Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between “certificate” and “certification?”

Certification and certificate are distinct terms. A certificate reflects completing a training and/or education program and accomplishing the intended learning outcomes. Certificates are issued for life or for a specific time period, and cannot be revoked, which means they do not require ongoing maintenance or renewal. A certification reflects the attainment of established criteria for proficiency or competency in a profession or occupation and is granted upon an assessment of an individual’s knowledge, skills, and abilities. Certification is valid for a specific time period. A certification program has ongoing requirements for maintaining proficiency or competency and can be revoked if ongoing requirements are not met.

But aren’t the current certification programs already doing this?

The answer is yes and no. The current programs do involve an assessment (the exam) and do require ongoing maintenance (renewal), however, the basis of these programs is not founded on valid, legally-defensible methods, such as a Job and Task Analysis (JTA).

What is a JTA?

A JTA addresses the most important tasks within a job role, documents efficient installation practices, and serves as a legally-defensible basis for the curriculum. Often used to construct and validate certification programs, JTAs are the legal and technical basis for establishing industry certification. JTAs also ensure that exam questions being asked are relevant to the job and its required tasks. A JTA can serve as the guidance document for developing an apprenticeship program and justifying the need for the licensure of installers. Ultimately, a JTA helps the industry establish that installation profession as a trade.

What is the ISO?

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 167 national standards bodies. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market-relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.

What is ISO 17024:2012?

ISO 17024:2012 contains principles and requirements for a body certifying persons against specific requirements, and includes the development and maintenance of a certification scheme for persons.

What is accreditation?

To be accredited by the ISO means that you have been audited by an independent 3rd party and that you have demonstrated your business conforms to the requirements of the latest quality process standards set by the International Standards Organization. An accreditation mark is a symbol of excellence, recognized worldwide by employers, industry leaders, hiring managers, and credential holders.

What is the value of ISO 17024:2012 Accreditation?

  • Signals to an employer that the credential holder has undergone a valid, fair, and reliable assessment to verify that they have the necessary competencies to practice.
  • Accreditation provides an added layer of legal defensibility against invalid claims.
  • Many government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Federal and State OSHA, and the FDA, rely on accreditation as it assures the competency of the certification program.
  • Accountability and transparency built into the accreditation process support conformity assessment attestations, and can result in reduced liability insurance.

Can nonmembers of CMHA participate in the certification programs?

Yes, anyone who meets the initial requirements of the program and feel that they are ready to pass the exam is welcome to apply for certification.

What changes can be expected of the programs?

The changes to the program will not be that drastic. Programs will still require initial installation experience, examination, continued education, and renewal.

The main difference is that the new program will be founded on the specific certification program JTA. For example, the Concrete Paver Installer Certification exam will now be based on the CPI JTA that was conducted in the summer of 2021. The other main difference is that the training (course) and assessment (exam) must be separated for impartiality reasons. For those same reasons, certification bodies that provide both training and certifications often do not require training because the firewalls needed to separate the two become very cumbersome. For this reason, the CMHA Certification Committee has decided to not require training, but strongly recommends it.

Some of the other changes are more procedural, for instance, Certified Installers must now abide by an Installer Code of Conduct and Applicant Statement of Understanding. There is now a formal process for applicants, candidates, and consumers to file complaints and appeals.

The last difference will be how the programs operate internally. ISO 17024:2012 requires the program to conduct various audits to check for program validity and to always seek continued program improvement.

If the course is not a requirement, how do I prepare for the exam?

Each program will have an Exam Blueprint, Study Guide, and References for applicants to use to prepare for the exam. These documents tell applicants exactly what is on the exam and where to find the needed information to pass the exam.

Of course, applicants may still take CMHA Installer Courses or courses and programs from other education providers. Remember, training is strongly recommended, but not required and that only applicants ready to take the exam should apply for certification.

Can I take the exam in-person or online?

As of July 1, 2023, the Concrete Paver Installer Certification exam will be online only. No information is currently available for SRW, PICP, and MSV programs.

What are the certification application requirements?

  • Basic Information (name, address, phone, email)
  • Installation Experience
  • Two endorsements of experience
  • Agree to Installer Code of Conduct
  • Agree to Applicant Statement of Understanding
  • Pay fee

What are the certification renewal application requirements?

  • Documentation of 8 CEUs from current certification period (last 2 years)
  • Agree to Installer Code of Conduct
  • Pay fee

Where can I find CEU programs for recertification?

Pre-Approved CEU programs will still be listed under the CMHA Certification webpage. Of course, if you find another provider that meets the CEU requirements, please submit with your renewal application for approval.

Can CMHA members still sponsor courses and CEU programs?

Yes, these processes did not change much other than the fact that the sponsored installer courses will no longer offer an exam. However, in terms of CEUs, business, administrative and marketing programs will no longer be acceptable for renewal.

How long will the transition to conform to the standard take?

Once the program’s JTA is complete, the process to transition and become accredited takes about 1 year. The Certified Concrete Paver Installer program is set to launch on July 1, 2023, and the goal is to be accredited by July 1, 2024.

How are the program fees structured?

The certification program will have an application fee, a retest fee, and a renewal fee. The certification program will charge members and nonmembers the same rate. In order to offset the new certification application fee, the course registration fee will be somewhat less expensive.

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