FAQs – CE Courses

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Courses

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Requirements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers - Courses:

  • Where do I find the list of courses that I can take?
    • If you are new to CERTI, you can go to Continuing Education to see a complete list of courses.

    • If you are a returning CERTI student, once you log in to the site – go to "My Home Page" – at the bottom of the page is a listing of all the CE courses you have not yet taken. You can click on any course title to get more information and to register.

  • Can I repeat a course?

NRPP does not allow you to repeat CE courses. Please note, if you have taken a course from another training provider with a title similar to one of ours - that is not the same course. You can tell by the NRPP number assigned to the course.

  • Can I repeat my Initial Training Course?

Because there is so much rich content in the CERTI Entry Level Measurement or Mitigation courses, students often like to repeat the course as reinforcement of fundamentals. To fulfill that desire, CERTI has obtained approval of its Entry Level courses as CE so you can repeat the entry level courses as CE – in two formats for each course, one for 24 CE credits and one for 16 CE credits. Each of these can be completed one time.

  • How do I know if I have taken a course already?
    • If you are new to CERTI - all of our courses are available to you.  Even if you have taken a course with a similar name, if it is from a different trainer, it is a different course.  You can tell by the NRPP Number assigned to the course.

    • If you are a returning CERTI student, you can see a list of courses you have completed through CERTI by logging in to the site and going to "My Home Page" – on that page you will see a list of courses in which you are registered, with a "check mark" next to the ones that are completed. You can also see a list of course certificates you have received.

  • Which courses are for Measurement and which courses are for Mitigation?

All CERTI CE courses are approved for both Measurement and Mitigation certifications.

  • How do I know which courses are approved for my state?

For CERTI courses, you can go to "Course Approvals" to get a listing of the courses approved by your state. Most states accept courses that have been approved by NRPP. All of the courses provided by CERTI are approved by NRPP.

  • Are there some CE courses that can be used to obtain a new credential?

Yes, for example if you are certified in radon measurement and you want to expand into mitigation, you can take the mitigation add-on course to be become certified in mitigation as well as use it for CE in renewing your measurement certification.

There are also some CERTI courses that deal with specialty areas such as Conducting Surveys in Large Buildings or the Train-The-Speaker program where you can demonstrate to your clients that you have a special skill. When you complete these courses we also display your name on our website under the CERTI Trained Professional (CTP) area so you can help you market these special capabilities.

  • Is there new content in the CE courses?

We at CERTI strive to add new content to our CE courses such that it truly builds on your current skills. Sure, there are some basics that we cover as a basis for the CE course, such as QA/QC, but we strive to take it one step further so there is a benefit to the course rather than a repeat of old facts.

  • How long does it take to go through the course?

The number of credits the course is approved for determines the amount of time anticipated to complete the course. A 4 CE credit course will typically take about 4 hours to complete – including the completion of all the quiz questions. As in all of our courses, we do not have a time limit and you can start and stop as you need to.

  • Is there a time limit for completing the course?

No – none of our courses have time limits.

  • Can I go back into the course to refresh my memory on something after I have finished the course?

Yes, you continue to have access to the course even after you have completed it. We do not take you out of courses so that you can continue to access the resources.

  • If I have technical questions is there someone I can talk to for additional help?

Yes, you can always call our lead instructor who can help you.

  • Can I call and ask for technical help after I complete the course?

Yes, in fact that is one of the biggest advantages of being a CERTI student. If after you are working in the field and you run across a unique situation or just want to bounce an idea off someone, simply call us. We want you to be successful and offer technical support to all of our students-well after the course is completed.

  • Is there a discount if more than one person in my company that wants to take the training?

Yes, we are always happy to work with you to maintain certifications for everyone in your company. Please contact us directly so we can assist you.

Answers - Requirements:

  • How many credits do I need to renew my certification?

The following requirements apply to individuals certified as Residential Measurement Providers and/or Residential Mitigation Providers by the National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP). The requirements are identical to what the U.S. EPA required in its former proficiency program. Continuing education is not required of Analytical Laboratories, other than for the Responsible Party who must be certified as a Residential Measurement Provider.

