Now a Reality: The AGMT Certification Program for Glaziers

By Margaret Webb

The IGMA 25-Year Field Correlation Study, completed in 2005, indicated that a large number of the observed failures (though not all) were due to poor installation and glazing methods that held water against the seal. The lack of trained professionals has also been a concern for architects and other building officials.

Now it is possible to have all aspects relating to glazing and fenestration certified, from small components to complete systems. Windows, doors, skylights, curtainwall and insulating glass constructions have been certified to their respective standards for well over 50 years with strong, credible industry product certification programs. Now it is possible to have the installation performed by a certified glazier with the introduction and launch of the Architectural Glass and Metal Technician (AGMT) Certification Program.

HOW IT ALL STARTED

In February 2017, a group of interested parties met to discuss the potential for developing a certification program for glazing personnel. There was unanimous consensus to develop this program and the work began. Subject matter experts in the glass and glazing community, including glazing technicians and contractors, architects, engineers, industry consultants and manufacturers, worked diligently over the next 18 months to develop the knowledge-based and performance-based tests. The program development also included professional examination developers to develop multiple versions of the knowledge-based test by engaging industry professionals who lead the question development session held at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) International Offices of the Finishing Trades Institute located in Hanover, Md. This was followed by beta testing both test portions in Cleveland, San Leandro and Philadelphia to fine tune the program.

PROGRAM SPECIFICS

The program scope is to determine an individual’s knowledge on glazing theory, utilization of the tools of the glazing trade with demonstration of safe work practices, competency in interpreting construction documents with the ability to lay out and install various types of glazing systems for glass and architectural panels, application of sealants, gaskets and barriers to weatherize those systems, and a working knowledge of quality controls and assurance to minimize construction deficiencies and failures.

The program is administered by Administrative Management Services (AMS), which administers several industry certification programs including the IGCC-IGMA certification program for insulating glass units, the Safety Glazing Certification Council (SGCC) program, the WDMA Hallmark Certification Program and the North American Contractor Certification program, among others. AMS was established in 1998 as a third-party certification provider to the fenestration and glazing industry.

A registered 501(c)3 program, the AGMT Program is sponsored by the Architectural Glass and Metal Certification Council (AGMCC), which plans, organizes, directs and coordinates the certification program.

The program has a handbook, which is indispensable in guiding applicants through the certification program, including prerequisites for qualification, how to prepare for the knowledge-based and performance-based exams, re-certification and personal conduct. All applicants must submit proof of experience demonstrating they have a minimum of 7,500 hours of glazing work within a five-year period by providing proof of successful completion of the Canadian Red Seal Certification Program for Glaziers or work history records provided by a third party entity such as previous or current employment, Canadian and U.S. government agencies, such as the IRS, or a union they belong to. They must also submit proof of certification to OSHA 10 compliance or the Canadian equivalent.

Access to locations for the knowledge-based and performance-based exams is facilitated by access via the Certification Information Portal (CIP) available on the AMS website. Candidates can choose their own locations or search for an address. There is accommodation for those candidates with special needs which ensure the integrity of the assessment. The CIP makes application to the program easy. You create an account on the CIP, determine if you meet the prerequisites, register, pay, pass the exam and get certified.

TAKING THE TEST

The performance-based exam is separated into three distinct sections: curtainwall, storefront and sealing. The curtainwall and storefront tests include personal protective equipment (PPE), layout, framing installation, sealing and gaskets. The curtainwall section also includes setting blocks, glazing and pressure bars, while the storefront section includes door installation. The sealing section includes construction documents, backer rod and sealant. All three sections must be passed in the time allotted in order to pass the entire exam. The program also has a review guide for both test portions which are available from the program website (www.agmtprogram.com). In order to achieve certification, the candidate must achieve a passing score of 76% on the knowledge-based test, 77%, 75.5% and 79% on the curtainwall section, storefront section and sealing section, respectively. Retakes are provided for both test portions within 18 months of the initial test.

The AGMT Certification Program is ANSI accredited so a final review to ensure all steps have been completed successfully is required once the candidate has successfully passed both sets of tests. All candidates must agree to the AGMT Code of Ethics.

This is an ambitious program but well worth the wait. Finally, the architects, engineers, building code officials and building owners can have the assurance that their projects meet the highest standards with certified products installed by a certified professional.
Visit www.amscert.org for info.

Margaret Webb is the executive director of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance with offices based in Chicago and Ottawa, Ontario.

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