FCITS certified inspector versus NWFA

Discussion in 'Industry News, Training & Organizations' started by getoverit, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. getoverit

    getoverit Pro Member

    In my earlier thread regarding low humidity causing cupping I said that the original inspection was done by a NWFA certified inspector. I just found out that it was actually done by a FCITS certified inspector. Is the training that the FCITS inspector received as good as the NWFA inspector received? Is it the same? Or does it come down to the brains and integrity of the individual inspector? In a way this relates to the "If you lost it" thread. The principles involved in this are going to demand a "Certified" NWFA inspector. I hope this doesn't create name calling :ohno:or anything because that's not what I want to do.
    I'd just like to hear some opinions from the pros.
  2. Dan Schultz

    Dan Schultz Certified Wood Floor Inspector Charter Member

    I truly believe your answer lies in the ability of the student to comprehend what the instructor is teaching as well as the ability of the instructor to teach his/her course along with what is being offered in the course.
  3. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Thanks for this. It can be a good topic, but the real answers might only be had by those who have taken both courses of study and have been certified by both. I hope we don't get people guessing at what is better or worse. An opinion on this particular question could only come from personal experience.

  4. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I will say only this and no more because it is a good question and deserves proper discussion. It is no time to choose sides and get into a spitting contest. Look at both web sites and see what is offered and make your decision from that.
  5. getoverit

    getoverit Pro Member

    That's what I want.....Just honest opinions. Thanks T
  6. getoverit

    getoverit Pro Member

    And you too Tandy
  7. getoverit

    getoverit Pro Member

    That's what I meant by brains and integrity. I know there's excellent inspectors in both organizations and bad ones as well.
  8. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    You have hit it on the head. Both schools are good but the inspector has to learn and apply what it taught.

    Why do you feel this way? Is the manufacturer a NWFA mill? Or do you have more confidence in NWFA?
  9. Floorguy

    Floorguy The Living Dead Charter Member Senior Member

    The NWFA inspector pays to take a pretty lengthy test 350 question, that is not multiple choice. You have to compose 2 reports, from the 2 scenario inspections. Then your on a provisional status, until you prove yourself.
    You don't have to take any class, but it is usually offered after some classes.

    I believe with FCITS, you take a week, or weekend long coarse, and your tested afterward. I have not taken the coarse but it is probably a copy of the NWFA manual they teach from, as there instructors are NWFA, and have the manuals. I don't see why it would be any different, except when it comes to which one holds more clout.
  10. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    Oh boy, I'm probably going to get it for this response! :eek:

    I do not have a very high regard for either. :mad:

    At least the FCITS instructor has been through the NOFMA course.

    I would look for a NOFMA (yes, they have been absorbed by NWFA, but there were 22 inspectors under the old NOFMA-CWFI program) or were trained by Howard Brickman. These folks have some training based on wood science.

    I take issue with any inspector test that is closed book (NWFA closed book. I cannot speak for FCITS). Why? Are we looking for trained memories or trained investigators who know where to get the correct information? I refer to books and standards on virtually every report I write. The direction of my thinking may come from memory and experience, but the documentation doe snot. How are the equipping inspectors to do the proper research?
  11. Nick Arrera

    Nick Arrera Resting In Peace

    Good points Peter .
    And although low RH can cause cupping not knowing what tests were done and what the readings were i would not be to quick to blame it on low RH.
  12. Dave Garden

    Dave Garden CFI and Proud

    I don't think it really matters where the cert comes from. What these courses teach is that you must actually investigate the issue. If the inspector is not willing to research the reason for the failer then he is not doing his job. Lazy people come from all walks of life. I know this, if I were to get an inspection on a job I did I would want to be present when the inspection tookn place. If I did something wrong I would want to know what, why, and how to ensure that it did not happen again. Replacing is too expensive for me obsorb without understanding what went wrong. It would not make a difference what badge the inspector had, just be right!
  13. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    Great attitude Dave!! :)

    It is rare the installer is on sites I inspect, and if they have your attitude I welcome having them there, with the cavet I will not give any conclusions while I'm on the site. I am more than happy to explain what i am doing and why I do it, but I don't analyze the data until I'm in my office. I need to concentrate on getting all the info I need, not thinking about the cause while I on site. I also want all my refernce information at hand while I actually writing the report.