One Certification – Measurement OR Mitigation
• 16 Category I CE Credits every two years OR
• Up to 8 Category II CE Credits AND Balance of 16 in Category I CE Credits

Both Certifications – Measurement and Mitigation
• 24 Category I CE Credits every two years OR
• Up to 8 Category II CE Credits AND Balance of 24 in Category I CE Credits

C-NRPP Note: Individuals certified by the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP) currently are to follow the above criteria. However as of November 2014, new policies are under consideration by the C-NRPP and one is advised to visit their website or contact them directly for new updates to their policy.

  • What is the difference between Category I and Category II credits?
    • Category I credits are typically courses which you purchase and have been approved by a certifying board and been assigned a number. All of CE courses sold by CERTI are Category I.

    • Category II credits are typically credits you can receive for attending a radon conference or giving a radon presentation. To obtain these credits you need to have proof of the activity and submit it the proof to the certifying board asking for credit.

CERTI also provides 4 free category II credits to students. The credits can be obtained by clicking on Free Category II Courses – within "My Courses" of "My Home Page" when you are logged in to the site. You do not need to obtain permission to get these credits, just follow the instructions within the course and download your course certificates.

  • How often do I need to renew my certification?

Certification is typically renewed every two years. If you are certified through your state you may have a different renewal cycle.

  • How do I know when my certification renews?

The card you were issued when you became certified has the renewal dates on it; and the certifying board typically has a listing online which indicates your renewal dates. As a CERTI student, you also have the ability to enter your renewal dates into "My Home Page" of your account. If you choose to keep track of your renewal dates within the CERTI site, we will send you reminders when your renewal date is getting close.

  • When do I need to take the courses?

Course completion certificates need to be dated within the two year time period between renewal dates.

  • What happens if my certification is already lapsed?

For NRPP renewals you just need to complete the required number of CE credits and submit the course certificates with your renewal application. For all other renewals (states and NRSB) you will need to check with their requirements.

  • After completing CE do I have to sit for another independent exam?

No, the only time you have to sit for the independent national exam is when you are initially certified. After that, merely completing the quiz questions within the course is sufficient.

  • How do I get the credits to the certifying board?

You just download your course certificate when you have completed the course then send a copy with your renewal application to the certifying board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAQs for Entry Level Courses

 Courses

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  • What course(s) do I need to get certified in Radon Measurement?
  • Can I become certified in both Measurement and Mitigation?
  • If I am going to be a mitigator fixing homes, do I need to take the measurement course?
  • If I have taken a measurement course from another provider do I have to take the CERTI Measurement course before taking CERTI's Mitigation course?
  • How long does it take to go through the course?
  • How long do I have to access the course?
  • Can my staff members listen to the content of the courses?
  • Is there a discount to register more than one person in my company?

Mitigation Course Field Exercises

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  • What do the "Field Exercises" within the Mitigation Course include?
  • What if I am currently in the business and have experience installing systems, do I need to do the field exercises?
  • Can I be mentored by someone I know or work with?

 

National Exams

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  • Where do I go to take the National Exam?
  • Is the cost of the exams and certification included in the cost of CERTI's course?
  • If I take a CERTI Measurement of Mitigation course, what are my chances of passing the National Exams?
  • What happens if I don't pass the Certification Exam?
  • How do I know if I am ready for the National Exam?

 

Technical Support and Business Resources

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  • If I have technical questions is there someone I can talk to for additional help?
  • Can I call and ask for technical help after I complete the course?
  • I don't know what kind of measurement or mitigation equipment I should get. Will this course help me plan my new business?
  • Do the entry level courses include documents to help me start up my business?

Certification Costs and Maintaining Certification

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  • What does it cost to get certified?
  • After I become certified, are there special requirements for maintaining my certification?

                               

 Courses

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Yes. There is no prohibition against holding both certifications. However, most individuals select one or the other.

  • If I am going to be a mitigator fixing homes, do I need to take the measurement course?

Yes. The Measurement course contains fundamental material that both Measurement and Mitigation professionals need to know. Even though you may not plan on becoming certified in measurement, you still need to have a good grasp of the material within the measurement course.

  • If I have taken a measurement course from another provider do I have to take the CERTI Measurement course before taking CERTI's Mitigation course?

No. If you have taken an approved measurement course from another provider you will not have to take CERTI's Measurement course, although it is recommended as it is a very thorough program and the national Mitigation exam contains many questions based upon content in the measurement course. You may want to call and talk to one of CERTI's Lead Instructors before signing up for the Mitigation only course.

