitor/instructor at the NOFMA/MFMA Wood Flooring School or acting as a NOFMA representative during the probationary site inspection of a candidate for NOFMA - CWFI. A list of NOFMA Certified Wood Flooring Inspectors, along with candidates active in the probation process is maintained on the NOFMA website at www.nofma.org.
According to NOFMA, more than 40 NOFMA - CWFI candidates have attended the three training sessions the association has offered since launching the program in November 2002. Of those candidates, six have been certified and six others are at various stages of completing their probationary requirements.
John Dailey of Midwest Restoration Services in Wheaton, Ill., Mark Brown of Carpet Arts Inspection Service in Ellicott City, Md., and Chris Godfrey of Spector Ltd. in Mission Viejo, Calif. completed the certification last December and became NOFMA's first CWFI School graduates.
The next five-day training course for prospective inspectors will be offered by NOFMA Oct. 2-6 in Memphis.