The Basics of Spray Foam Certification
The spray foam industry is rapidly expanding, which means the importance of certification for you and your employees is more important than ever. The minute you step onto the jobsite, you become the manufacturer. Unlike other types of insulation, spray foam is not a pre-manufactured good. You are taking raw chemicals and making the actual product right there, on the job site.
As an owner or manager, the liability of correctly processing the chemicals and proper installation all belongs to you. Additionally, maintaining employees with the proper spray foam certifications in handling and safety are a crucial aspect of running a successful business.
Becoming certified and remaining certified, is an important responsibility. There are also safe use and handling, safety, and training standards that require renewal or evaluation every 1-2 years. That means frequent spray foam training is needed to remain certified. But it’s more than just compliance, there are many benefits for you, your business, and your customers that come with obtaining spray foam certification.
Why You Should Get Your Spray Foam Insulation Certification
A spray foam insulation certification offers your contractors the edge when it comes to their installation and application liability. Having certified applicators on your team can give your business a leg up against competition. Showing your clients that your team is qualified and certified gives them confidence in their decision to hire you.
Secondly, the manufacturer requires certification. Spray foam has been successfully installed in hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings, and manufacturers want contractors who are properly certified and trained to ensure that they handle equipment responsibly, process chemicals correctly, and guarantee a well manufactured product.
In the world of SPF, the installer controls all of the factors surrounding the processes of installation: the equipment, temperature of the material, jobsite etc. Without proper spray foam installation training or education, something can and will go wrong. When something does happen, you can bet the first question asked will be about the certification of those involved in the installation.
Most importantly, certification and training programs are designed to help you get the most out of the products. A set of foam does not come cheap. The best thing you can do as a contractor is be as knowledgeable as possible on the specific product you are using. This, in turn, will increase profitability as well as customer satisfaction.
Where do I start?
The Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) of the American Chemistry Council promotes growth of the polyurethanes industry through safety education certification programs. CPI certification offers low pressure and high pressure SPF chemical health and safety training that you can complete on your own schedule. At the end of each unit, you will be given 3-5 multiple-choice review questions.
At the end of the units there is a 30-question exam that contains all of the review questions, although they may be worded differently. Provided you score 70% or higher, you will pass the course and be given a “Recognition of Completion” form card which is good for 2 years from the date of completion.
As spray foam distributors, IDI has a special interest in teaching our clients. We administer CPI certification exams at each of our spray foam training events. (Remember, these recognition cards are only valid for 2 years from the date of completion. The system will remind you to renew, but it is your responsibility to follow through with the renewal of your training.)
Our training events — exclusive to IDI Customers — are an excellent resource for contractors and installers looking for spray foam insulation classes that fit all levels of experience. In addition to administering CPI exams, we have partnered with the best spray foam manufacturers to provide the most comprehensive and product specific training. Contact your local rep for more information on how to register for the next event near you. For your convenience, online spray foam training is also available on our website.
Continuing Certification Programs
CPI Certification is only a first step in a comprehensive SPF education.
Additionally, there are further certification programs to consider with the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) Professional Certification Program.
The SPFA certification program is a progression of four certification levels: SPF Assistant, SPF Insulation Installer (Apprentice Level), SPF Insulation Master Installer (Advanced Level), SPF Insulation Project Manager. This certification is the most extensive and rigorous program for SPF professionals available in the world, with each level requiring written and field examinations and renewal required annually. Click here for access to the handbook that includes curriculum, study guides, written exams and field exam forms.
With the SPF industry continuing to grow, and showing no signs of slowing down, it is becoming increasingly important for techs to stay up to date on their training and education. Certification is an effective and necessary tool to stay informed, profitable, and able to provide a valuable service to many homeowners in need.
Are you a spray foam technician? What are your thoughts on spray foam certification requirements? We want to hear from you — contact us through our site.
By Don Clymer
Don Clymer works for IDI as the National Spray Foam Sales Manager. Learn more about spray foam and take the CPI test when you attend one of our regional training events. Click here to find an upcoming training event near you.