  • How long does it take to go through the course?

It typically takes a student about a week to complete either the Measurement or Mitigation entry level course. Each course has approximately 20 hours of course work (plus the field exercises for the mitigation course). We have no time limit for you to complete the course.

  • How long do I have access to the course?

We have no time limit for completing the course, and you continute to have access to it even after you complete it.

  • Can my staff members listen to the content of the courses?

Certainly. For anyone that you want to train, but they don't need to get certified, they can go through the course at no cost.  Many of our students train their office staff and anyone that will be talking to customers this way so they can answer questions and be familiar with the measurement and/or mitigation processes and protocols.

  • Is there a discount to register more than one person in my company?

Yes, it is a great idea, either initially or later on as you grow, to have more than one person certified. If you are considering this, please call our office for multiple purchase pricing

 

Mitigation Course Field Exercises

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  • What do the "Field Exercises" within the Mitigation Course include?

Field exercise portion of the mitigation course is designed to make sure you are confident in the actual installation of mitigation systems and that you understand diagnostics. This section is tailored to fit your experience and comfort level in the field. In essence, you will install a mitigation system and perform diagnostics. This can be conducted in several ways; two of the most common ways are to either be assigned a "mentor" by CERTI or to be mentored long distance by a CERTI instructor as you install a system in your own home or the home of a friend.

    • Work with an Assigned Mentor
      CERTI will assign you a mentor that is a certified mitigator within driving distance of your hometown (but not close enough to be a competitor), who will have you work on an actual job with him or her to install a mitigation system and conduct diagnostics; or
    • Mentored by CERTI Instructor
      The other option is to be mentored long distance by a CERTI Instructor as you install a system in your own home or the home of a friend. In this case you would be in communication with the instructor to review your design and plan for the system, then provide the instructor with pictures of your system as you install. In either case, you get one-on-one instruction and feedback to assist you.
  • What if I am currently in the business and have experience installing systems, do I need to do the field exercises?

In this case, we will work with you to make sure you are following protocols and to see if you have questions about installations after taking the course. It is possible for this portion to be waived once the instructor has talked with you and seen a sample of your installations.

  • Can I be mentored by someone I know or work with?

This is an option that is available once we have talked with you and/or the person that would be doing the mentoring to make sure they are a qualified certified mitigator.

 

National Exams

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Within the United States, PSI/Laser grade has many computer based testing centers that you can go to take the exam. These are typically located in major cities. You can also arrange for the NRPP exam to be sent to an independent proctor in your home town.

  • Is the cost of the exams and certification included in the cost of CERTI's course?

NO, the national exam and fee associated with applying for certification is not included in CERTI's course as we focus on the required educational content.

  • If I take a CERTI Measurement of Mitigation course, what are my chances of passing the National Exams?

Good. The CERTI course is thorough and has a lot of quiz questions for you to practice on. Because of the format where you can repeat the mini lectures and repeat quizzes, CERTI students have an excellent first attempt pass rate. Of course, there are no guarantees, but if you apply yourself and take your time you will have an excellent chance of passing either of the exams the first time.

  • What happens if I don't pass the Certification Exam?

You can take the exam over again. There is no waiting period, but you will need to pay the fee again. One of the benefits of the online course is that you continue to have access to all the material even after you complete the course, so if you find there is a particular area in which you need to review, you can do that at any time.

  • How do I know if I am ready for the National Exam?

The National Exam is very comprehensive. Everything you need to know is contained in the course. You need to make sure you complete all the assignments within the course and complete all the online quizzes. In fact, we encourage you to take your time on the quizzes and go back and review them as many times as it takes for you to feel very comfortable with all the questions. The quiz questions are designed to help you study for the exam. It is also important for you to be familiar with everything included in the reading assignments within the course (i.e. the EPA publications).

 

 

Technical Support and Business Resources

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  • If I have technical questions is there someone I can talk to for additional help?

Yes, you can always call our lead instructor who can help you.

  • Can I call and ask for technical help after I complete the course?

Yes, in fact that is one of the biggest advantages of being a CERTI student. If after you are working in the field and you run across a unique situation or just want to bounce an idea off someone, simply call us. We want you to be successful and offer technical support to all of our students-well after the course is completed.

