National Inventory Certification Association – Education and certification for industry professionals
27 Mar 2017

Thank You To The Website Committee

The testing and preparation for the launch of the newly developed website could not have gone as smoothly without the help of our association members who agreed to serve on the Website Committee. The directors would like to give a big shout-out to those who served in this capacity. Being aware of how busy everyone is, we appreciate the time, thought, and effort they put into this volunteer activity.

Prior to creating the website, the committee provided feedback regarding what they liked about the previous website and and of course what they didn’t like. In previous years this type of collaboration would not have been possible. Since the Committee members are located in Wyoming, Indiana, and Michigan, most of conversations existed via emails. To also include dialog, conference calls enabled live discussion to reach a consensus on the various issues and preferences.

In addition to just stating what they wanted improved, the Committee members provided valuable suggestions regarding the processes or content that would make the site better. The focus remained on how to best serve the NICA members.

The Committee members also devoted a great deal of time combing through the pages immediately prior to the launch, and then for weeks after. They focused on helping to proofread and test the links and processes to ensure they were all working correctly. Now that the new site has been available for almost a month, we are pleased that the website is all the Committee asked for – and more.

Appreciation goes to both the web developer and associate member Mary Gillen, and also to the Website Committee, which was comprised of

Volunteering is sometimes a task that goes unnoticed or underappreciated. We want each of the members of this committee to know how grateful the directors are for your time, suggestions, and proofreading efforts.

11 Jan 2017

Committee to Establish Certified Appraisal Examiner

committeeAlong with the introduction of the Appraisal Examiner course and the Appraisal Examiner opportunity with Nugent Appraisal Services that goes along with it, the National Inventory Certification Association formed a committee to determine if a Certified Appraisal Examiner (CAE) certification would be beneficial.

Is there a need? What would be the benefit? In addition to the Appraisal Examiner course, what other requirements should be included? These are some of the questions the committee addressed.

The CAE committee members are:

Creating a CAE designation was a unanimous decision. The committee has determined that it will bring more credibility and recognition to the industry and to this association. Most importantly, though, it will bring more credibility to the home inventory professional when presenting this credential to attorneys, insurance agents, and the client.

Course and CEU requirements, costs, and other details regarding this new certification will be finalized soon. We will post the details once all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed.

14 Dec 2016

Deadline to Retain CIS Designation Nears

ceuNational Inventory Certification Association’s standard for retaining the CIS designation calls for an annual renewal.  Certification CEUs are accumulated on a calendar year basis. Therefore, if you achieved your certification in 2015 or earlier, and haven’t yet accumulated the required 5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) this year, you still have time. The deadline is December 31.

Have you taken seminars, webinars, or courses offered by other organizations? If so, please email that information to the NICA office. The Education Committee will review and confirm your CEU earnings.

If some do not meet our criteria, we will notify you of how many more CEUs are needed to meet your requirement. Just two NICA courses will provide the total of 5 CEUs. All courses are online and self-directed so you can achieve the continuing education at your convenience, on your time schedule. Earning these credits will enable you to remain in good standing as a CIS through 2017.

If you have any questions, please contact the NICA office immediately.

22 Jun 2016

Curriculum Survey

SurveyWe are so appreciative to all members and also professionals in the industry who are not members for responding to our surveys. Your input is very important to us. The board will review all the tabulated results and will use this information for our 2017 planning session. Knowing what you want from your industry education association will help us provide more of what you want, and less of what is not of as much importance.

This Curriculum Survey will be the final survey for quite a while. We’ve accumulated enough information to move forward with your preferences in mind. We thank you for giving us your opinion in the previous surveys, and thank you in advance for taking the time to give us your input once again.

Curriculum includes a good mix of topics

The April survey informed us that you are happy with the mix of topics we offer. And now that we have achieved a good balance of industry- and non-industry-related courses, we will continue to strive to provide two new courses per year. To meet your needs, we want to know your interests. Growing our curriculum is essential so you can maintain your CIS designation. We want to ensure that we provide topics of interest so you can meet the 5 CEU annual requirement of continuing education.

Project Management was our first course released this year, responding to this request in the 2015 survey, two additional courses are currently in the initial planning stage, both also suggested in the 2015 survey.

