A nationwide survey of 499 roofers in England carried out by Chandlers Roofing Supplies in association with Fix Radio revealed that 72% said that work by unscrupulous or incompetent roofers was the top issue facing the future of the roofing trade. A further 73% said they had been called upon to rectify substandard roofing work by a rogue roofer on at least one occasion in the last 12 months. North American roofers and roof consultants will likely not be surprised by these numbers.
In Great Britain, the RoofCERT program is jointly funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC). It seeks to establish a formal standard for roofing operatives that will be recognized by consumers and companies across the construction supply chain. Its target is to accredit 5000 roofers by 2020.
In the United States, National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) CEO Reid Ribble, speaking recently at Roofing Contractor’s Best of Success conference, said he believed it was “time for roofers to change the perception of the industry, both in Congress and in households and boardrooms across the country.” NRCA has launched a national certification initiative for roof system installers and foremen, called the NRCA ProCertification program. Through a series of assessments, including a two-part online and hands-on exam, certifications will eventually be available for some 19 disciplines. Currently available are Thermoplastic System Installer, Asphalt Shingles Installer, and Roofing Foreman.
NRCA has also been calling for ProCertification Qualified Assessors to serve as performance exam proctors for those seeking installation certifications by evaluating and verifying participants’ hands-on skills.
“We cannot draw enough people into this trade, and there’s a whole bunch of reasons for that,” Ribble said. “One thing we do know is that if we make the industry more appealing from an education standpoint and make ourselves equal [in reputation]… with the plumbers, electricians, and other trades, we can make progress.”
The NRCA has budgeted $15 million toward development and implementation of its program.
— Roofing Cladding & Insulation and Professional Roofing