  • I don't know what kind of measurement or mitigation equipment I should get. Will this course help me plan my new business?

The entry level courses provide a good solid base for understanding the different measurement devices and tools so you can be an informed buyer when selecting equipment. In fact, we suggest that students not commit to significant purchases until they complete the course and then give our lead instructor a call to discuss different tools as a function of what portions of the radon market you plan to address.

  • Do the entry level courses include documents to help me start up my business?

Yes.  Although not part of the formal courses, every CERTI student has access to a resource section that provides many publications, and forms, including model contracts that can help you get started.

 

Certification Costs and
Maintaining Certification

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  • What does it cost to get certified?

Measurement Certification - Approximately - $665

    1. Take an approved entry level course – Entry Level Course - $325
    2. Take the National Certification Exam – PSI/Lasergrade Exam - $140 - more information on exams
      If you need to have a proctored exam – this cost varies and can be obtained directly from NRPP 
    3. Send in your Application for Certification to NRPP – Approx. $200

Mitigation Certification – For Mitigation Certification Only - Approximately $1,035
                                            For both certifications - Approximately $1,375*

* For Mitigation certification you need to complete approved entry level courses for both Measurement and Mitigation, but you do not have to get both certifications although you are eligible to do so.

    1. Take approved entry level course – Entry Level Courses - $695 (both Measurement and Mitigation courses)
      If you have previously completed an approved Measurement course the Mitigation Course only is $475
    2. Take the National Certification Exam – PSI/Lasergrade Exam - $140 (for each exam) you can do either just Mitigation or both. More information on exams
      If you need to have a proctored exam  – this cost varies and can be obtained directly from NRPP 
    3. Send in your Application for Certification to NRPP – Approx. $200 (for each certification) – again you can do either just Mitigation or both.
  • After I become certified, are there special requirements for maintaining my certification? (more information)

National Certification is typically for two years. To renew you will need to pay the certifying body's renewal fee after showing proof of taking continuing education classes. Not to worry, CERTI has many relevant and convenient CE courses to assist in the recertification process. In fact, you may want to consider some CE courses like the Train the Speaker program that can help you market your new business. In other words, you don't have to wait until the end of the two year certification term to benefit from a good CE course.


Consumer Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ's

 

What is Radon?

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Why should I be concerned?

It has been shown in carefully controlled studies on animals, and on hard-rock miners, and most recently confirmed in residential case-control studies, that the effects of the radon decay products (due to prolonged exposure to elevated levels of radon) can significantly increase the potential of lung cancer. Radon is regarded as a Group A carcinogen; that is, it is known to cause cancer in humans with prolonged exposure. Many buyers are concerned about their health risk, as well as property resale value and want to test for and correct radon concerns. The United States Environmental Protection Agency and Surgeon General recommend that people not have long-term exposures in excess of 4.0 pico Curies per liter (pCi/L).

 

If I find a home with a radon problem should I look for another home?

The presence of high levels of radon should not keep you from buying the home of your dreams. If a properly performed test indicates an elevated level of radon in the home you wish to purchase, it is likely other homes in the same area will have elevated radon. So, if you like the house, consider taking a reasoned approach that will confirm levels and reduce the radon. Perhaps the best news about radon is that radon can be reduced, either before you buy the home, or after you buy it and move in. Of all the problems a house may have, radon is one of the easiest to identify and fix!

How do I test for radon?

Over the last 15 years, reliable testing devices and methods have been developed to determine indoor radon exposures. When using approved measurement devices, you can either determine the radon potential over a short period of time, or an average of radon exposure over a longer period of time.

Radon Potential:

This is a short-term test, typically 2-5 days. It is conducted under closed building conditions 12 hours prior to and all during test. The test device is deployed on the lowest occupiable level of the home. This is commonly used at time of resale.

Occupant Exposure:

This is a long term test, at least 91 days, up to one year. It is conducted under normal lived-in conditions without special closed building conditions. The device is deployed on lowest occupied level of home. It is commonly used outside of a real estate transaction, or used as the basis of escrow fund release, especially if a short-term test has shown results between 4 and 10 pCi/L.

Could there be radon in my water?

