2017 was so busy that I was unable to find any time to update my blog. So here it is – all in one go – bear in mind that most of all of this is additional to a normal year for me and TRA UK.
The year starts with a lovely holiday in Arizona where my wife and I spent New Year for a second year in a row. The holiday was a prelude to huge volumes of work to come in preparation of new courses for existing clients and new clients. I needed all the rest I could get. The storm was coming!!
A new course sponsored by The WoolSafe Organisation ran for the first time 6th to 10th March – The course was named “Faster to Master” and was aimed at new carpet cleaning businesses who want a lot of training quickly or “old-hands” who want to catch up on missed training certifications in a hurry. It was an intensive course intended to deliver as much experience of the professional (soft furnishings) cleaning and restoration industry as possible in one hit. It was never going to be anything less than a challenge for the students and for the instructor (me). The course consisted of three IICRC certification courses, back-to-back, Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery Cleaning and Odour Control which included hands-on activities in all disciplines including stain removal and the WoolSafe program. A packed syllabus.
I finally managed to attend another Health and Safety Laboratories course in Buxton, Derbyshire. This course was a two-day course entitled COSHH Essentials (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health). I had already done some COSHH training in the past on more than one occasion, and this was a very welcome refresher. Essential.
Still in March 2017
Another new course for The WoolSafe Organisation!! Water Damage Awareness for Carpet Cleaners – a one-day course. Intended to help carpet cleaners make good decisions for those time when they are called to deal with radiator leaks, washing machine leaks, sewage overflows, and when to get involved, when not to and what they need do if they do want to get involved.
Finally a break in March 2017
A long weekend in Prague to let off some steam. It was a present from my brother and his wife for my birthday (lucky me).
First time in Prague for me. Beautiful city. Great beer. Oh…and a Lego museum. I’m definitely going to be back.
Was asked to assist The WoolSafe Organisation at TACCA again. (TACCA – The Approved Carpet Cleaners Alliance).
We organised a one-day training/conference day for UK instructors (existing and prospective instructors) of the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification).
Another new client – another new course – a two-day mould remediation course for major fire and floor restoration organisation.
A break from the norm. My family entered an outdoor volleyball tournament. Some of us were getting a bit old for this (not mentioning any names) and some of us not played competitively before, so we only entered the mixed division 4 level – and ended up in the final!!! (where we proceeded to lose).
Normally, August is a quiet month for me to catch up on writing new material, courses, manuals and preparing for “the Autumn term”. This year after helping my son and his wife move house), two courses came my way in August. The first was an assignment sponsored by the CITB in NI (Construction Industry Training Board in Northern Ireland) and delivered on behalf of the National Flood School. The second was for a private client who needed an urgent course on Water Damage Restoration so that they could do the IICRC Applied Microbial Remediation Course coming up in September at the National Flood School.
The big one. I have been preparing to teach the IICRC Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians course for nearly 6 years. It finally happened. The preparation to get here was significant and now it is done. The first IICRC AMRT course run in the UK by a UK instructor. Finally.
National Carpet Cleaners Association Carnival followed the day after the AMRT class was over. I was a little tired but still enjoyed catching up with many of my colleagues who also made the effort to come. At least the weather was better this year. Fun was had by all attending.
I had never attended the Flooring Show in Harrogate before. I heard it was a big show and I was not disappointed.
An interesting job came my way which involved me having to visit Harwell Document Restoration Services in Didcot. I had been meaning to find a way to visit this company and discuss the complex task of recovering damaged documents for many years. My thanks to the Managing Director who kindly gave me a tour of the facilities.
For many years, as an IICRC instructor, I was obligated to attend a special symposium in the USA to keep my instructorship every two years. While this was relaxed for overseas instructors some years ago, I still attend as I feel I need to meet up with my fellow instructors and share in the vast pool of knowledge that assembles in one place. This year the IICRC Instructors Symposium was held in Vancouver, Washington State and was reduced from the traditional two days to a single day. The event, however, is always followed by a further day which is referred to as the Certification Council Day. This is usually a day where all the Technical Advisory Committees (TAC’s) can meet and discuss the progress of new exam revisions and courses. there are at least 25 IICRC TAC’s. I myself belong to about 6 or 7 and have to seek out the one that is the most strategic one I need to be involved in. This year I was focusing on the HST (Health and Safety Technician) TAC as the new global exam is close to completion and I intend to have that exam brought to UK for the cleaning and restoration industry.
On this occasion, I extended my stay to sit in the gallery to observe the IICRC Board Meeting while it was in open session.
Short trip, all business (although a pleasure to meet so many truly gifted people) and a lot of work got done.
A second run of the Water Damage Awareness course for The WoolSafe Organisation.
A one week trip to Poland – business and pleasure. An important meeting with the directors of PACFM (Polish Association of Certification in Facility Management). This organisation wants to bring IICRC in Poland and will probably sponsor an IICRC School in the next year or so.
A regular December followed an unusual Christmas. We were all on standby for my daughter in law to give birth. Birth due on ….. yep 25th December. Didn’t happen until…. see 2018 for result.
The year in summary. A regular year plus the above. WOW!!!