The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS) has extended 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 renewal date extension was part of an agreement between UofCTS and the Tile Marble Terrazzo Union Local 18, which placed a large order of tuitions for the ITS Verification course as part of its continuing education programs for its Journeyman Tile Layers one. In addition to the ITS Verification online course, Local 18 is offering the Advanced Certification for Tile Installer program, which is a new set of certifications developed and administered by a consortium of tile industry organizations (www.tilecertifications.com). 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 Co., 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, Inc., 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.
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. TCNA also suggests the course for Mexican architects to help ensure quality tile installations on their projects.
The 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 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 ITS Verification course is different than the CTEF and ACT Certification Programs for trained tile installers to demonstrate their skills and obtain certifications validating required skills. The ITS Verification is intended for training new tile installers and finishers (helpers), and to provide continued education 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.
UofCTS’s also offers online courses: Understanding the Basics of Natural Stone and Understanding the Basics of Ceramic Tile courses which offer an up-to-date comprehensive look at the stone and ceramic tile industry. For more information, visit www.UofCTS.org.
Once registered, UofCTS students have 14 days to complete a course, which is accessible online, 24/7. Students can come and go at their convenience.
For details on the courses, videos that preview UofCTS courses, and information on purchasing UofCTS online courses visit www.UofCTS.org. Local 18 union members can visit www.tileunion.org; CTDA members can visit www.ctdahome.org; and TTMAC members can visit www.ttmac.com. Interested parties can also call 866.669.1550.