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Roofing contractors' FAQs

Q1: My insurance company requires my employees who use roofing torches to be certified by the NRCA/MRCA CERTA program to qualify for general liability coverage. How do I get my roofing workers certified in this program?

A1: There are three ways a contractor can get his employees trained and certified:
  1. A key employee (the owner, safety director, superintendent, foreman, etc.) can attend and successfully complete this 10-hour training class. The program is held from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Prerequisites for attendance include experience using a roofing torch; understand English well enough to fully participate in classroom activities; and some training experience. Without these three basic competencies, a participant may struggle passing the course. After a participant successfully completes this program, he becomes an authorized trainer and is able to train and certify other roofing workers. Train-the-trainer participants receive a complete training kit in English and Spanish, including the CERTA training video, when they attend the class. For a class schedule and to register, click here.

  2. NRCA can provide you with a list of authorized trainers and their contact information in your area. You can contact them directly and arrange for them to come to your location and train and certify your employees. NRCA does not establish rates or fees an authorized trainer charges for conducting training. To obtain a list of authorized trainers, contact Diana S. Arroyo, NRCA University's assistant, at (800) 323-9545, ext. 7597 or CERTAadmin@nrca.net.

  3. You can contract directly with NRCA to come to your location and train and certify your employees on-site in English or Spanish. You must provide the roofing materials, mockups and training facilities. For more information, contact Jeff Jarvis, NRCA's vice president of sales and business development, at (800) 323-9545, ext. 7512 or jjarvis@nrca.net.

Q2: Are there data to support reduced fire losses in the roofing industry directly attributable to the new NRCA/MRCA CERTA program?

A2: Yes. The number of serious roofing torch-related fire incidents has decreased significantly since 2004 when the new NRCA/MRCA CERTA program was implemented in the roofing industry. For example, in 2002, one major insurance company paid 35 roofing torch-related fire losses of more than $1,000 and 11 of more than $500,000. In 2005, after only one year of the new NRCA/MRCA CERTA program implementation, the same insurance company paid 13 losses of more than $1000, including only two of more than $500,000. The NRCA/MRCA CERTA program had made a significant effect on the safe use of roofing torches throughout the roofing industry.

Q3: Who receives certification?

A3: Individual roofing workers become certified roofing torch applicators, NOT a roofing company. The certification belongs to and stays with an individual roofing worker not his employer.

Q4: How soon must I have my torch applicators trained?

A4: A roofing contractor will need to contact his insurance company to determine the grace period allowed to get his torch applicators trained.

Q5: Is there a fee to certify a roofing worker in the CERTA program?

A5: Yes. The current certification fee is $120 per person if the worker's employer is an NRCA member and $160 per person if the worker's employer is a not an NRCA member. The fee is payable after a roofing worker successfully passes a registered CERTA applicator training class conducted by an authorized CERTA trainer. A roofing worker is not certified until this fee is paid. This published fee is subject to change without notice.

Q6: What happens if a roofing worker does not pass a registered CERTA applicator training class?

A6: The roofing worker must attend another registered CERTA applicator training session conducted by an authorized trainer and repeat the section of the class he failed until he successfully meets the programs passing requirements.

Q7: Is there a fee to train an employee to become an authorized trainer?

A7: Yes. The current fee for a NRCA/MRCA CERTA Train-the-trainer class is $495 per person for NRCA members and $695 per person for nonmembers.

Q8: What happens if a person does not pass a CERTA Train-the-trainer class?

A8: Attendees who fail either the classroom or hands-on portion of the class may retake that portion of the class at a future date. There is no charge to retake any portion of this class.

Q9: How long is the training valid?

A9: The authorized status of a trainer and certification of a torch applicator are valid for three years after the date they successfully passed their respective program.

Q10: Is recertification training required?

A10: Yes. Recertification training is required for torch applicators and reauthorization training is required for authorized trainers. Following are additional details about renewals in the NRCA/MRCA CERTA program.
Authorized trainers

Trainers who wish to conduct torch applicator recertification training must take the trainer reauthorization course. The trainer reauthorization course is different in scope and purpose from the original train-the-trainer course. Trainers taking the reauthorization class must do so within six months of their original training expiration dates, after which they will be required to retake the NRCA/MRCA CERTA Train-the-trainer course in addition to the reauthorization class. Trainers are not authorized to conduct training during this six-month period.

Certified torch applicators

Applicators must complete their recertification training within 30 days of their original training expiration dates, after which they will be required to retake the NRCA/MRCA CERTA torch applicator class. Applicators are not certified during this 30-day period.
Q11: How will I know if an employee's certification is about to expire?

A11: Authorized trainers and certified torch applicators will be directly notified at six months, three months and one month before the expiration dates. Notifications will be sent to the address of record. It is the responsibility of trainers and applicators to notify their employers that their authorized statuses or certifications are about to expire.

The same expiration notices will be sent to the employer of record, which was provided when the authorized trainer and certified applicator completed their original training.

Q12: How do I know if certification training of my roofing workers is being conducted properly?

A12: CERTA training of torch applicators is conducted only by authorized trainers. Training sessions must be registered with NRCA a minimum of five business days in advance. NRCA and many insurance industry loss-control representatives randomly audit registered training sessions without notice to assure quality training is occurring in the field. If a CERTA authorized trainer is conducting a registered training session at your location, you are obligated to allow these representatives to conduct CERTA class audits. CERTA auditors are not allowed to audit, inspect or otherwise comment on any other part of your business operations.

Q13: My company only uses roofing torches to dry or repair roofs. We do not install modified bitumen roof systems. Does CERTA apply to me?

A13: Yes. All personnel using roofing torches with open flames in contact with a roof or adjacent building component must successfully complete the NRCA/MRCA CERTA torch applicator training.

Q14: Does CERTA apply to roofing workers who use a torch to maintain or work with other roofing equipment such as felt layers, hot luggers and kettles?

A14: No. CERTA requirements apply when the open flame of a roofing torch is directed at a roof or other building component.

Q15: Are roofing workers who are certified by the MRCA CERTA program also certified by the NRCA/MRCA CERTA program?

A15: No, they are not.

Q16: Where can I find more information about the NRCA/MRCA CERTA program and the new industry best practices?

A16: Additional information about the NRCA/MRCA CERTA program can be found in a student manual, an authorized trainer's instructor's guide, on NRCA's Web site or by directly contacting NRCA.


For more information, contact Janice Davis, NRCA's manager of education and risk management, at (847) 299-9070, ext. 7505, or jdavis@nrca.net.





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