Curriculum survey will help determine future courses

Your responses to this Curriculum Survey will help us plan future courses. Here is the link to the Curriculum Survey. It should take only about a minute of your time. Results will be reported in our July newsletter and also here on the website.

27 Apr 2016

A Quick Minute Of Your Time

SurveySmall business owners are extremely busy, and some have stated that they just don’t take the time to answer surveys. So, what does an association or other organization do when they are seeking input from the members of their industry? Since we sincerely do want to hear from you, and also respect your time, we are taking a member’s recommendation under advisement.

She suggested that rather than ask a multitude of questions only once a year, we just ask 2 or 3 questions on a more frequent basis. Since everyone’s email box gets overloaded, she also thought we might want to include the questions in our newsletter, the NICA News.  Her belief is that we will be apt to receive more responses when it will take less than a minute of your time, and the link is right there in the newsletter, making it extremely convenient. Also, by being included in the newsletter, we are reducing the amount of emails you ‘ll receive from us AND your responses will remain anonymous.

We also decided to include the survey questions within our blog, because whether you’re a member or not, your input about our industry is very helpful.

Your responses will enable us as an association to learn what we need to work on and what we’re doing right. While you’re here, just click on this link, answer 3 short questions, and you’ll be on your way. Oh! And if you don’t receive the newsletter, click here to sign up for our future monthly issues!

18 Feb 2015

Improved Online Directory

directoryThe National Inventory Certification Association is constantly seeking ways to provide additional value for our members. We are pleased to introduce our new Directory Page, which is consistent with this initiative.

The new format provides a quality back link to members’ websites, or a social media page if they prefer. In the previous version of the Directory, it was necessary to click on the state in the drop-down men to find an inventory professional. This did not allow for the SEO value of the new on-page live link format.

In addition to the benefit of the back link, it is now easier for people to find the members in a specific geographic location. Instead of clicking on a particular state, those seeking an asset inventory service can just scroll down the Directory to find their state. Listed in alphabetical order, the states are formatted in a larger font and in NICA orange, making it quite easy to find the specific state. Members are listed alphabetical by city; when more than one member is in the same city, the alphabetical process continues by placing them alphabetically by company name.

This new scrolling option will also make it easier to locate an inventory professional in a neighboring state. The consumer will find it much faster than being required to continually click on near-by states in the former drop-down box until a professional was located.

Let us know what you think of the new directory by commenting below. We welcome any additional improvement suggestions also!

04 Feb 2015

Membership – Expense or Investment

When CostValuejoining any organization, one key question is, “Is it worth the cost?” Everyone works hard for their revenue, and we all must see value in each dollar spent. Investing in membership of an organization is a decision one must make annually when it’s membership renewal time. Over the years I’ve often learned that many people make the decision without giving it much thought. Some don’t renew, because they “didn’t see value” in their membership. Others do renew just because they’ve been a member for years.

Hopefully it is becoming more common that the decision is made with more thought than a roll of the dice or a flip of a coin. The must be a return on the investment, or at minimum a proven value of that membership.

The easiest way to determine this is to calculate the cost vs. value of the benefits received. Then you will know if you “get what you pay for” from your annual dues.

Cost vs. Value

For items that can be quantified financially, we did some research and found these pricing structures for other associations and member organizations similar to our industry (NICA’s information is in parenthesis in Orange text):

  • Entry in the online directory … free to over $200/month. (Free)
  • Annual membership … $150 – $500. ($200)
  • Certification exam … $200 – $700 (some charge an exam application fee also). ($200)
  • Continuing education courses for members … $15 – $180. ($15 – $30)
  • Continuing education courses for non-members … $26 – $280. ($30 – $60)

Membership Benefits

Of course, there are intangibles that can’t be assigned a dollar value. Some of those are additional exposure, the benefit of being part of something bigger, and being associated with other quality professionals in your field. For example, NICA  offers:

  • A “welcome” post upon joining for each new member and their location on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Promotional posts, on a rotating basis, about each member’s inventory business on social media, which include a link to each company’s website.
  • A press release written and distributed announcing each member who achieves certification.
  • Press release posted as a blog post on the NICA website.
  • Inclusion in the online directory, with a live link to their website.
  • Referrals when a call is received asking for a home inventory professional.

