Enrollment for a new glazing industry certification program has now been open for a little less than a year, and it has gained steady momentum since.

The North American Contractor Certification for Architectural Glass and Metal (NACC) program, developed through the sponsorship of the Finishing Contractors Association (FCA International) and the administration of Administrative Management Systems (AMS), opened for enrollment in January.

Ajay Glass CEO (right), chairman of the NACC board,, presents a plaque to industry specifier David Stutzman (left), president of Conspectus, Inc. in Tuckahoe, N.J. , recognizing him as a founding member of the certification board.
Ajay Glass CEO Demetrios Stathopoulos (right), NACC board chairman, presents a plaque to industry specifier David Stutzman (left), president of Conspectus, Inc. in Tuckahoe, N.J. , and a founding member of the certification board.

According to its website, NACC is a “professionally administered third-party certification of [architectural glass and metal] contractors,” with areas of focus including business practices, quality, competency and safety. The program is intended to “provide building owners, general contractors, specifiers, architects, and other stakeholders, assurance that the [architectural glass and metal] fabrication and installation processes will be performed in conformance with the requirements laid out in the program.”

Companies that apply for certification undergo evaluation of submitted documents and an on-site assessment, and they are required to correct deficiencies before gaining certification and listing in the program. Participating companies will have to meet annual requirements, including an audit, to maintain certification.

The voluntary program has since gained ANSI accreditation (in July) under ISO/IEC 17065 and currently has certified seven contract glaziers. Eleven more contract glaziers have applications pending.

Jeff Dalaba of AMS says he believes the program is “right on track.” Administrators expected the growth rate to be slow but steady, as he says there was some hesitancy from companies to be the first to test the water.

“Initially, the idea of the audit scared people,” he says. “The word ‘audit’ has a negative connotation. “We’ve explained that it’s an ‘assessment.’ We have requirements that are set in the program and publicly available so they can review them. It’s not a ‘gotcha’ program. You either have evidence of the requirements, or you don’t. If you don’t, you have the opportunity to correct those items and provide evidence.”

graboyes team - oct 2015
Philadelphia-based Graboyes Commercial Window Company is one of the latest companies to get certified.

“And the wonderful thing is this is a voluntary program, not like other things that are forced on them,” he adds. “These companies want to be better, want to improve.”

The “safety” aspect of certification covers field and shop safety practices, as well as a company’s health programs.

“Contractor companies spend a significant amount of time, effort and money on their safety program,” says Dalaba. “Safety programs are obviously important because you want to send the crew home in one piece every evening. If you do not focus on safety, you may be fined by OSHA or other authorities.”

Dalaba says the NACC program aims to put that same kind of focus on quality management systems. For NACC, that means ensuring customer expectations are met and that the end product performs as required. “Quality also means that the processes used are consistently performed in the identified best way,” he adds.

The “quality and competency” aspect looks at field and shop quality processes and quality management system, as well as “competency of key personnel.” The “business practices” parameter focuses on a company’s code of ethics, experience, financial standing and professional references.

Dalaba says quality concerns can be the “silent expense” that results in lost revenue, increased expenses and issues with reputation. “As an industry, we need to raise quality to the level of focus placed on safety by creating a culture of continuous improvement,” he says.

Last year, a procedural guide for the program was developed by a NACC governing board, which consists of equal representation from the contractor community and the user community—including architects, consultants, building owners, manufacturers and suppliers.

The board holds an update conference call on a quarterly basis and an annual in-person meeting, which it tries to tack on to other industry events. NACC held its last meeting in Atlanta in September during the week of Glassbuild.

“Overall, there was a very positive vibe at the meeting,” says Dalaba. “We’ve identified some areas that can be improved. We’re working on some of the wording of the requirements, to make them easier to understand—just streamlining the process at this point.”

The board continues to look to maintain a balanced set of voices. At the last meeting, a manufacturer joined the conversation and spoke of the importance of certification, for the simple purpose of their products being installed correctly.

Industry specifier David Stutzman, principal of Conspectus Inc., has also gotten involved.

“As a specifier, installer certification is important to me because it offers independent verification of minimum, industry accepted qualifications necessary to complete a specific type of work,” he says. “Certification replaces all the subjective criteria normally specified to ensure qualified installers are bidding.”

The first listing of certified companies was published at the end of July, and more companies have been added recently.

Contract Glaziers currently certified are Ajay Glass & Mirror (Canandaigua, N.Y.), Eureka Metal & Glass Services (Philadelphia, Pa.), Ferguson Neudorf Glass (Beamsville, Ont.), Graboyes Commercial Window Company (Philadelphia, Pa.), Massey Plate Glass & Aluminum (Brandford, Conn.), Royal Glass Company (Santa Clara, Calif.) and Walters and Wolf (Boscell Road, Calif.).

Eleven more applicants are pending and are listed here.

NACC has collected feedback from the certified companies regarding positives and negatives with the process, assessment and certification in general.

“The common theme seems to be, ‘this forces us to do a top-to-bottom evaluation of our company internally,’” says Dalaba. “From that, we learned a lot about ourselves and found ways to improve our systems and processes.”

2 Comments

  1. For something like glazing, you should have to take certification tests. This way, when someone hires you, they can see that you know what you are doing. I know that if I was to hire someone, I’d want them to have certifications and licenses to see their professionalism.

    1. How can I get the certificate…

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