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Industry Certification

The Importance of Certification

Certification was originally established for the residential foundation industry in response to the increasing interest of jurisdictions across the country to individually license concrete contractors. Today, certification is an increasing conversation in many of the specialty areas of concrete as well as in placement, testing, validating performance and much more. While certification remains a luxury or added feature in today's business world for the residential foundation contractor, the power of the Internet increases the savvy research customers conduct to find the right construction partner. Certification is the means of identifying commitment to employee, customer and quality and construction has become a stronger industry as a result of embracing and challenging certification development. Certification programs establish standards for education and ensure commitment to quality through rigorous evaluation and verification processes. For individuals, certification both teaches the technical documents and best practice guidelines as well as extending beyond standard on-boarding and training by providing tangible measurement to knowledge and experience. For companies, certification plays an important role in developing and maintaining a qualified workforce and commitment to benchmarks for quality, safety and business performance.

The success of residential foundation certification is driving workforce development and professionalism into the future. This program gives strong evidence to the value and importance of certification by ensuring that companies regularly subject performance for review against industry standards compelling them to maintain effective quality control and assurance methods as well as their commitment to safety and customer satisfaction. The ACI/CFA Residential Foundation Technician Certification Program has established a higher level of communication through a committed workforce and experienced professionals while providing the groundwork for leadership and development. The CFA Residential Foundation Company Certification program challenges the industry to advance to a higher level of commitment and a greater statement of performance.

CFA Company Certification


The goal of the CFA Company Certification Program is to provide owners, builders, and designers a source for assuring the experience, quality and performance of cast-in-place concrete contractors. While years in business can be an indication of experience, it cannot ensure the best practices and commitment to quality industry standards at the highest level.

The program certifies that companies who provide services related to residential concrete foundations, including excavation, footings, foundation walls, drainage and waterproofing and backfilling meet criteria established for evaluation. The criteria includes analysis of company policies, procedures, and ability to consistently deliver a quality product and that they maintain a commitment to hiring, training, challenging professional development, and certifying qualified personnel in all aspects of the construction process.

The emphasis of the program is on knowledge, safety, and experience, but also engages quality control and quality assurance. Evidence of current activity, adherence to performance guidelines and specifications, as well as owner/developer verification of performance are part of the evaluation criteria. Companies experience, performance, and adherence to the programs requirements are reviewed annually.

ACI/CFA Individual Certification


The Residential Foundation Certification Program is a collaborative effort between the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and the Concrete Foundations Association (CFA), the National Sponsor. The purpose of the program is to expose individuals to the technical documents that establish prescriptive design, best practices and effective safety processes, certifying them as a Residential Foundation Technician.

Technician - A person who has demonstrated competency in the use of the technical documents based on the current prescriptive codes, the International Residential Code (IRC) and ACI 332 - Code Requirements for Residential Concrete, along with relevant supportive guidance documents.

The areas of knowledge covered by the certification include: Specific areas of knowledge covered in this program are: Building Codes, Soils and Excavation, Footings, Foundation Walls, Cold-Weather Concreting, Concrete Properties and Placement, Backfilling, Waterproofing, Dampproofing, Drainage, and Troubleshooting.

Study Guide

The CP-55PACK is a compilation binder of selected resources established for use in preparing for the examination and answering the questions for the exam. These resources are also then encouraged for use during active projects and preparing for the management of cast-in-place residential concrete foundation systems. The documents found in the resource include: ACI 332 publications, Chapter 4 of the IRC, as well as research reports and technical positions from the CFA.


The exam consists of 80 questions that are multiple choice to be completed in two-and-a-half hours. The exam is also open-book for use in answering the detailed questions largely related to looking up prescriptive design information. Conducted at various events throughout the year including the Concrete Foundations Convention and World of Concrete, CFA also offers opportunities for member companies to engage in private exams and preparatory seminars for the added convenience of testing in their office. An on-demand seminar is also available through the CFA Classroom for individuals wanting the added convenience of preparing by incremental videos. Contact jbaty@cfaconcretepros.org or call CFA at (319) 895-6940 to learn more about these opportunities.

Visit CFA’s Event page for current locations of upcoming exams.