A1: 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.
Q2: Who developed the CERTA program?
A2: 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).
Q3: Why was the CERTA program developed?
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.
Q4: Are there data to support reduced fire losses in the roofing industry directly
attributable to the new NRCA/MRCA CERTA program?
A4: 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.
Q5: Who is certified in the CERTA program?
A5: 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.
Q6: Who teaches the CERTA certification sessions?
A6: 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
Q7: How many authorized CERTA trainers and certified torch applicators are in the
A7: There are 764 authorized NRCA/MRCA CERTA trainers and 6,683 certified roofing
torch applicators in the U.S. as of October 2006.
Q8: How do I know if certification training of roofing workers is being properly
A8: 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.
Q9: Is the CERTA program mandatory?
A9: 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.
Q10: Where can I find out more about the CERTA program?
A10: Additional information about the NRCA/MRCA CERTA program including the new
industry best practices is available in the program manual and on NRCA's Web site.
Click here to download a free copy of the
For more information, contact Janice Davis, NRCA's manager of education and risk
management, at (847) 299-9070, ext. 7505, or