President's Message - Oct '23

President's Message,
Last month I wrote about bad apples and the work we are doing to promote the professionalism of our members and our industry. I must have struck a nerve because I received lots of positive feedback. This month I would like to highlight some changes to the AC478 quality initiative that we recently proposed to IAS.
But first some background. When we first crafted the accreditation program our goal was simple. We wanted our quality driven members to be able to differentiate ourselves from the bad actors who low bid our jobs, aka the bad apples! We were wholly focused on things like safety, training and quality. Like any continuous improvement initiative, the program has evolved a bit over the last eight years but the focus on safety and training remained steady.
Now that the program is gaining traction and becoming more widely accepted and embraced, we felt there were a few clauses that could be tightened / clarified. An accredited company with a poor safety record or unsatisfied customers reflects poorly both on AC478 and IAS. We recently proposed changes that we felt would improve the program and ensure applicants were at the level always envisioned for an Accredited Assembler. 
Proposed changes:
1.      A clause was added requiring a three year look back safety report to include the three year average EMR. Assemblers with numbers greater than 1 will be disqualified until such time that their 3 year average improves. We understand and debated extensively the pros and cons of a hard and fast number but ultimately decided for the program to have teeth it needed at least one benchmark, one area that was black and white.
2.      The program has always required the accredited company to perform an annual management review. Documents to be considered at that review include customer complaints, back charges, OSHA violations, etc. But the integrity of this report was somewhat of an honor system. We asked IAS to randomly sample the prior year completed project list to ensure effective resolution and general agreement to your report. Since only one job site is assessed, we thought that was a little extra step to keep everyone honest.
3.      Currently IAS verify that at least 25% of the workers at the job site assessment meet the definition of a journeyworker. The criteria has lots of information and details on the training requirements but does not actually specify this. So we tightened clause to say “Develop, implement and maintain a documented training program that ensures at least 25% of all field workers meet the definition of a Journeyworker, Metal Building Assembly.”
The IAS process to amend the criteria is quite rigorous. Changes are reviewed internally at IAS and then published for public comment. Finally the merits of the change are debated at an annual public meeting. Committee Chair, Dan Halme and Program Manager Jackie Meiluta defended our changes and all were ultimately approved.
If you have any questions about this program or want to better understand the criteria, contact Jackie or attend the upcoming roundtable on 11/16.
Hopefully we are done talking about apples. I would much rather focus on all the great progress we are making. If you have an idea to improve our association or would like to get involved please reach out. We always want to hear from you.
Jen Heimburger
President, MBCEA
President, Heimburger Construction, Inc.