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Fenestration Forum – Grab whatever education opportunities you can

The education edge

October 10, 2017  By Brian Burton

It makes good business sense to take full advantage of continuing educational opportunities if you want to remain competitive. Training and education also improves employee morale and increases productivity, key elements in maximizing corporate profitability.

An excellent opportunity to improve your understanding of technical issues, installation principles and to gain formal certification was recently introduced by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, a well-known source for the dissemination of fenestration-related information in North America and internationally.

This educational opportunity spearheaded by AAMA is supported in Canada by the Canadian Standards Institute and Fenestration Canada. The program dovetails nicely with the Fenestration Installation Technician program and the Siding and Window Dealers Association of Canada’s Window Wise program. The new courses are also recognized by the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Association and a number of other industry associations and government bodies.

In addition to scrutinizing a glossary of terms used in fenestration applications, the course material covers a diverse range of technical topics, including glazing and glass selection; performance and material requirements for various applications; code requirements for various jurisdictions; and principles of daylighting and thermal performance for fenestration products. The course materials and examination questions also address various on-site installation principles, including health and safety issues for residential, commercial and institutional fenestration applications. Students’ understanding of the course material is evaluated with a multiple-choice exam.


These new educational programs feature three distinct streams which are designed to address the continuing education needs of different stakeholders and sectors in fenestration markets. Students are offered a choice between the entry-level “Fenestration Associate” title or a more advanced designation as a Master or Advanced Fenestration Professional.

AAMA is offering tuition discounts for members of various associations. Check their website at to see if your membership qualifies.

This formalized educational opportunity allows companies to enhance their staff’s understanding of fenestration principles and formalize their professional standing in the industry. Training of this nature enables firms and employees to maintain an up-to-date understanding of industry issues and trends. Improved training is also one way that smaller companies can better equip themselves to compete more effectively against larger firms, while improving quality at the same time. Because training can improve your communication skills, it enables you to make better sales presentations. Improving your overall understanding of technical issues can enable your business to adapt to technical changes and take full advantage of opportunities which otherwise might be overlooked.

Taking advantage of available educational opportunities like this one can be considered an important component of a continuous improvement process. Continuous improvement involves identifying challenges or shortcomings and determining the best options available to fix them. Part of that is recognizing how specific tasks can impact your business’s overall performance, along with determining how limitations can be overcome or eliminated. Given the complexity of today’s fenestration marketplace, continuing educational opportunities like this one are a prudent investment. Successful completion of the course also serves to enhance the professional credibility of your sales and technical employees.

According to the experts quality is never an accident. Rather than happening by chance it’s usually a habit that involves doing the right thing when no one is looking. Improving your knowledge of all things fenestration combined with applying the proven principles of continuous improvement are two excellent ways to distinguish your company.

Brian is a construction writer from Ottawa Ontario who served on the CSA’s Fenestration Installation Technician Certification Program Personnel Committee. You can contact Brian at or learn more by visiting burton’

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