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CSDA Launches Company Certification-The First of its Kind in the Industry

St. Petersburg, Florida The Concrete Sawing & Drilling Association (CSDA) is pleased to announce the launch of the CSDA Certification Program for sawing and drilling contractors. The 3-tier audit program has been developed by the CSDA Certification Committee to provide owners, architects, engineers, general contractors and government officials with a valuable prequalification tool, improve the knowledge and skills of cutting contractors and enhance their public image.

The first of its kind in the industry, the program aims to educate the marketplace that hiring a certified company will eliminate risks associated with hiring a sawing and drilling contractor who may otherwise be seen as another unknown subcontractor. CSDA is the only association representing the interests of cutting contractors.

CSDA has been a leader in the development of safety and training programs since 1993. Since that year, more that 2,000 employees have graduated from the hands-on and online training programs that have been established, while safety materials such as the CSDA Safety Manual, Safety Handbook, Toolbox Safety Tips and a series of safety DVDs have been produced to help maintain safe working environments.

Sawing and drilling contractors can attain one, two or all three levels of certification. Level 1 has been devised to evaluate if a company meets the basic safety and financial requirements of the industry. To attain Level 2, a company must show it is undertaking sound operational and financial best practices in addition to the criteria set out for the first level, while providing evidence that the company has took part in basic training or certification programs to better its employees and the company as a whole.

Level 3 will provide potential clients with proof that a company has a total quality management system in place, and that the contractor is committed to a high standard of safety and sound business practices. The program is an industry-specific quality audit that mirrors the standards set by accreditations such as ISO9000. In fact, by attaining Level 3 of the CSDA Company Certification Program, a company will automatically be ISO9000 compliant.

Dianne Cutter, president of PQS, Inc. and a consultant who has been hired to assist in the development of this program, describes the reasons behind the launch of the program. "This part of the construction and renovation industry is very much a niche market, with no accreditations or certifications specifically customized for concrete cutting contractors. By implementing this program, a company can present a seal of approval from an industry-recognized organization to prospective customers that will differentiate them from the rest," she said. "This will also provide the customer with confidence that the company is financially and operationally stable, and meets a standard of excellence in its specific discipline," Cutter added.

Criteria for the program have been prepared by CSDA contractor members who want to advance the level of professionalism of the industry in response to a growing call from general contractors and governmental officials to produce verification of a company's skills and professional qualifications.

To maintain a competitive edge in today’s marketplace, contractors must be able to provide formal standardized certification to show they maintain high levels of safety, skill and professionalism. CSDA Certification Committee Chair Kellie Vazquez of Holes Incorporated, Houston, Texas, has spearheaded the creation of the program. "The importance of having a program in place to recognize a contractor's achievements, and for that contractor to be able to present these achievements to a potential client, may prove to be invaluable when competing for jobs," she said.

The CSDA Certification Program is available to all CSDA contractor members. It doesn’t matter if the company is small or large; whether it runs three trucks or 10. Company-wide certification addresses the proficiency of owners, operators and managers at running a company. Company-wide certification looks at the management of operations, finances, human resources, equipment maintenance, scheduling, management, training and development. Certification of a given level is awarded depending on how well the company fares.

For more information, contact the CSDA office at 727-577-5004, email info@csda.org or visit www.csda.org.


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