Why You Should Become MCAA Certified
The Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) has developed the national Masonry Certification program. The purpose of this program is to make it easy for customers seeking masons to select mason contractors who are committed to quality. Joining the program puts your name in front of potential customers and provides a boost of professionalism when you're marketing to clients. MCAA members enjoy a significant discount on the cost of the certification.
Benefits of Joining
Certification provides a way for customers to "vet" the masons they hire beyond simply comparing bids and choosing the lowest, which is a common way for customers to sift through the many masons they could hire. A certification sets a mason apart — a certified mason who also has a strong bid is in a clear position to walk away with the job over a mason who has a strong bid but is not certified.
Certification also proves to others in your industry that you are a quality contractor. Without a yardstick, so to speak, to measure that quality, people can call themselves quality when, of course, they really aren't. A national Masonry Certification program provides that yardstick for a quantifiable measure of quality that you can use to promote yourself.
Who Can Be Certified?
The Masonry Certification program certifies the company. But earning credits and taking the certification exam falls to the primary individual in charge of day-to-day masonry operations, such as the company's owner, CEO, or senior manager. The person who earns the credits and takes the certification exam holds the certification for the company, so if that person leaves the company, the company loses its certification.
Part of the reason for choosing a single representative of the company to hold the certification, rather than the company as a whole or each individual employee, is to measure the senior representative's competency at managing a quality masonry firm.
How Are Certification Credits Measured?
The company representative seeking certification must earn 75 continuing education credits. Any classes related to the business of a mason contractor (with the exception of formal apprenticeship training programs that teach the craft) are eligible for credit. One hour of course time is equal to one credit. Therefore, an 8-hour course is worth 8 credits. A 30-minute course is worth 0.50 credits.
Credits can be earned in the following six disciplines:
Quality Assurance Best Practices – 16 credits
Codes and Standards – 10 credits
One of the Codes and Standards courses must be at least four hours in length and specifically address Codes and Standards.
Ethics and Business Practices – 10 credits
Safety – 10 credits
A comprehensive safety course is required, such as the OSHA 10-hour Training Course.
Bidding Practices – 5 credits)
Masonry Products – 5 credits
The remaining 19 credits can be obtained in the six disciplines divided anyway the contractor chooses. Credits may be self reported. However, detailed documentation of the courses taken and MCAA approval after the course has been taken are required. Courses taken outside of approved courses may not be approved for credit. The Approved Courses tab on the MCAA website has a list of MCAA-approved courses that count toward certification and continuing education credits. Credits may be submitted for courses taken up to five years ago, as long as documentation providing a description of the course and documentation such as a certificate of completion along with proof of payment is provided.
The MCAA website will list all approved provider class offerings with full details on the class, day, and time. A list of approved classes will also be printed in each issue of Masonry magazine. Not a subscriber? Start your subscription now!
The masonry firm's supervisors must attain at least 15 continuing education credits in any discipline in order to qualify to sit for the exam. If there are five lead supervisors, each supervisor must attain the minimum 15 continuing education credits.
What is the Exam Like?
The exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions and is an open book test. In order to pass the exam and become certified, the mason contractor must receive a score of 80% or better. If you do not pass the exam on the first attempt, you will be allowed to retake it at a future date. The Exam page on the MCAA website has a list of recommended reading material. Questions are categorized by discipline:
Bidding Practices – 10 questions
Codes and Standards – 27 questions
Ethics and Business Practice – 16 questions
Masonry Products – 12 questions
Quality Assurance Best Practices – 18 questions
Safety – 17 questions
The MCAA Certification Process
Once the requirements have been met, the company representative will be eligible to take the certification exam. The certification fee is $600 for Mason Contractors Association of America members and $850 for non-members. The fee includes all credit tracking services and the fee for up to three exams. Renewal is done every three years for $500. Certification may be revoked in certain cases, including if contractors do not maintain the required level of quality expected from a certified mason contractor.
Step 1: Download the Registration Form
To start your certification today, please download the registration form from the MCAA Certification page. The form takes only minutes to fill out. It asks basic information such as your name and location, company name and contact information, and method of payment for the certification fee. If you are an MCAA member, there is a spot to include your MCAA member ID number.
Step 2: Return the Registration Form
Return the completed form to the MCAA office. The form can be returned in two ways:
Return by mail to:
Mason Contractors Association of America
1481 Merchant Drive
Algonquin, IL 60102
Return by fax:
If paying by credit card you may fax your registration to (224) 678-9714
Step 3: Receive Informational Packet
Additional information in a helpful packet will be emailed upon registration. The packet will include important information about the certification process including a username and password to access the MCAA certification website.
Step 4: Track Certification Credits
Once the national Masonry Certification process has been initiated, you will use the username and password the MCAA provided to access the certification database. You will use the database to track your progress to certification. The system will keep you informed of what credits are needed. You can earn credit for courses taken up to five years ago.
Step 5: Take the Certification Exam
Once the primary and supervisor have attained the appropriate credits, the primary may take the certification exam.
Step 6: Renew the Certification Every Three Years
The primary in the firm must have a total of 45.00 continuing education credits within the three year period. Supervisors in the firm must have an additional 15.00 credits during the same three year period. Once the renewal fee is paid and hours verified, the certification will renew. You are not required to retake the exam.
For more information regarding Masonry Certification, please contact the Mason Contractors Association of America at 800-536-2225.
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