The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS) has increased the renewal date of the Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification certificate, to two years from one. This means that every two years the tile installer must retake the updated course in order to stay current with new industry standards. In the past, installers were required to retake the course annually to stay current.

The change to extend the renewal date of the ITS Certificate to two years was part of an agreement made between UofCTS and the Tile Marble Terrazzo Union Local 18. Local 18 has placed a large order of tuitions for the Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification course. They are implementing two continuing education programs for their Journeyman Tile Layers one is the Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification online course and the other is the Advanced Certification for Tile Installer program.  Local 18 President, Chad Boggio stated that the Union leadership has recognized the need to educate tile layers on the new materials, standards and methods through ongoing training and testing of journeyman tile setters.

Greg Games, president of Premier Tile & Marble, who was the first union tile installation company to send his installers through the ITS online training course, stated,  "I saw a big improvement in my employees' knowledge of the industry standards and their heightened interest in making sure they are following the industry standards as they are installing tile.  Educating our team of setters and finishers brought a new positive dimension to the culture of our company." Games encouraged the Union to adopt the ITS course. 

Non-union contractors are also committed to training their employees.  Martin L Howard, vice president of David Allen Company, who has put a large number of his employees through the UofCTS online training courses, stated,  "I am seeing a big improvement in my employees' knowledge of the tile and stone industry, and industry standards.  We are in the process of sending a large number of our employees through all three of the UofCTS Online courses on Ceramic Tile, Natural Stone, and on Tile Installer Standards. The David Allen Company is committed to providing quality tile installations, and our investment in training our employees is one of the ways we achieve that goal."

The Tile Terrazzo Marble Association of Canada (TTMAC) collaborated with UofCTS to create a Canadian version of the ITS course, which was released earlier this year. Since then they have had a large number of TTMAC members take the course with great success. There is a two page article on the TTMAC ITS course in the recent edition of the associations's "Hardsurfaces" publication.

INTACO, a manufacturer of installation products in Costa Rica, recently purchased tuitions of the Spanish version of the ITS course for training their employees.  TCNA Mexico had their trainers take the Spanish version of the ITS course and they now refer the installers that take the certification evaluation in Mexico to take the UofCTS ITS course as a value added course.  They also believe the course will be good for Mexican architects so they can help ensure quality tile installations on their projects.

The Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification course instructs installers, setters and finishers, on industry standards and practices, manufacturers' requirements, and proper installation methods for tile thin-set applications that apply to ceramic tile, porcelain tile, stone tile, glass tile and other types of adhered tile materials.  The course also teaches how to inspect and prepare substrates and tiles, how to achieve full thin-set coverage, and points out quality workmanship requirements and practices.  This course is also meaningful to architects, general contractors, distributors, manufacturers, consultants, inspectors, and owners that recognize the value of understanding industry installation standards, practices, and methods.

Tile installers who complete the ITS Verification course receive a certificate of completion and must renew it every two years to remain current with industry standards.  The ITS Certificate is a huge benefit to tile installation companies. It demonstrates to architects, homeowners, and other customers that their tile installers have been trained to install tile per industry standards. It also demonstrates the company's commitment to quality installations, and ultimately helps companies earn more jobs, earn more money and avoid costly delays and failures.

The UofCTS’s online  courses, Understanding the Basics of Natural Stone and Understanding the Basics of Ceramic Tile courses offer an up-to-date comprehensive look at the stone and ceramic tile industry. The courses teach industry standards, technical information about tile and stone, and sales techniques, and is designed to give salespeople the tools they need in order to increase sales.  It gives installers, as well as design professionals, details about industry standards and information on how to assist clients with selecting and maintaining tile and stone products. 

To see a video preview of the Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification online training course, and others, visit the website found on the online training courses page. You will see that the courses are interactive, professionally narrated, and are loaded with plenty of video clips, photos, and animations in order to enhance the learning experience.

The Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification course should not be confused with the CTEF and ACT Certification Programs for trained Tile Installers to demonstrate their skills and obtain certifications that they meet the respective requirements. Those are great programs for recognizing and promoting qualified installers, and promoting quality installations. The ITS Verification course is a great course for training new tile installers and finishers (helpers), and it is a great continued education course for experienced installers to ensure they know and stay current with industry standards and practices. The ITS course is also very useful for distributors, architects and designers, and for general contractors so they are aware of how tile should be properly installed.

Once registered, UofCTS students have 14 days to complete the course, which is accessible online, 24/7. Students can come and go at their convenience. With online training there are no travel costs or loss of work. All the student needs to access the courses is a computer and an internet connection. Students can print a certificate and download a student reference