In many cases, Roxanne is the first person you’ll talk to if you call us at QCP. She helps woodworking firms go through the QCP licensing process, and supports construction professionals in getting their projects QCP-certified. Roxanne sets our first impression, and she gets great comments and positive feedback.
You can also listen to this blog post as a podcast hosted by QCP’s Executive Director, Randy Estabrook. Listen now.
AWI-QCP: Hi, Roxanne! Firstly, can you tell us how you found yourself with QCP?
Roxanne Accetta: Back in 2009, I relocated to northern Virginia, and had majored in interior design. QCP sounded like a perfect fit, and 11 years later, that still rings true!
AWI-QCP: What advice would you give to a woodworking firm that’s thinking about becoming QCP licensed?
RA: The most important factor, I think, is understanding the benefit of attaining QCP licensing. The biggest benefit is being able to bid on and be awarded projects that require QCP certification, so licensing is definitely something to consider.
Another thing to consider is that you need to submit trade references as part of the licensing process. That can be a challenge, there can be delays, and companies you’re requesting references from don’t always have the same sense of urgency as you do. I advise woodworking firms to set themselves timelines and reminders, and possibly request more references than you need, like five or 10 more, just in case some of them don’t come through. I explain to all potential licensees that this is typically the most time-consuming part of the application process – much more so that the tests, which are multiple choice and online, and inspections, which can be booked in pretty quickly, for example.
Another consideration is the initial shop drawings, as some companies struggle with those. They’re an important part of any project and show how the manufacturer is going to build the products, cabinets, trim, the panelling, etc. How are they going to engineer, build and install it? One of the biggest challenges in becoming QCP licensed is having your shop drawings show that what you build is built the way it is in the Standards. A lot of people overlook that, and think that the way they’re doing it is the best way, but if that’s not what’s in the Standards, you won’t be awarded your license. It’s definitely something to look out for.
It’s also easy to lose sight of the timeline, as you have to complete licensing within 12 months. We send reminders, but if a firm is busy, it’s easy to push it to the bottom of a to-do list.
Our representatives are very good at walking firms applying for QCP licenses through the process, so there’s lots of support there if you need it, and I’m always happy to answer questions and concerns a firm may have.
AWI-QCP: What do you enjoy most about working at QCP?
RA: The company is fantastic and my coworkers are great, and really helpful. I also enjoy the rapport I’ve built with QCP firms, hearing their challenges and successes, and their experiences with QCP and woodworking in general. And everyone is different, from global companies to small, local firms.
There’s also been an increase in the number of firms outside of the US, which I enjoy.
AWI-QCP: Who do you typically speak to each day?
RA: I’d say that 60% of the people I speak to need information or help on QCP project certification, and 40% are woodworking firms who are interested in or want to apply for a QCP license.
A lot of companies tell me that QCP is becoming more prevalent and is a requirement of more architectural woodwork projects. It feels like QCP has really built a reputation in the time I’ve worked here, and people understand that having a QCP license under their belt is helping them win projects.
AWI-QCP: What are the top things people need information on?
RA: The fee structure is the biggest issue with misinformation. A lot of people I speak to say they’ve heard that the fees are high, but when they look into it, it’s not as much as they thought. I go over the fees with them and explain that they’ve now been capped, so it’s substantially lower.
Another question I get a lot is about the difference between AWI and QCP. I tell them that AWI is geared more towards membership and education benefits, and they’re the ones that produce the Standards, and QCP is the actual certification or third-party assessment body.
A last word from Roxanne
RA: I hear a lot that QCP licensing and the ability to get projects certified gives a woodworking firm that extra “oomph”.
That’s great to hear, as just in the time that I’ve been here, QCP has really evolved, there’s a lot of automation, virtual integrations, digital modifications, and it’s made things easier for licensees and for us. It’s so streamlined and smooth now, communication is better, we’re more available to licensees and can get to their questions quickly. We’re readily available to help with questions and concerns.