Yes, radon can dissolve in the groundwater and be released into the air of the home when it is used for showers, laundry, and other purposes. The concern with radon in water is not widespread and is primarily associated with homes whose water supplies are from wells or public water supplies that use groundwater. The major concern is not with drinking the water, but rather with the additional amount of radon added into the breathing space beyond that which comes from the soil. Normal radon in air tests will measure this contribution, if the house is occupied during testing. It takes a lot of radon in the water to have a measurable effect on the indoor radon concentrations. As a rule of thumb, it takes 10,000 pCi/L in the water to add one additional pCi/L of radon in the air. So always test the air first, before testing or becoming concerned with radon in the water. Your radon testing professional should be able to provide guidance.

How do I treat radon?

Radon is mitigated by installing a system that will draw the radon-laden soil gas from beneath the foundation and exhaust it outside of the building, far enough away from windows and other openings that it will not reenter. A mitigation system typically consists of a plastic pipe connected to the soil either through a hole in a slab, via a sump lid connection, or access beneath a plastic sheet in a crawl space. Attached to the pipe is a quiet, continuously operating fan that discharges the radon outdoors.

The type of mitigation system is a function of the construction of the home, rather than the radon concentrations that exist. A home with more than one foundation can present challenges to collecting the soil gas from under all portions of the building. However, talented mitigation contractors typically can connect multiple systems together so that only one fan system is required. Crawlspace foundations can be more costly, since the contractor needs to install a high density plastic sheet over the soil, seal it to the walls and then route the piping to the fan. However, the added benefit of reducing moisture in the crawlspace, in addition to reducing radon, can be a real plus.

  • Average U.S. installation cost: $1,200
  • Expected life span of fan: 11 years
  • Fan replacement cost: $145-300
  • Periodic maintenance: none

What impacts the cost of mitigation?

The cost of a mitigation system is a function of the extra effort taken by the contractor to conceal the system and to maintain the aesthetic value of your home. Although a system routed up the outside of the house will reduce radon quite well, it may not be as aesthetically pleasing as one that was routed through the interior of the house with trim installed to conceal it. An increasing number of buyers are getting involved in how these systems will be installed, or waiting until they occupy the house to better control the manner in which their system will be installed.

How do I find qualified radon measurement and mitigation contractors?

Most states recognize qualified credentialing organizations that certify radon measurement and mitigation professionals as well as analytical laboratories. Lists of these trained individuals can be found on the websites indicated below. In addition, your state may also have a listing on the state public health department website. Homeowners should also ask for references; require proof of certification, including agreement to follow protocols and codes of ethics; ask for proof of insurance including workers' compensation; and ask for a clear contract with details of guarantee and warranty.

Credentialing organizations:

NRPP: (National Radon Proficiency Program - formerly known as NEHA NRPP) www.nrpp.info
NRSB: (National Radon Safety Board) www.nrsb.org

faq

Student Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is a measurement provider?

A radon measurement provider conducts radon tests to determine radon and/or radon decay product levels within structures. The first step to becoming a provider is to get the appropriate training. There is much more to know about testing for radon than just following instructions and placing a test device. Training will provide you with the knowledge about radon, its health effects, the variability of readings and how readings can be affected by indoor and outdoor conditions, placement, and many other factors. It will also give you the knowledge and training to be able to interpret results and provide your clients with more than just a number.

What is a radon mitigation service provider?

A radon mitigation service provider installs mitigation systems to reduce the levels of radon and/or radon decay products within structures. Like the measurement provider, the first step is to get the appropriate training. Mitigation providers need to know all aspects of measuring radon as well as the practical and technical aspects of installing mitigation systems.


What do the CERTI training courses involve?

The "Radon and Radon Decay Product Measurement Course" is a home study course. The main instruction for the course is audio - organized in short audio tracks.  The audio tracks can be accessed from the course on the education site or can be downloaded to any portable device (mp3 player or CD) if you prefer.  You can access as many or as few audio tracks at one sitting as you like.  Each audio track corresponds to a page in the downloadable course manual with a review of the key points from the track.  The information is also reinforced with course quizzes that you take as you progress through the course.  These quizzes are designed to allow you unlimited access so you can review them as many times as you like.  The course also includes valuable resources such as videos, downloadable publications, and forms and contracts for your use in your business. 

