How do you know if a company is really certified?

The American National Standards Institute ( National Organization for Competency Assurance together published the ANSI/NOCA Standard 1100 in March 2009.  This carefully distinguishes training certificates (referred to as "assessments-based certificates") from professional certification programs and explains key differences between the two.  The standard clarifies an important point of confusion that has plagued the IAQ industry for years, causing considerable friction between competing industry certification programs.

What's the Difference?

  • According to the ANSI/NOCA Standard, a training certificate(or "assessment-based certificate") is awarded to someone who attends a particular course of instruction and passess a test based on that course.
  • A professional certification, on the other hand, is awarded to someone who passes an examination based on broad industry knowledge that is independent of training courses or course providers.

Does it Matter?

  • In section 8, Standard 1100 stipulates that holders of training certificates may NOT use letters or acronyms behind their names, nor may they use the word "certified" in describing their credentials.  The use of letters, acronyms and the word "certified" are reserved to holders of professional certifications as defined in the standard.  This is an extremely important development for the IAQ industry.  ANSI/NOCA 1100 suggests that the "certifications" offered by many IAQ organizations today are training certificates only and that those organizations are misleading their members.
  • ACAC certifications comply with ANSI/NOCA 1100 requirements and are considered professional certifications
  • ACAC programs are accredited by the Council for Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB)
  • ​ACAC examinations are compliant with standards published by AERA, APA and NCME
  • ​ACAC is a member of the Institute of Credentialing Excellence (ICE) formally known as NOCA

​Why do I need mold testing if I already know I have a mold problem?

Most certified, reputable mold remediation contractors will require you to have a mold inspection with an air sample analysis and corresponding remediation plan prior to providing you with an estimate.  The mold report will define the extent and severity of the problem and what the proper remediation plan, procedures and protocols should be from and independent, unbiased person (environmental consultant).  It gives a starting point of the environment as it relates to airborne mold spore counts so we can gauge the effectiveness of the remediation contractor at the end of the project for the post-remediation verification aka clearance.

How can I be exposed to mold?

When mold is disturbed, the spores may be released into the air.  You can then be exposed to the spores through the air you breathe.  Also, if you handle moldy materials, you can be exposed to mold and mold spores through contact with your skin.

How does mold grow in my home?

Once spores settle in your home (every home has a "normal" amount of settled spores) they need moisture to begin growing (reproducing) and digesting whatever they are growing on.  Mold can grow on almost any surface if the conditions are ideal.  When excess moisture or water builds up in your home from leaks, flooding, condensation or high humidity, conditions are often ideal for mold growth.