A third-party certification initiative that is under development for architectural glass and metal technicians has taken another significant step in its program coming to fruition.

The newly forming Architectural Glass and Metal Technician (AGMT) Certification Program, being developed by Administrative Management Systems Inc. (AMS) and sponsored by the Finishing Trades Institute (FTI) International, has established a 27-member steering committee. The group met for the first time in a two-hour teleconference last week.

The committee consists of industry experts from three major stakeholder segments: glaziers, glazing contractors and the user community, including manufacturers, suppliers, architects, consultants and specification writers.

“The program is being designed to test those attributes that will most likely reduce defects and failures—an initiative that stands to benefit all stakeholders,” says Ben Beeler, the program’s co-designer and operations manager. “Currently the industry has no consistent, third-party administered means to validate the knowledge and skills of the glazing technician. Certification assessment, through both written and physical means, will give everyone from the manufacturer of architectural products to the developer and building owner impartial confidence that their product and project will be installed properly and in full accordance with plans and specs.”

Committee members are assigned to five sub-committees, each handling separate aspects of the program’s design. They will jointly oversee the foundational stages of the program’s development. At the initial meeting, they heard to a presentation on a design concept of the program, as well as development steps necessary for it to gain ANSI accreditation in accordance with ISO/IEC 17024. The committee is tasked with providing feedback to help establish the necessary fundamental competencies required of an architectural glass and metal technician.

The group will meet again on July 20 in Chicago. Development of the fundamental certification phase is estimated to take 18 to 24 months, with advanced certification endorsements in specific product categories and specialized skill requirements to follow.

Beeler says feedback from the industry regarding the program has been “overwhelmingly supportive.”

“Most feel that such a program will bolster industry confidence and reduce risks,” he says. “Every segment, from glaziers and glazing contractors to manufacturers, spec writers and architects have acknowledged the need for a method to differentiate skilled glazing technicians from those who might not be, or whose skills haven’t been validated.”

AMS previously developed and operates the North American Contractor Certification Program (NACC), which provides certification recognition in evaluating competency, business practices, and adherence to industry-accepted best practices for participating glazing contractors. The NACC Program may compliment the future AGMT Personnel Certification Program, according to Beeler.