Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 35

AFA

FEATURE

LONG-TERM OBJECTIVES
OF AFA'S UPCOMING CERTIFIED FENCE CONTRACTOR PROGRAM
BY TODD W. THOMAS
DIRECTOR, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, AFA

T

he upcoming launch of the Certified Fence Contractor program has created a lot of buzz among the AFA
membership. The program will debut at the 2018 AFA University, November 4-9, with a week-long school
teaching important business fundamentals for fence contractors.

Applicants are required to pre-test on five
fence disciplines and multiple core topics,
which include personal safety, tools and
equipment, welding, post hole digging, blueprint reading and others. Materials covering
the pre-qualifying subjects will be provided
separately from the school.
The school course is targeted at business
owners and managers, particularly those
who plan to be in a top management or
ownership position in the near future. The
course teaches business issues that are critically important to fence contractors, beyond
the technical fence industry knowledge and
expertise. It is, simply described, as a oneweek intensive business training school for
the fence industry.
The Certified Fence Contractor (CFC)
course will focus on:
* Marketing, Advertising and Sales
* Estimating and Bidding
* Insurance and Legal
* Safety and OSHA Management
* Understanding Basic Accounting
* UL 325 and ASTM F2200
It's an exciting new opportunity for AFA
members and the industry as a whole. In
addition to the many questions about the
details of the CFC program, some are asking
how the certification will directly benefit
them as fence contractors. The answer to
that question is lengthy. There are immediate, short-term and long-term objectives for
the program, and each level of these objectives adds value to the credential for those
who hold it.
The immediate benefits are education and
validation. Those who enroll in the one-week
school at AFA University will gain a great
deal of information that will better enable
them in their management careers. Those
who successfully complete the full course

and pass the final examinations can present
themselves to their customers and to the
general public as a certified fence contractor
by the nation's leading industry organization. This designation can be used in marketing and advertising activities, along with
any other form of communication utilized
by the company. The more contractors earn
the designation, the broader the recognition
of industry professionalism will grow.
In the short-term, the Certified Fence
Contractor program will help AFA to educate the general public and industry influencers in the importance of homeowner
and public safety relating to fences and
gates. This can have a generous impact in
gaining traction among both residential
and commercial consumers regarding the
importance of compliant gates and professionally installed fence products. One of the
most substantial benefits to professional
contractors is when more people recognize
the value of using professional, credentialed
fence companies. This can be a genuine
game changer and bring a level of industry
recognition that is long overdue.
The long-term goals of the CFC program
may take several years to fully implement,
but the process has already begun. The end
game for CFC is recognition by the general public, public officials, architects and
specifiers of the CFC designation for the
recommended selection of fence and gate
contractors, along with credentialed installers in all of the major fence disciplines.
None of this is intended to limit the playing field in the fence industry. Instead, it
is specifically aimed at elevating the standards for fence contractors and the expectations of consumers. The AFA certification
programs will be available to anyone who
wishes to earn these credentials, but in
www.americanfenceassociation.com | 35 | May/June 2018

turn will require many to elevate their
level of professionalism in order to complete the programs.
The underlying objective of the program relies on public education. AFA, as
the industry's voice on the national landscape, can play a significant role in that
effort. But this will be expedited by AFA
members who participate in the CFC program, and the subsequent fence certifications that follow, along with the Automated
Gate Operator Installer Certification
and Automated Gate Systems Designer
Certification programs administered by
IDEA. By participating in these programs
and promoting the use of certified professionals, AFA contractor members will
spread the word market by market.
This type of grassroots campaigning on
the individual contractor level can grow to
encompass every market in the country and
establish industry professionalism as a standard on a national level.
This is not the first time this has been
attempted. Other industries have successfully utilized voluntary certification to
accomplish the same goals as those of AFA.
The benefits are extraordinary, and it all
begins this year! ■


http://www.americanfenceassociation.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fencepost - May/June 2018

Editor’s Note
Executive Director’s Message
President’s Message
Board of Directors | Chapter Presidents Committee
Fencelines
Fenced In: Best Practices for Farm and Ranch Enclosures
CLFMI
Getting in the Loop
VMA
Long-Term Objectives of AFA’s Upcoming Certified Fence Contractor Program
5 Strategies to Give Your Fencing Company a Good Name
New Members
Solving the Puzzle
An Aging Workforce – Is 60 the New 40?
Chapter News
Fence Contractors: Manage Your Auto Fleet Risk
Minding Your Business
Calendar
Index to Advertisers
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Intro
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - cover1
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - cover2
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 3
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 4
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 5
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 6
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 7
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 8
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 9
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 10
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 11
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 12
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Editor’s Note
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 14
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Executive Director’s Message
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 16
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - President’s Message
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 18
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Board of Directors | Chapter Presidents Committee
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Fencelines
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 21
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Fenced In: Best Practices for Farm and Ranch Enclosures
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 23
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 24
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 25
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 26
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - CLFMI
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Getting in the Loop
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 29
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 30
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 31
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 32
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - VMA
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 34
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Long-Term Objectives of AFA’s Upcoming Certified Fence Contractor Program
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 36
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 5 Strategies to Give Your Fencing Company a Good Name
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 38
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - New Members
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Solving the Puzzle
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 41
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - An Aging Workforce – Is 60 the New 40?
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 43
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Chapter News
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 45
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Fence Contractors: Manage Your Auto Fleet Risk
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 47
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - 48
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Minding Your Business
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - Index to Advertisers
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - cover3
Fencepost - May/June 2018 - cover4
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