As pests that threaten public health continue to make headlines across the country, consumers are looking for professionals they can trust to help protect their families, homes and businesses from pests that they can’t. QualityPro, the only recognized and accepted credentialing authority of the professional pest management industry, has worked with industry experts to develop a Public Health certification program that was announced at PestWorld 2018. Pest management companies can now apply to earn the first two service certifications targeting mosquitoes and rodents.
QualityPro Public Health is designed to verify that the services performed by accredited pest management companies are science-based, effective and commercially viable. The certification also ensures that the technicians who show up at the customer’s door have the knowledge needed related to the service they will provide. Anyone who performs rodent or mosquito work is encouraged to check out QualityPro Public Health.
CERTIFICATION DEVELOPMENT. Over the past year, an 11-person task force worked diligently to identify the pests and topics covered in this credential, categorize them into certification areas and organize work groups to build out the standards for the first two certifications. After much research and deliberation, the task force agreed upon five certification areas focusing on bed bugs, biting and stinging insects, mosquitoes, rodents and wildlife.
The task force was comprised of representatives from the National Pest Management Association, the American Mosquito Control Association, the National Environmental Health Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Entomological Society of America, in addition to participants from a vector control district and five pest management companies.
PMP APPLICATIONS. The task force, under guidance from the QualityPro Board of Directors, established a formal process for earning and maintaining the new Public Heath credentials. First and foremost, a company must earn QualityPro Accreditation by meeting 16 standards of professionalism. The standards are based on four key principles relating to how companies do business in the fields of business operations, environmental stewardship, consumer relations and employee education.
Once accredited, companies have access to free national exams and become eligible to earn additional service certifications, including QualityPro Public Health. The process to certify service is a simple one. First, the company will need to determine which certification area(s) to pursue. Then, the company will submit a $100 application fee and service documentation that advises employees of the proper way to perform the specific service and educates customers on what to expect from the service. Accepted documentation includes a service protocol, customer education handouts and a scope of service.
Assessors will review and score the documentation. The company either will receive confirmation of acceptance or feedback to the documentation that details how to come into compliance and become certified. QualityPro will work with the company to bring the service into compliance, even if it takes a couple of back-and-forth rounds. Concurrently, all employees who perform or sell the submitted service must pass two exams: one about all public health pests and one on the specific pest that the service targets. These exams are available to all employees of QualityPro-accredited companies regardless of whether the company is pursuing certification for its service.
After all employees have passed the exams and the assessors deem the service compliant, the company can advertise that it offers QualityPro Public Health certified service which, in turn, elevates their business above the competition and allows them a unique opportunity to grow.
For more information and to apply, pest management professionals can visit www.npmaqualitypro.org.
The author is executive director of QualityPro.