There is approximately 20 hours of course work in the course.  There is no time limit to complete the course, and you continue to have access to the course resources even after you complete the course. 

If you prefer to have course materials sent to you, we can do this for an extra charge as indicated in the course description within the shopping cart.  The course materials include a binder with the course manual printed out and a CD with the audio tracks.  If you do purchase the course materials, you also have complete access to all the course materials online.

The "Radon Mitigation Technology - Expanded Version" is the complete home study course for radon mitigation. It includes both the Measurement Course (which is a pre-requisite to the mitigation course) and the mitigation course. The measurement course includes everything listed above. The mitigation course is in the same format as the measurement. In addition this course includes a field exercises that are tailored to fit your experience and comfort level.  The field exercises include the installation of a radon mitigation system and diagnostics.  This can be accomplished either with the student working on a job with a certified mitigator (that CERTI would arrange for you) who is not in your home town but within driving distance; or the student can install a mitigation system on their own home or the home of a friend and be mentored one-on-one by a CERTI instructor. Either option for the field exercises has proven to be a very valuable part of the training with students gaining experience and confidence.

These courses have been developed from the experience of over 20 years of offering a classroom course. The format provides you with the opportunity to complete the course at the pace your schedule can accommodate, as well as make sure you are provided with not only the technical aspects needed to become certified, but also the practical aspects of having a successful radon mitigation business.

With CERTI's extensive experience in conducting classroom courses and actually developing the radon certification program itself, the development of this home study format has proven to be extremely successful in providing students with the information in such a way that it is reinforced and retained. The passing rate for the certification exam for students using the home study has consistently been over 92%.


What if I have already completed an approved radon measurement course?

Students having previously completed an approved measurement course can register for the "Radon Mitigation Technology."


How long does it take to complete the course?

The measurement course includes approximately 16-24 hours of course work. Typically students take about 2 weeks to complete the course, but there is no time limit for completing the course. The mitigation course also includes approximately 16-24 hours of course work, plus the field exercises.


What are the steps for certification?

  1. Successfully complete an approved Entry Level Course
  2. Take and pass the national certification exams.
  3. Complete and return the Certification Application to NRPP (along with your Course Completion Certificate and Certification Fee

How do I take the Certification Exam?

For Continential United States - Certification Exams are available online throogh PSI Lasergrade throughout the nation.  To find the location near you and to schedule the exam you contact PSI Lasergrade directly - 800-211-2754.  The information for the exam name and sponsor are included in the course instructions of the course.

Outside Continental United States - Certification Exams can be given by a proctor and can be arranged directly through NRPP.


How long is the certification and how do I renew?

Certification is for two years. To renew your certification, you will need to complete continuing education (16 credit hours for one certification and 24 credit hours for two).  More information on CE Credits required.

How do I get continuing education?

CERTI is proud to be a leading provider of quality continuing education courses. These courses can be completed in a convenient home study format with a variety of topics to keep you current on topics within the radon industry.


Are there any state requirements for certification?

There are several regulated states that have their own requirements for certification. For a comprehensive list of regulated states and course approvals, click here.

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Consumer Checklists

 

 

Radon Testing Checklist - Downloadable Copy

This checklist provided by the EPA can help ensure accurate radon test results will be obtained. Radon testing is not a complicated process, but must be done properly. Otherwise, the test results may not be accurate and more testing may have to be done. Disturbing or interfering with the test device or the closed-house conditions will invalidate the test results.

The seller or a certified tester should be able to confirm that all the items in this checklist have been followed. If the tester cannot confirm this, another test should be performed.

 

EPA's Testing Checklist

Before the radon test:

  • Notify occupants of the importance of proper testing conditions. Give occupants written instructions or this checklist and explain the directions carefully.
  • If conducting the test yourself, use a radon measurement device approved by the national certification programs and follow the manufacturer's instructions that come with the device.
  • If you use a testing professional, hire a nationally certified individual and ask to see his or her identification. The contractor's identification number should be clearly visible on the test report.
  • The test should include method(s) to prevent or detect interference with testing conditions or with the testing device itself.
  • Conduct the radon test for a minimum of 48 hours. Certain devices must be exposed for more than the 48-hour minimum.
  • Check to see if an active radon reduction system is in the house. Before taking a short-term test lasting less than 4 days, make sure the system, if any, is operating at least 24 hours before the beginning of the test.
  • Short-term radon testing, which lasts for no more than a week in length, is to be conducted under closed-house conditions. Note: Closed-house conditions means keeping all windows closed, keeping doors closed except for normal entry and exit, and not operating fans or other machines which bring in air from outside. Fans that are part of a radon reduction system, or small exhaust fans operating for only short periods of time, may run during the test.
  • When doing short-term testing lasting less than 4 days, it is important to maintain closed-house conditions for at least 12 hours before the beginning of the test and for the entire test period. Do not operate fans or other machines which bring in air from the outside.

