"The Accreditation Commission made the decision to open the program to Canadian companies two years ago, and we are very pleased to announce our first fully accredited company in Canada, FloForm," said Gary Distelhorst, CAE, Executive Vice President of the Marble Institute of America. "This is a milestone event for both our association and the industry as a whole. Since launching the Accreditation Program in 2007, we have accredited over 50 companies in the stone industry, and over 100 are currently going through the process of becoming accredited. We congratulate FloForm on this achievement."
"This sets us apart from all our competitors," said John Eustace, the qualifying agent for FloForm. "It shows that we are a long-term reputable business. Our industry is essentially unregulated. Anyone with some tools and a truck can claim to be a 'Granite Shop' no matter what their experience or skill level. The MIA accreditation process is a way that we have voluntarily allowed ourselves to be regulated and give ourselves credibility. Of course being the first Canadian company gives us a 'one up' on all our competitors.
"The longest part of the process was the application -- getting all the information together," Eustace went on to say. "The exam was long, but relatively easy as most of it is stuff we work with every day. The site inspection was a necessary formality. One thing the site inspection did for us was to give us a deadline to complete some maintenance projects that we had been working on. It's always good to have a deadline when trying to get things done."
Ted Sherritt, President and CEO of FloForm added, "FloForm is very proud to become the first MIA Accredited Natural Stone Fabricator in Canada. Our great employees strive every day to be the best in the industry with respect to customer service, product offering, safety and innovation, and this process is a strong indication that their hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed. We are also very proud to have completed this process as it is one of the cornerstones of being a member of the Artisan Group."
The route to becoming accredited consists of three equally-weighted phases. Phase one requires the completion of a lengthy application which ensures that the company is in compliance with the ten standards of accreditation as laid out by the MIA Accreditation Task Force. The second phase consists of a 200-question examination, testing the applicant's knowledge and use of materials, installation, fabrication, restoration, care and maintenance, administration, legal/contracts, jobsite and shop safety. The final phase is a comprehensive site visit, which includes a review of the facility, documents and one or more installation inspections.