Who’s work­ing on your project?

Ontario Gardener Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Mis­takes cost. But as home­own­ers we don’t al­ways want to be­lieve that the old adage, “you get what you pay for”, will ring true. Home ren­o­va­tions are turn­ing into cau­tion­ary tales. Hor­ror sto­ries are be­com­ing all too com­mon of home­own­ers dis­cov­er­ing that their new paved walk­ways and ir­ri­ga­tion fea­tures are ei­ther cracked and crooked or leak­ing in­side their homes.

In an ef­fort to pre­vent com­pa­nies who pop up, seem­ingly overnight, with a lawn mower and trailer but no train­ing, from think­ing that they’re ready to do work on a home, the land­scape and hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try has made a real push to­ward professional devel­op­ment.

Land­scape In­dus­try Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and ap­pren­tice­ship train­ing ex­ist across Canada to pro­vide tech­ni­cal and hand­son learn­ing as well as for­mal­ized test­ing. The goal is to en­sure that pro­fes­sion­als across the coun­try com­ply with cur­rent stan­dards and in­dus­try best prac­tices. The ben­e­fits are twofold; for mem­bers of the in­dus­try it means a cer­ti­fi­able professional cred­i­bil­ity and com­pe­tency, while for home­own­ers it means hav­ing con­fi­dence in the fact that work is be­ing com­pleted by a professional, not an am­a­teur.

As a home­owner you should be aware of who you’re em­ploy­ing. Al­though shopping around for pric­ing es­ti­mates has its ben­e­fits, some­times you run the risk of set­tling for who can do the job the cheap­est be­cause you think “they’re just cut­ting grass and main­tain­ing my yard, what could go wrong?” But you didn’t spend money on new sod just so that some­one could in­stall it in­cor­rectly only to die a month later. Or choose beau­ti­ful flora to add to your gar­den, that have been ru­ined and won’t sur­vive be­cause the com­pany you hired didn’t know how to care for them prop­erly. The fact is that mis­takes and poor work­man­ship can cost more than hiring some­one who is cer­ti­fied or has un­der­gone ap­pren­tice­ship train­ing, and has the cre­den­tials that prove they know what they’re do­ing.

Here’s what you should be ask­ing a land­scape com­pany you’re think­ing of em­ploy­ing.

What types of cre­den­tials do you and your staff hold?

Their an­swer should in­clude ei­ther one or a few of the fol­low­ing:

1. En­roll­ment at a post-sec­ondary in­sti­tu­tion with a hor­ti­cul­ture pro­gram.

2. Work as an ap­pren­tice who was hired by an em­ployer to learn their trade in a work­place-based pro­gram, and was of­fi­cially reg­is­tered with their prov­ince or ter­ri­tory dur­ing which they suc­cess­fully com­pleted as­sign­ments and ex­am­i­na­tions.

3. Suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of the rig­or­ous and in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized Land­scape In­dus­try Cer­ti­fied ex­am­i­na­tion process, through which they’ve re­ceived cre­den­tials as ei­ther a Land­scape In­dus­try Cer­ti­fied Tech­ni­cian, Man­ager or De­signer. Cer­ti­fied in­di­vid­u­als must con­tinue to up­grade their skills through a manda­tory con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram.

What proof of com­ple­tion do you have?

1. A Cer­tifi­cate of Qual­i­fi­ca­tion that rec­og­nizes that the in­di­vid­ual com­pleted their ap­pren­tice­ship and are skilled in the trade be­cause they’ve achieved their key com­pe­ten­cies on the job.

2. Red Seal en­dorse­ment is rec­og­nized and af­fixed on the pro­vin­cial cer­tifi­cate and fa­cil­i­tates be­ing able to find work across the coun­try, be­cause the in­di­vid­ual has achieved the set of stan­dards and com­pe­ten­cies in their trade, in this case the land­scape trade.

3. A cer­tifi­cate of com­ple­tion spec­i­fy­ing their Land­scape In­dus­try Cer­ti­fied des­ig­na­tion For Land­scape In­dus­try Cer­ti­fied Tech­ni­cians, the des­ig­na­tion is bro­ken down fur­ther within spe­cific mod­ules like Softscape and Hard­scape In­stal­la­tion, Turf and Or­na­men­tal Main­te­nance, Re­tail Hor­ti­cul­ture, In­te­rior Land­scap­ing and lawn Care.

So the next time you’re plan­ning land­scape work, in­sist that the com­pany you choose have trained in­di­vid­u­als on staff, who can back up their qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

Pro­vided by Cana­dian Nurs­ery Land­scape As­so­ci­a­tion www.cnla-acpp.ca.

Safety and knowl­edge are im­por­tant to en­sure your project is done right.

CNLA pro­fes­sion­als make your job worry free.

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