During the radon test:

  • Maintain closed-house conditions during the entire time of a short-term test, especially for tests shorter than one week in length.
  • Operate the home's heating and cooling systems normally during the test. For tests lasting less than one week, only operate air conditioning units which recirculate interior air.
  • Do not disturb the test device at any time during the test.
  • If a radon reduction system is in place, make sure the system is working properly and will be in operation during the entire radon test.

After the radon test:

If a high radon level is confirmed, fix the home. See the Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide for recommendations for steps such as contacting a qualified radon reduction contractor to lower the home's radon level. The homeowner or the professional radon tester should be able to verify that the test followed recommended protocols.

 

EPA Checklist for Selecting a Contractor - Downloadable Copy

The EPA's Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction provides the following guidelines for dealing with a radon mitigation contractor:

  • Choose a contractor to fix a radon problem just as you would choose someone to do other home repairs. It is wise to get more than one estimate, to ask for references, and to contact some of those references to ask if they are satisfied with the contractors' work. EPA suggestions for finding qualified radon contractors can be found at the end of the following checklist.
  • When evaluating and comparing contractors, it is helpful to ask the following questions:
    • Will the contractor provide references or photographs, as well as test results of 'before' and 'after' radon levels of past radon reduction work?
    • Can the contractor explain what the work will involve, how long it will take to complete, and exactly how the radon reduction system will work?
    • Does the contractor charge a fee for any diagnostic tests? Although many contractors give free estimates, they may charge for diagnostic tests - these tests help determine what radon reduction system should be used, but are not always necessary.
    • Did the contractor inspect your home's structure before giving you an estimate?
    • Did the contractor review the quality of your radon measurement results and determine if EPA testing procedures were followed? This is a requirement of most certification programs.
  • Compare the contractors' proposed costs and consider what you will get for your money. Take into account the following: a system that is less expensive to install may have higher operating and maintenance costs than a system that is more expensive to install; the best system for your house may be the more expensive option; and the quality of the building material will effect how long the system lasts (or may not maintain the aesthetic value of the home).
  • Do the contractors' proposals and estimates include:
    • Proof of liability insurance and licensed?
    • Proof of state or national certification?
    • Diagnostic testing prior to design and installation of a radon reduction system (not always necessary)?
    • Installation of a warning device to caution you if the radon reduction system is not working correctly?
    • Testing after installation to make sure the radon reduction system works well?
    • A guarantee to reduce radon levels to 4 pCi/L or below, and if so, for how long?

The Contract

Ask the contractor to prepare a contract before any work starts. Carefully read the contract before you sign it. Make sure everything in the contract matches the original proposal. The contract should describe exactly what work will be done prior to and during the installation of the system, what the system consists of, and how the system will operate. Carefully consider optional additions to your contract which may add to the initial cost of the system, but may be worth the extra expense. Typical options might include a guarantee that the contractor will adjust or modify the system to reach the promised radon level, or, an extended warranty and/or a service plan

Elements that should be included in the contract:

  • The total cost of the job, including all taxes and permit fees; how much, if any, is required for a deposit; and when payment is due in full.
  • The time needed to complete the work.
  • An agreement by the contractor to obtain necessary permits and follow required building codes.
  • A statement that the contractor carries liability insurance and insured to protect you in case of injury to persons, or damage to property, while the work is being done.
  • A guarantee that the contractor will be responsible for damage and clean up after the job.
  • Details of warranties, guarantees, or other optional features, including the acceptable resulting radon level.
  • A declaration stating whether any warranties or guarantees are transferable if you sell your home.
  • A description of what the contractor expects the homeowner to do (e.g., make the work area accessible) before work begins.