If you type “mold certification” into a search engine, you will be overwhelmed with the number of options. Indoor Sciences would like to explain the difference between these many mold certification programs.
You want a mold certification, not a certificate
To start, a distinction needs to be made between a “mold certification” and a “mold certificate”. Those terms may appear to be identical, but there is a world of difference. To clarify the difference, it is good to reference the National Organization for Competency Assurance’s (NOCA) Standard 1100.
The standard would consider a “mold certification” to be one that delivers an assessment based on industry knowledge, independent from training course or course providers. Mold certifications can be identified by initials after the name of the professional.
Mold certificates, on the other hand, provide a course of instruction and award a certificate ONLY to those who have taken the course and passed the examination. Mold certificates should not confer initials after the name of the student, but they often do.
So you can see the difference between a mold certification and mold certificate is very slight. But this is the important distinction: Most so-called certifications are really just certificates! Be careful… you may think you are certified, but really you’re not!
You want an accredited mold certification
There are only a few organizations that meet the strict requirements of the Council of Engineering & Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB) to become accredited. CESB-accredited programs must follow strict guidelines for integrity and independence in their policies and operations. Make sure your mold certification organization is listed on the CESB’s website as an accredited certification program. Organizations that offer accredited mold certifications don’t teach prep courses. Our company, Indoor Sciences, provides mold certification preparatory courses, but we are independent of the certifying body.
You want a mold certification that requires experience
You will come across some mold certifications (really “certificates”) that don’t require any field experience. Although at first this sounds like an advantage, it really is a disadvantage. The bar is set very low with these mold certifications, which coincides with the low reputation these programs have. Would you trust someone to inspect mold in your house if he had no experience, but had a mold certification? Mold certifications that require and document actual field experience have a high reputation, due to the high standard that is set.
So which mold certification is best?
Indoor Sciences recommends certifications from the American Council for Accredited Certification (ACAC) and the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH). These programs are CESB-accredited and truly certifications (not certificates). ACAC offers a specific mold certification (Certified Microbial Investigator), whereas the ABIH offers the general Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH). The ABIH’s experience and education requirements often make it difficult to achieve the CIH. For most professionals, we recommend mold certifications from ACAC. Click the following link for a video regarding their certifications.
Mold Certifications: CMI and CMC
ACAC’s Certified Microbial Investigator (CMI) requires two years of documented field experience doing mold inspections. The Certified Microbial Consultant requires eight years of documented field experience. The experience requirements for both the CMI and CMC can be reduced for individuals holding a bachelors of science degree in a related field. For questions about your experience, please contact ACAC.
These mold certifications not only require experience, but you must also pass a rigorous examination. Let Indoor Sciences prep you for these mold certifications. Click on the following links to learn about our CMI and CMC online and on-site courses.
What if I don’t have the required experience?
We recommend you take our comprehensive training program to learn proceedures and methods for performing thorough mold inspections. You want to “do it right” for your first two years while you are building experience. We recommend you attend one of our Certified Microbial Investigator courses that we hold across the country.
In most states, you can now start performing mold inspections. Call us at (312) 920-9393 to see if your state has any licensing requirements.
After two years of field experience, you’ll be ready to test for an accredited mold certification that is well recognized and holds weight in the industry. Call us at (312) 920-9393 if you have any questions about mold certification.