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The first qualification exam for the CFA Cast-In-Place Concrete Foundation Contractor Certification Program was recently completed by CFA at the Summer Convention in Arizona. Exams were administered on Wednesday, August 2, 2008 and Saturday, August 5, 2008. They were preceded by a review seminar. Interested companies sent 21 persons to sit for the 2-hour exam.

“The response to this initial offering was staggering,” states Ed Sauter, CFA Executive Director. “As we prepared for the Convention, we had just a handful registered to attend the certification component but that quickly swelled to twenty one examinees, several companies sending two representatives.”

According to Sauter, the exam is a two-hour, open book effort that challenges more than the knowledge base of the examinee.

“This exam was designed to demonstrate that companies have the ability to use the resources at their disposal,” states Sauter. “We did not feel that testing their specific ability to recall a fact or a process was as much of value as developing a solid understanding that they could use codes, standards and construction guides to answer the broader questions in the industry. Examinees found it was a much bigger challenge than some had estimated, but most felt it demonstrated the true value of knowing and understanding building code and safety standard publications.”

This exam was the first, or the pre-qualification step for companies to become certified by the CFA as a Cast-In-Place Concrete Foundation Contractor company. The program seeks to establish a nationwide benchmark for contracting companies involved in the construction of residential concrete foundations. Following the exam, companies must then submit business records dealing with safety, operations, training programs, etc. They must then adhere to a continuing education requirement and periodic audits. The CFA sees this as the next big issue affecting construction across the country and is applying their expertise and status in the industry to create the most appropriate benchmark.

“The issue of certification is one that several of our members are currently trying to handle in their local jurisdictions,” states Dan Bromley, CFA’s current President and the initiator of the certification program for the Association. “This program grew from critical business components identified by the committee to a program that is intended to strengthen the industry and the Association’s impact to its members.”

Submittals of company information will be reviewed by the CFA’s certification consultant, Evaluation Services, Inc. or Phoenix, Arizona. Their review will complete the final steps necessary to receive initial certification.

“We’ve seen the interest the industry has in certification,” states Sauter, “and now we are publicizing why the industry will benefit from this certification. We will also expand certification opportunities. We anticipate holding a minimum of four certification events each year to broaden the opportunities for foundation contracting companies.”

Certification pre-qualification seminars and exams are scheduled for Columbus, Ohio (see information on page 11) and Las Vegas, NV during the World of Concrete (Feb. 2 & 3, 2009). For information on registering for the opportunity in Las Vegas, visit the CFA website at and pre-register using the promotion code A30. You will receive free registration to the WOC exhibits as well as significant discounts on seminars. You will be able to register for the exam.

To learn more about the CFA Foundation Contractor Certification Program or to find out how your company can begin the steps towards becoming certified, visit the CFA website or contact CFA’s headquarters at 319-895-6940.

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us