Authorized Trainer FAQs

The success of the NRCA/MRCA CERTA program has created a need for information about how the program works and its policies and procedures. NRCA has developed several commonly asked questions based on the needs of various audiences. To find answers to questions about the CERTA program, choose the category that best describes you.

Building Owners
  • Government agency
  • U.S. military base
  • Property manager
  • Facilities manager
  • Commercial building owner
  • Industrial building owner
  • Institutional building owner
  • General contractor
  • Building code official
  • Homeowner
BUILDING OWNERS' FAQS
Roofing Contractors
  • Company owner
  • Project manager
  • Safety director
  • Superintendent
  • Foreman
  • Estimator
  • Salesperson
  • Office administrator


ROOFING CONTRACTORS' FAQS
Technical
  • Design professional
  • Architect
  • Roof consultant
  • Engineer
  • Materials specifier
  • Materials distributor
TECHNICAL FAQS
Certified Applicators
  • Roofing helper
  • Roof mechanic
  • Foreman
  • CERTA certified applicator


CERTIFIED APPLICATORS' FAQS
Authorized Trainers
  • Authorized torch applicator certification trainer
  • Authorized torch applicator recertification trainer
AUTHORIZED TRAINERS' FAQS



 

Building owners' FAQs
CERTA is an acronym for the Certified Roofing Torch Applicator program. It is a training program designed to teach roofing workers how to safely use roofing torches. The program also helps roofing workers and contractors implement the latest roofing industry best practices for the safe use of roofing torches.
The current CERTA program was updated in 2004 by NRCA to incorporate new industry best practices. CERTA originally was developed in the mid-1980s by the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA).
The MRCA CERTA program originally was developed to address the related hazards of using a roofing torch. A significant increase in torch-related roofing fires between 2000 and 2003 led to new industry best practices. The updated NRCA/MRCA CERTA program is designed to implement these new best practices and effect safe torching techniques by roofing workers. Improved techniques of roofing workers who use roofing torches can reduce property damage caused by roofing fires and improve conditions for general liability insurance for roofing contractors.
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.
A roofing worker must successfully complete a registered CERTA applicator training session conducted by an authorized CERTA trainer to become certified. Participants must pass extensive hands-on and classroom training activities. Certification belongs to an individual roofing worker and not his employer.
Only authorized CERTA trainers can conduct certification training sessions and certify roofing workers. Roofing contractors, their key managers, safety consultants and some union apprenticeship trainers typically become authorized trainers. Individuals who wish to become authorized CERTA trainers must successfully pass a 10-hour NRCA train-the-trainer program. Only NRCA provides this train-the-trainer authorization program.
There are 633 authorized NRCA/MRCA CERTA trainers and 12,033 certified roofing torch applicators as of October 2018.
CERTA training of torch applicators is conducted only by authorized trainers. Training sessions must be registered with NRCA 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.
The NRCA/MRCA CERTA program is a requirement for certain insurance industry underwriters as a condition for coverage. Some private building owners, branches of the U.S. Military and general contractors also have implemented the NRCA/MRCA CERTA program as a requirement in construction contracts. Some state and local government agencies also require the NRCA/MRCA CERTA program for building code compliance.
Additional information about the NRCA/MRCA CERTA program including the new industry best practices is available in the program manual and on NRCA's website.

 

 

Roofing contractors' FAQs

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, manager of NRCA University at (847) 299-9070, 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 .

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.
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.
A roofing contractor will need to contact his insurance company to determine the grace period allowed to get his torch applicators trained.
Yes. The certification fee is $160 per person to become certified and $120 to become recertified. 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.
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.
Yes. The fee to become an authorized trainer is $695 per person for members and $995 for nonmembers. The fee to become a reauthorized trainer is $595 per person for members and $895 for nonmembers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No. CERTA requirements apply when the open flame of a roofing torch is directed at a roof or other building component.
No, they are not.
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.

