John Kent and Jeff Dalaba of Administrative Management Systems, which administers NACC, organized the day. Peter Neudorf of Ferguson Neudorf, a board member with NACC was in attendance along with Noel Marsalla, executive director of the Architectural Glass and Metal Contractors Association.
Fitzgerald demonstrated elements of the rigorous AGMT test which will take students most of a day to complete – two hours to demonstrate stick-built curtainwall construction, two hours to put in backer rod and seal storefront and a two-hour written test. The physical testing uses an ingenious apparatus designed by Fitzgerald that can be re-used and broken down for transport. Tubelite donated the materials for the test. Fitzgerald showed how students will be challenged to read drawings and measure correctly in order to complete the test successfully and on time. Several beta testers – actual practicing glaziers – were due in later that day to run through the complete test and give feedback.
Everyone present agreed the test seems fair and a good measure of a glazier's ability to do the basic job. The discussion moved from there to the larger issue of acceptance of glazier and contractor certification in Canada. NACC is a voluntary certification that provides third-party, ANSI-accredited verification of a company's business practices, safety procedures, quality management, administrative practices and adherence to industry glazing standards. AGMT certifies the individual glazier's knowledge and skill in the trade. The group noted there is some overlap between Red Seal and AGMT, but AGMT does not require the glazier to be an apprentice or journeyperson.
"The AGMT Program has now been in development for 18 months in order to create an industry test that create both a written exam to evaluate a glazier’s knowledge and a performance-based test that evaluates the hands-on skills to effectively install glazing systems," Dalaba said. "During development we have had significant input through industry steering committees and focus groups to guide the design and a world class performance-based test. It is now time to verify that the work of the industry committees and the design of our testing apparatuses are fully functional and operate efficiently, prior to final testing. We have started beta testing the PBT in Buffalo, NY with a group of glaziers with experience ranging from four years to over 25 years in the glazing field. We will continue the testing in several other regions of North America to verify that the test performs as it has been designed in any region. While the beta testing requires a significant amount of time and effort from our design and operations team, it is an important step in our quality assurance evaluation of the test. We are pleased to see glaziers eagerly volunteer to participate in the beta testing. The response from the industry throughout every stage of the AGMT development and early testing has been remarkable and demonstrates the commitment of so many, to raising the bar for the glazing industry."