Picture a future where pest management is both a sought-after career for hard-working professionals and a service that is highly valued by homeowners and business managers alike. Realizing this future begins defining what professionalism looks like in pest management. Fifteen years ago, the National Pest Management Association gathered a group of industry leaders to do just that. Out of that meeting came a set of standards and a new organization—the Foundation for Professional Pest Management, doing business as QualityPro.
PROFESSIONALISM STANDS THE TEST OF TIME
The QualityPro standards are published at www.npmaqualitypro.org for all to see and strive to meet. Companies that follow the standards are set up for success in terms of growth and due diligence on the legal front.
The 16 standards fall into the following categories:
- Business Operations: Employment Application Requirements
- Business Operations: Employment Interviews
- Business Operations: Reference Checking
- Business Operations: Criminal Background Check
- Business Operations: Motor Vehicle Records Check
- Business Operations: Drug-Free Workplace
- Business Operations: Insurance/Self-Insurance Responsibilities
- Business Operations: Company Vehicle Practices
- Business Operations: Professional Appearance Practices
- Business Operations: Safety Practices
- Environmental Stewardship: IPM Practices
- Environmental Stewardship: Pesticide Handling Practices
- Consumer Relations: Advertising Practices
- Consumer Relations: Warranty Communication Practices
- Consumer Relations: Contract Communication Practices
- Sales/Technician Testing
A RISING TIDE LIFTS ALL BOATS
Our image as an industry is made up of the daily impressions made by every company. If we are to professionalize the industry, we must do all we can to support each other in non-competitive areas like safety and compliance. Many of the QualityPro resources are designed to support companies that are not large enough to have a human resources (HR) expert or safety specialist. When a company applies to become QualityPro accredited, they are welcomed into a support system for their business.
Valued at over $16,000, the QualityPro resources equip companies with tools they need to hire, train and retain employees. As laws change, QualityPro keeps companies that are pursuing or maintaining QualityPro accreditation informed. For example, one of the last changes to the standards—QualityPro version 5—helped employers comply with laws pertaining to asking about criminal history on a job application. In short, in the U.S., don’t ask about criminal history, but notify prospective applicants that all employees will get a criminal background check. Make a conditional offer for employment and then do the background check. Discuss any results with an HR professional and make your employment decision based on the nature and gravity of the crime, recency, and relevancy to the job description. This year, QualityPro is tracking what employers need to know about marijuana.
THE MARK OF EXCELLENCE IN PEST MANAGEMENT
With the standards in place, the next step on our industry’s path to professionalism is to recognize companies that comply with standards through accreditation and celebrate them. QualityPro accredited companies have proven their professionalism on a national scale. Each accredited company is playing a key role in supporting the value proposition for pest management. Through maintaining accreditation and using the QualityPro logo, these companies demonstrate to their peers, workforce and customers that our industry knows what professionalism looks like.
In 2005, QualityPro began creating opportunities for accredited companies to distinguish their services with certification. Currently, accredited companies can earn GreenPro, QualityPro Schools, GreenPro, QualityPro Food Safety and QualityPro Public Health designations. These service certifications include standards for service and national exams that prove employees’ knowledge. The certificates of completion for the QualityPro exams are a point of pride for PCOs nationwide and a valuable took for managers who want to verify their training programs with a national exam.
Each year, the pest management industry grows. More consumers hire companies to protect their families and property. QualityPro is helping the industry grow right and giving consumers an easy way to find a professional they can trust.
COME CELEBRATE WITH US AT PESTWORLD SAN DIEGO!
We invite you to be a part of the next 15 years of QualityPro. The QualityPro Board of Directors will meet at PestWorld on October 15 and all are welcome to attend. During the show, visit the NPMA/QualityPro/Foundation/PPMA booth in the expo hall.
QualityPro is administered by the Foundation for Professional Pest Management, an independent organization that has been developing good business practices and standards since 2004. Designed specifically for pest management companies in the U.S. and Canada, we are proud to certify over 500 of the best companies in the pest management industry. QualityPro is endorsed by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). Learn more at www.npmaqualitypro.org (for professionals) and www.qualitypro.org (for consumers).