Winter is just around the corner — and so are icy sidewalks and snow-filled parking lots. Hiring a company certified in snow and ice management to take care of your commercial property is the best way to keep everyone safe.
You know how important it is to have a plan for winter weather, but what you may not know is that relatively few companies are certified by the Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA).
But what does it mean to be “certified” in snow and ice management and why is this important for you and your property?
Here’s a few things you should know before you sign a contract with a snow management company.
What is the Snow & Ice Management Association?
The Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA) is a North American trade association that focuses on training professionals in snow and ice management. They do this by providing symposiums, training programs and ongoing research to develop best practices.
As a customer, you can look to SIMA to find the most professional snow & ice management firms out there — Landscape America included.
What is a Certified Snow Professional?
The Certified Snow Professional (CSP) is one of the major certifications offered by SIMA. The CSP certification matters for you because it ensures you are getting the highest standard in snow & ice management services — from those who have mastered their craft! The program encourages environmental responsibility, health and safety. More on that below.
How do you become SIMA certified?
Becoming a Certified Snow Professional (CSP) through SIMA is not as easy as taking a quiz — so anyone with this certification is serious about snow!
Not just anyone can become certified — you have to have proven, snow-specific training, experience and education. You’re not even qualified to begin the certification process until you’ve spent a few winters “in the trenches.”
Once you’ve paid the examination fee, you’ll receive a robust training book to prepare for the exam. Because the breadth of knowledge required to attain the CSP is so detailed most people need several weeks — or even months — to prepare. The exam is divided into six sections with 20–40 questions each for a total of 200 questions.
You have up to two days to complete the exam and have to attain a grade of 70% in each section to receive the CPS certification. Once certified, a CPS is required to maintain their certification by earning fifteen (15) continuing education credits per year and paying an annual fee.
These credits can be earned by attending trade shows, mentoring new members, publishing snow-related articles or any other approved activities.
So, as you can see, becoming certified is quite an accomplishment!
Why does it matter if my firm is SIMA certified?
Hiring a company whose team members are certified through SIMA can give you peace of mind because SIMA:
- Offers extensive training so you can be confident the company you hire is educated in best practices for snow and ice removal.
- Train members in client communication and record-keeping so you’ll be kept in the loop and know exactly what to expect during and after a storm.
- Members are properly insured so you don’t have to worry about lawsuits should someone slip and fall.
In addition, companies with SIMA certified team members are often larger than independent contractors. They’ll have multiple employees and an arsenal of snow management equipment so your property will be serviced without costly delays (and minimizing the risk of slip-and-fall accidents).
Are you ready to talk with a Certified Snow Professional?
Knowing your commercial property is in the hands of a trusted professional — one who is trained to handle the worst winter storms — can give you the peace of mind money can’t buy.