    I have been pretty lucky in that there have only been a few cases ion over 10 years where an inspection began on an adversarial basis. I had one last week that the store onwenr had installed himself. He remember me immediately from the class Daris had put on here a couple years ago. He made me fell great by recalling me and saying he was glad I was doing the inspection. We went over a few installation things that popped out but there wasn't anything serious and they did not have any bearing on the claim.

    He has a wood claim that was denied for rather specious reasons and I may wind up with another nice commission to re-inpsect that job for him.
  14. Dave Garden

    Dave Garden CFI and Proud

    I would be lying if I did not say building a relationship is important. I would not expect any conversation in front of the customer other than the standard pleasentries. The fact remains that if there is a correction that can be made I would rather make it than replace it. Hard surfaces did not come as natural to me as carpet did. There was a huge learning curve with the flatness of substrates.
  15. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    Dave, again good points. The conversations we had occurred when the homeowner was out of earshot. But I would have answered her questions the same way. She did ask a few that I answered in a forthright factual manner.

    BIG NOTE: in my first reply to this post, I neglected to mention the guy that got me delving into the science part of the wood inspections. My first "formal" training in wood inspection was a class Tandy put on about four or five years ago. After that class which covered a lot of basics, I was stunned I had been looking at wood jobs with the lack of knowledge I possessed. Selling it and watching it be installed for years had not given me the specific understandings to inspect it. I have since attended five other classes and have a sixth scheduled for later this year. I'm still not an expert on wood, but am far better equipped for the forensics ... I even now know how to build a dehumidification dry kiln and write a schedule for drying lumber :eek:
  16. getoverit

    getoverit Pro Member

    Rg, I don't necessarily feel that way. We're just having it re inspected and the guys making that decision feel that having the NWFA certification looks better then the FCITS. I'm not really involved with this claim. I was asked about the lack of humidity causing cupping and that's how I became interested in the differences between the certifications. It seems to me that having the NWFA-CWFI certification gives the appearance of having advanced knowledge in wood floors. I'm sure that all inspectors can take the same classes and therefore can have the same knowledge. But....Do the certifying bodies require the inspectors to take the same classes in identifying problems with wood floors? In other words I guess I'm asking if one course is a quick weekend, pay your fee and you're certified to inspect wood,vinyl,carpet,tile and laminate and the other is an intense 1-2 week long course with continuing education on wood floors only. I'm just kind of confused:confused: and curious.
  17. getoverit

    getoverit Pro Member

    Peter, as usual I love your feedback. (sorry guys,I've got to keep his head swelled up.Just in case he falls in a swimming pool or lake it'll keep him above water:D) It makes it very clear that the certifications really don't matter. It's up to the individual inspector to learn his trade properly just like installers need to do.
  18. UncleCliffie

    UncleCliffie Charter Member

    I went through the hard surface certification about 10 years ago. I had been through a mill trip at prior to the hard surface school. I sold and inspected Hartco products as a distributor Rep. I did a number of inspections in the past on wood. Based on the good information I found on this web site, I determined I did not have the necessary training to inspect wood floors properly, and as a result I no longer accept commissions for wood inspections. At 71 years of age, I have decided to put my microscope up on the shelf. I just could not justify the costs and time involved to become qualified to do the job correctly. If I can't do it right, I am not going to do it. I just felt I was not fully qualified based on the training I received in 1999 when I got certified for the hard surface products.
    Dick Johnson
  19. getoverit

    getoverit Pro Member

    :bow That's integrity..

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