Last week, I had the pleasure of travelling to Jupiter, Florida to attend- and present at- the first NORRP convention. What, you may ask, is NORRP? And why should you pay attention?
The National Organization of Restoration and Remediation Professionals (NORRP) is a grass-roots gathering, unique in several key ways. To properly explain what NORRP is, it is easier to explain what it is NOT- it is NOT a trade organization; it is NOT a regional arm of a national insurance program; it is NOT a power grab by the largest and most powerful companies; it is NOT a money-making gimmick started by some over-the-hill carpet cleaner (no names, please!). It is none of those things, but it is something very important to the future of our industry, especially if you are an independent restorer.
NORRP is the brainchild of Whitney Wiseman, a brash, no-nonsense, brilliant restoration professional with high morals and higher aspirations for you and him. He has only one goal in mind: to raise the bar for everyone on our side of the game, in an attempt to bring all parties to the table in a fair-minded attempt at leveling the playing field. He wants to weed out the bad, money-grabbing restorers that give all of us a bad name. He wants to increase the professionalism of every company. He wants to standardize the execution, documentation and invoicing of projects. He wants the insurers to respect what we do and how we do it, and wants them to pay us fairly for that level of expertise.
He wants to do all of this in a different way than all former attempts. NORRP is registered as a union, which gives the organization a different approach to advocacy. As a member of NORRP, you will be required to submit yourself to certain levels of compliance, both in quality of work performed, but also in your commitment to the greater good of our business. In contrast to the IICRC, which gives out certified firm accreditations using a low threshold, a NORRP member firm will have to comply to a higher standard of expertise and performance. NORRP will certify workers, supervisors and managers and enforce ongoing compliance with testing and performance criteria.
NORRP is not a trade group, like the RIA, ICRA, or the regional associations. It is not a certification body, like the IICRC (although it will have some classes of certification within its criteria). Instead, NORRP is you, me, and all who think that the time has come for serious action to protect and grow our businesses. All of the goals of the organization are focused on a higher level- MORE education, MORE performance, MORE consistency, MORE respect. With the current trend within our industry handing more and more power, control and influence to the insurance carriers, we are all at risk of losing our autonomy, becoming no more than a "Safelite" for the property damage business. TPA programs are crippling our industry by forcing many of us to give in to their ridiculous demands and rules in order to get some "easy business." Others, like the giants in our field, are playing that side of the fence as "insurance consultants", essentially beating us up for the benefit of the carriers, ostensibly to curry favor with them for more work. This erosion of independence and autonomy have damaged our product, and forces us to work harder and longer to justify fair payment for our services.
I say this with all due respect to all of you in the business of restoration: NORRP is not for everyone. If you are happy with program work, NORRP is not for you. If you are a franchise owner, you already have your advocate and business plan, so NORRP is not for you. If you think that our industry is working just fine and you do not need anyone to help you out, then NORRP is not for you. If you are unwilling to submit yourself to higher standards of education and performance in an attempt to raise the bar for everyone, then NORRP is not for you.
However, if you believe that your efforts are being undervalued and undermined, then take a look at NORRP. If you believe that everyone in the restoration industry should perform at the highest standards of care, then take a look at NORRP. If you believe that we all need a unified voice that speaks for our needs and concerns, then take a look at NORRP. Please contact me if you want more information, or go to the website: www.norrp.org