The boards of directors of the Association of Rug Care Specialists (ARCS) and the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) have agreed to transfer ownership of the Certified Rug Specialist certification program (CRS) from RIA to ARCS effective Jan. 4.

“Given the RIA’s focus on the restoration sector, our board unanimously agreed that it is in the best interests of the rug care industry to transition this program without cost from our organization to the Association of Rug Care Specialists,” said Timothy Shaw, RIA’s executive director. “We know the CRS will be in good hands with ARCS and we eagerly anticipate seeing the certification program grow under ARCS’ leadership.”

“We are grateful for the support of the RIA board in making this transition a reality. Their decision is indicative of the cooperative spirit that exists between our two organizations,” said Bill Foulds, president of ARCS. “The bottom line is that this agreement will strengthen the rug care industry and further our association’s mission of educating rug care specialists and advancing the art and science of rug care.”

The CRS is the nation’s only certification program that focuses on the advanced technical study of Oriental and specialty rugs, with an emphasis on the history of handmade rugs, rug identification, various cleaning and repair techniques, and potential cleaning problems based on a rug’s origin and construction. Successful candidates for the certification must participate in five days of intensive instruction, pass a two-part written examination, and write a paper on a topic relevant to the cleaning and repair of Oriental and specialty rugs. An elite group of 65 rug care specialists in the United States currently holds the CRS certification.

Under the terms of the agreement, ARCS will have rights to CRS trademarks, logos and pins, as well as the Industry Guide and Recommended Practice for Rug Cleaning manual that is the basis for the certification program. All CRS records, student papers, and other materials will also be turned over to ARCS.

The transition of the CRS certification program to ARCS enables the association to provide educational opportunities to all levels of rug care professionals.  Its education committee has completed instructor guides for both entry level and intermediate level courses. The entry level course, which will be conducted on-line, will cover topics such as basic rug identification and rug cleaning. The three-day intermediate level course will include topics such as rug manufacturing techniques, identifying and cleaning specialty rugs, and rug plant procedures, equipment, and work flow. Dates for the initial course offerings will be announced soon.