 

 

Technical FAQs
CERTA is the roofing industry's certified roofing torch applicator program. It was developed in response to increasing fire losses in the roofing industry. CERTA is a safety program that establishes best practices in the design and application of torch-applied roof systems and use of a roofing torch.

CERTA also is a requirement for roofing contractors who use roofing torches as a condition of general liability coverage by some insurance companies.
Click here to view a detailed list of the new industry best practices.

Although you need to be familiar with all of these new best practices, roof system design professionals specifically need to be familiar with the following information:
  • All flashings, curbs and penetrations that incorporate combustible components, such as wood nailers or wood fiber cant strips, must be encapsulated with multiple base ply sheets before the installation of torch-applied materials. When applying torch-applied, polymer-modified bitumen sheet products as membrane flashings over combustible flashing substrates, a two-layer backer shall be incorporated into the detail design and installation. Acceptable two-layer backers include a layer of a fiberglass base or ply sheet mechanically fastened to the combustible substrate and an additional layer of a fiberglass ply sheet adhered to the first layer using solid moppings of hot asphalt.

  • When applying torch-applied, polymer-modified bitumen sheet products over combustible roof deck substrates without above-deck thermal insulation, a thermal barrier shall be incorporated into the roof system design and be installed over the roof deck before the installation of the polymer-modified bitumen membrane system. Acceptable thermal barriers include 3/4-inch-thick perlite board insulation; 3/4-inch-thick fiberglass insulation board; or 1/4-inch-thick glass-faced gypsum board. When a layer of noncombustible insulation is used as the thermal barrier, the roof system shall be considered an "insulated substrate" and comply with the manufacturer's recommendations and the specific recommendations for insulated substrates contained in the current edition of the NRCA roofing and waterproofing manual.

  • All flashings at penetrations, curbs, walls, parapets, edges, etc. MUST be installed using the torch-and-flop method. The flashing pieces must be precut; heated on a noncombustible surface away from the area to be flashed; and flopped into place by hand. An open flame should NEVER come in direct contact with any flashing areas, penetrations or roof edges.
Yes, provided they include a base layer of either a nailed fiberglass base ply or additional layer of peel-and-stick material.
No. Asphalt-based mastics, cements or adhesives are not approved for torch-applied flashing materials.
No. Great quality applications can be achieved using the torch-and-flop method. This technique is an acquired skill and requires practice. Many roofing workers are not accustomed to using torch-and-flop exclusively and they will need to practice and acquire this new skill. Many roofing contractors already use torch -and-flop methods exclusively and have had good experiences. It is possible to achieve a quality installation using torch-and-flop methods.
Roofing contractors whose employees are certified under the NRCA/MRCA CERTA program are your best bet to avoid a catastrophic fire. You should be aware that some insurance companies, building owners, military bases, general contractors and local building code authorities require CERTA-certified roofing mechanics as a contract condition.
Additional information about the NRCA/MRCA CERTA program can be found in a student manual or an authorized trainer's instructor's guide.

 

 

Certified applicators' FAQs
Familiarize yourself thoroughly with the new industry best practices for the safe installation of torch-applied polymer-modified bitumen roof systems. Follow these practices whenever you use a roofing torch. Keep your CERTA student manual handy for reference in the future.
Report this information to your foremen or supervisor immediately.
Three years from the date of your training.
Tell your supervisor you received the notice. You should complete your recertification training BEFORE your actual expiration date. You will not be able to use a roofing torch after your certificate has expired. You will have 30 days after your expiration to complete the recertification training. You will have to retake the original torch applicator class if you do not complete retraining within this 30-day grace period.
Yes
No
The recertification class is a shorter refresher course of your original training.
To request a duplicate certificate, contact Diana Arroyo, manager of NRCA University at (847) 299-9070, ext. 7597 or CERTAadmin@nrca.net.
You can ask your trainer for a new student manual or click here to download a free copy of the manual.
It belongs to you. If you change employers, your training certificate goes with you.
No, the MRCA CERTA program and the NRCA/MRCA CERTA program are NOT the same. Certain insurance companies, construction contracts, building owners and local building codes only recognize the NRCA/MRCA CERTA program as meeting their requirements. If you currently are certified under the MRCA CERTA program, that certification still is valid but it is not the same as the NRCA/MRCA CERTA certification.
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.
Please ask your CERTA trainer and refer to your student manual.

