The American Supply Association and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials will be providing much-needed courses to educate the industry on product certification and labeling. The ASA and IAPMO venture will provide education to an area of the industry that is currently lacking as there is not a source available where high quality education pertaining to certification and labeling can be obtained. The educational program, which will be jointly developed by ASA and IAPMO, will be offered through the ASA University program and IAPMO’s training and education entity IAPMO LEARN!

The courses will cover the history of product marking, what is a standard, how are they developed, documentation of markings, location and approvals, just to name a few. The courses will provide education to individuals in the supplier and distribution industry on how to read the certification labels and markings on products.

Overall, this effort will remove the dissatisfaction from the end user, the installer and contractor, and ultimately the wholesaler/suppliers when an unapproved part is installed and not approved by the inspector for the intended use.

Just about every product has a standard. There are standards for job performance, laws that keep society functioning and standards as to what products may be used in different situations. Standard and code compliance is not limited to the jobsite. The various distribution channels have responsibility to ensure the products they promote meet the local requirements. Buyers need to be aware of changes in model regulations as well as local requirements. Not including this information in purchase orders opens the wholesaler and retailer to several bad scenarios: inventory that cannot be sold, bad reputation, customer-service issues and additional liability should there be a problem.

The courses will be provided online or via seminars depending on the demand. In either case, the industry can rest assured that those who complete the courses will obtain the knowledge necessary to recognize labeling of products, understand how the products came to be certified by third-party accredited agencies and ensure that products meet local code requirements.

Suppliers, distributors and wholesalers with someone on their team who successfully completes the courses can be certain that he or she will have the ability to understand the markings on their products which will, eventually, lead to them making correct business decisions.   

ASA University is the only resource directed specifically to the plumbing-heating-cooling-piping (PHCP) and industrial and mechanical PVF industry, built from the ground up by members actively working in the industry. ASA University combines online and traditional learning to address the needs of new or seasoned employees. Your company will increase productivity, profitability and safety when employees understand their roles in running an efficient distribution business while delivering outstanding customer service.

The IAPMO training and education program is an advocate of the code administration profession, and as a champion for the advancement of code professionals in pursuit of their career potentials, it is their mission to provide relevant, exceptional continuing education in a variety of formats and to offer national personnel certification and construction trades testing programs that are applicable, reliable and meet government mandates.

The venture between ASA and IAPMO makes sense because ASA holds unique membership spanning manufacturers and distributors from the plumbing, HVAC and PVF sectors of the industry; IAPMO holds the experience in developing model codes and being a certification body. ASA’s unique membership can provide the technical experience and input and IAPMO can provide the technical experience from being one of the leading advocates for the safety of the public.

The courses are expected to launch in early 2018. Questions pertaining to this joint effort or on the courses, should be directed to Amy Black (executive director for ASA Education Foundation) at or Mike Adelizzi (executive vice president) at