CFA Certified Contractors

Why Choose a CFA Certified Company?

Imagine yourself on the phone tomorrow looking for a qualified foundation contractor for your next project, and the contractor tells you “I am a CFA Certified Contractor”. Your response will likely be one of surprise and skepticism.

Did you know that CFA Certified Contractors have designated staff members that have demonstrated a command of concrete science and foundation construction as well as detailed knowledge of residential codes and standards? This level of knowledge gives them a solid foundation to which they can make quality decisions to better ensure your foundation is solid. Did you also know that CFA Certified Contractor Companies demonstrate a level of business aptitude that establishes their credibility for supporting your project now and years down the road?

Ten years from now when a contractor tells you he is a CFA Certified Contractor your response will be “I only hire CFA Certified Contractors."

Look at the list of areas that the CFA Certification program covers:

Certified Foundation Technician

The basic knowledge of concrete, foundation construction and the codes & standards affecting the industry is a primary component of the program. This certification consists of a one-time examination covering all aspects of construction that are deemed relevant to foundation construction. Specific categories of knowledge include:

  • Safety
  • Concrete
  • Soils/Excavation
  • Footings
  • Walls
  • Moisture/Waterproofing/Drainage
  • Backfilling/Grading
  • Building Codes

The Exam: An open book exam with a maximum 2-hour time limit is given to applicants for the Certified Foundation Technician. The questions consist of multiple choice content addressing each of the categories above. The minimum required to pass the exam is 70%. Preview sample questions here.

The Reference Guide: Sitting for a challenging open book exam requires that the examinee has the necessary resources available to them. The CFA Certification Reference Guide contains all of the information needed to pass the examination including the International Residential Code (IRC) Chapter 4, the American Concrete Institute (ACI) 332 Documents (Standard and Guide), and the CFA Standard along with many other key documents. Obtain a copy of this guide for each person sitting for the examination to ensure access to the information when needed as well as to adequately prepare.

The Seminar: The CFA offers a 3-hr seminar at most events to prepare for the multiple choice exam. The seminar covers much of the content as well as the use of the primary references to facilitate a better understanding of the critical knowledge for future use.

Certification: Once third party verification validates the passing of the exam, the individual will be sent a wall certificate of completion along with a business card copy and a hard hat decal. This certification is effective for one year from the date of issuance. Renewal of the certification requires either proof of authorized continuing education or successful re-examination.

Insurance Requirements

All certified companies are required to maintain and carry in-force minimum levels of insurance for General Liability and Employer’s Liability. While levels of coverage are still under discussion it is anticipated the minimum levels will be $1,000,000 for general liability and $100,000 for employer’s liability. Evidence of insurance of coverage for the above as well as for Workmen’s Compensation in accordance with respective state law is also required. Any changes in the insurance coverage must be provided to staff in order to maintain certification.

Safety Requirements

Evidence of an industry approved safety program must also be provided for review and approval. The safety program must have at least the following components:

  • A Safety Manual;
  • Applicable MSDS Sheets;
  • Safety Meetings with times, frequency, sign-off, and content;
  • Accident Reporting Procedures;
  • Confined Space Guidelines;
  • Cement Burns.

Continuing Education

Twelve hours of annual continuing education will be required by those individual receiving the Certified Foundation Technician status. Education must be divided into the following areas:

  • Codes and Materials (4 hours)
  • Materials and Methods (8 hours)

A variety of options will be available to meet the continuing education requirements. The CFA summer convention, specific seminars at the World of Concrete, Foundation Fundamental seminars, CFA regional meetings and pre-approved locally sponsored seminars by builders groups and other industry segments will also apply towards this requirement. It is in the best interest of participants to have educational requirements spread over several individuals in the event someone leaves the company. For questions on approved courses, please contact Ed Sauter at CFA Headquarters or visit the Continuing Education Coursework page of this site.

Financial Soundness

Companies must be able to demonstrate that they are financially sound through a series of questions relative to their business practices. The company must be solvent (assets exceed liabilities); State and Federal income taxes and payroll taxes must be current; Judgments and liens must be remedied; and the company must not be in bankruptcy. A negative answer to one of the questions will not necessarily preclude approval for certification but it will evoke additional questions with regard to resolving any deficiencies.

Related Training

Many CFA companies operate equipment that either requires special operator training or certification or for which special training is available. Examples include concrete pumps, boom trucks, and excavation equipment. If a company operates any special equipment, they must demonstrate that they have trained personnel operating the equipment.

Experience

Owning a set of forms and having worked for a foundation contractor does not necessarily mean you are qualified to enter the foundation business. In order to be granted full certification, the business entity must have been in business for at least 3 years. New businesses who meet all other qualifications will be granted a Level I certification. Level II, or full certification, will require at least 3 years of experience in the cast-in-place foundation industry. The Board of Appeals will be able to hear special cases, such as a split-up of a partnership where both parties have the requisite experience. A third level of certification is anticipated in the future for contractors involved in constructing above grade homes with structural decks.

 

The next time you hire a foundation contractor, ask for CFA Cast-In-Place Certified personel to do your job. Give your project a good start knowing that it will get done right. A CFA Certified Contractor knows his business from top to bottom, and has proof of their knowledge adhering to established standards of practice including safety, insurance, and professional alliances. In addition, a CFA Certified Contractor is re-certified on an annual basis and keeps up-to-date with continuing education. Sound like someone you’d like working for you?

To locate a Certified Contractor in your area, visit our Certified Personnel Directory or call toll-free 1-866-232-9255.

If you have a project where you would like to see a CFA Certified Contractor perform the work, fill out this brief information form and we will contact you about the possibilities in your area.

Want more information? Read some of the articles that have been published on this exciting program.

Concrete Contractor Magazine
(Official Program Media Sponsor)

  • Article 1 name...
  • Article 2 name...

Concrete Homes Magazine

  • Coming soon!

Concrete Construction Magazine

  • Coming soon!


 

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