 

 

Authorized trainers' FAQs
Yes. The number of serious roofing torch-related fire incidents has decreased significantly since 2004 when the CERTA program was implemented in the roofing industry. 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. A decade later, in 2012, the same insurance company did not have any recordable losses. Many factors have influenced this decline, and CERTA is one that has clearly has played a significant role in the safe use of roofing torches throughout the roofing industry.
Familiarize yourself with all the requirements in the CERTA Instructors guide that you received during your class. Prepare for and schedule your first registered torch applicator certification class as soon as you can while the information still is fresh in your mind.
You will need to register each training session in advance. NRCA will register and confirm your session by providing you with a session number. Once registered, you may conduct the training at anytime within seven business days after receiving a valid training session number from NRCA. Do not proceed with a training session unless you have received a session registration number. Training sessions conducted without first being registered will not be recognized.
Yes. It is possible that NRCA or CNA may audit your class. Audits are conducted randomly and without notice.
If at any time during an authorized CERTA trainer's term he is found not complying with the policies and procedures set forth in the CERTA program or takes any action or behavior deemed inappropriate relating to the conduct of his training efforts, NRCA may take the following actions:
  • Revoke the trainer's authorized status
  • Revoke the certified status of all individuals the trainer has trained
The authorized trainer, individuals the trainer has certified and their employers immediately will be notified of these actions. Under no circumstances will NRCA refund tuition fees, certification fees or recertification fees paid by the trainer or on their behalves.
If you currently have a CD-ROM that includes these training materials, please discard it as changes have been made to the documents. The Certification and Recertification documents have been updated and are available for you to download from NRCA's website in the CERTA classes section under Trainer resources by clicking here. The materials contained on the Web are copyright-protected and may not be used for resale by any individual.
You must complete and submit to NRCA the Training Session Roster report. This form is formatted as an Excel spreadsheet and is available on NRCA's website in the CERTA classes section under Trainer resources. You can email or fax this form to NRCA. You will find a description of the information needed for this form and instructions for submitting it in your CERTA Instructors Guide.
You must submit payment of the certification fees to NRCA for each trainee you wish to certify. Roofing workers who have completed training are not considered certified until the fee is paid. Instructions for submitting payment are in your Instructors Guide.
Your employer must complete and submit the Employer Verification form that you received during your CERTA Authorized Train-the-trainer class. The employer also must pay a fee for your torch applicator certification. This form contains instructions for submittal to NRCA. If you do not have this form, you can request a copy by contacting Diana S. Arroyo, manager of NRCA University at (847) 299-9070, ext. 7597 or CERTAadmin@nrca.net.
Click here to read the instructions provided in the "Renewal policies and procedures" section of NRCA's website.
For more information, click here, or contact Diana S. Arroyo, manager of NRCA University at (847) 299-9070, ext. 7597 or CERTAadmin@nrca.net.
If students fail the written exam, NRCA staff will work with them to find a testing center where they can retake the exam. If students prefer, they can sit through the classroom portion of another CERTA Train-the-trainer class and then retake the exam during the lunch hour. They do not have to participate in the hands-on portion of the class again. If they prefer the latter option, their tuition will be comped.
If the trainer is the boss or owner, NRCA needs a reference (name and contact information) of someone outside the company who can attest to them having a minimum of three years' torching experience. NRCA will call the reference to verify a trainer's experience.
Yes, a trainer can have more than 20 students in the classroom, however, not in the hands-on portion. A ratio of 20 students per authorized trainer must be maintained for the hands-on portion of a registered applicator training session.
Yes, otherwise, he will not pass the hands-on part of the class. If he does not possess torching skills, he should spend time before the class with a roofing crew to learn how to handle a torch, set it up, break it down and practice using it.

 

 

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