For those contemplating joining NICA, we believe that this information will help you make your decision. When it is time for current members to work on renew, we trust that this information will help you decide that your NICA membership is definitely an investment in yourself and your business.

25 Nov 2014

Durham, NC Inventory Professional Achieves Certification

National Inventory Certification Association congratulates member Robert Woodson for achieving the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist.

WoodsonThe National Inventory Certification Association™ (NICA) is pleased to announce that Robert Woodson, of Inventory Investments, Ltd., has recently earned the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS). Achieving this designation confirms his knowledge to provide quality residential and small business contents professional inventory services.

To apply for certification and membership with NICA, the inventory professional must agree to conduct business according to the established industry Code of Ethics. Prior to taking the exam, the applicant must meet CEU and other requirements. Achieving designation for the asset inventory industry is an elective process. Mr. Woodson stated, “I chose to be certified to communicate to my organization and clients, that our brand means excellence!”

Inventory Investments, Ltd. was established in 2009, providing commercial asset inventory services. Discussing his decision to enter into the residential market, Woodson explains, “After years of doing inventories for small businesses, we wanted to diversify our service offering by providing care to homeowners.

There is an increasing awareness of the necessity and benefits of having a prepared photographic and written record of one’s personal property. This knowledge creates a greater demand for a professional inventory service for both residential and commercial clients. Choosing to achieve certification will enable Woodson’s company to stand apart from other asset inventory professionals who have not yet achieved designation as a Certified Inventory Specialist.

The National Inventory Certification Association™ (NICA) is nationally recognized as the official certification authority for the personal property/asset inventory industry. The certification and continuing education opportunities ensure that members have access to quality industry knowledge as well as business and professional development.

Based in Durham, North Carolina, Inventory Investments, Ltd provides residential and commercial asset inventory services throughout the Triangle Triad of North Carolina. For more information visit their website or contact Robert Woodson at 919-450-5272 or email contact@inventoryinvestments.com.

06 Aug 2014

Revised Code of Ethics

CodeA major joint undertaking for the National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) and The Inventory Institute is completed. The Directors of NICA and the CEO of The Inventory Institute devoted many hours reviewing their previous Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct, respectively.

For the benefit of the inventory industry, these two documents were merged and edited into one industry-wide Code of Ethics that both organizations now share. Prior to adopting the new version as the official document, the NICA Board of Directors reviewed and approved the changes.

Though the two organizations’ Codes were similar, we believe that since we are working so closely together, with the effort to achieve cohesiveness and unity, that it made sense to establish one Code of Ethics for the industry overall.

The revised industry Code of Ethics

Professionalism

  • Promote professionalism through my products, services, and interaction with others.
  • Fulfill all obligations in a respectful and business-like manner.
  • Conduct myself in a manner that will not denigrate this industry or other inventory professionals.
  • Support fellow members and other asset industry professionals for the common good of the industry.
  • Promote the competency and professionalism of myself and my staff through continuing education.

Integrity

  • Conduct myself with honesty and integrity in all business and personal relationships.
  • Answer all questions truthfully and honestly prior to, during, and after services rendered.
  • Offer services only for which I am qualified, and make every effort to refer a service professional for those I cannot perform.
  • Promote and advertise my services honestly.
  • Respect the intellectual property of others and will not use this proprietary information without permission.

Confidentiality

  • Honor the trust expected of an inventory professional.
  • Take precautions to maintain all customer information in a secure manner.
  • Do not disclose information about my customers (i.e., data, photos, reports, etc.), in verbal or written form.
  • Do not sell, share, trade, or otherwise provide customer databases to other companies or individuals.
  • Publish client testimonials only with their written consent.

Customer Service

  • Serve customers with respect and courtesy.
  • Arrive at the scheduled time, prepared to complete the task promptly and efficiently.
  • Complete all projects within the agreed-upon timeframe and deliver the finished product on time and in the format expected.
  • Place customers’ needs first.
  • Strive to exceed customer expectations.

Approved by both organizations in July, the revised Code of Ethics were implemented immediately by NICA and will be effective 10/1/14 for The Inventory Institute.

The Code of Ethics is the backbone of how an industry and it’s professionals choose to conduct business; they will play a guiding role for the individual business owners and also for our two organizations as we move forward. They will be an integral part of achieving certification and designation renewals.