By Rory Macnamara

As with many of our trades, waterproofing and roof repairs are dogged by the notorious ‘bakkie brigade’ in the worst sense. This impacts on the industry reputation generally, and roof repairing and waterproofing in particular.

Hand and power tool stations. Image credit: ©Plumbing Africa | Rory Macnamara

Hand and power tool stations. Image credit: ©Plumbing Africa | Rory Macnamara

The recently-formed Roofing Academy has been created to train and uplift those wishing to render a quality service in roof repairs and waterproofing.

Whilst this discipline generally adds very little value to the aesthetics of the building, its role in application and repair is critical. Failure to apply and lack of knowledge can cost the customer a huge amount when the ‘band aid’ job fails and the bakkie brigade member has disappeared.

The SAQA approved course, run under the auspices of the Construction SETA (CETA) is entitled the national Certificate waterproofing, SAQA code 65929, NQF level 2 now can be taught in an environment suitable for theory and simulated practical training at the Academy.

The learning methods are: Integration, Simulated, Standards, Work-based and Modular. For employers this provides a great opportunity to place their employees on an established course ensuring that the work is done right the first time. for employees that have had an element of work experience they can benefit from the Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) process which is:

  • Identifying what the learner knows and can do.
  • Matching the learner’s skills, knowledge and experience to specific standards and the associated assessment criteria of the qualification.
  • Assessing the candidate against the relevant standards.
  • Crediting the candidate for skills, knowledge and experience built up through formal, informal, and non-formal learning that occurred in the past.

This is a positive and meaningful way of learning and at the end of the course, the employer has qualified people working for him/her, and satisfied customers.

By doing such training, whether unemployed or employed through the Academy with a recognised qualification makes for more qualified people out there and empowering the people willing to learn and continue a path of learning.

Not only does the industry benefit but the kindred industries benefit from knowing that they can call on a qualified person to provide guidance. For example, in the plumbing industry when heat pumps and solar geysers need to be placed on roofs, the waterproofing can be unknowingly damaged, causing problems later for the customer. For developers employing qualified tradespeople for waterproofing will eliminate problems down the line. So, too with roof repairs.

There are many waterproofing products entering the South African market and not all are suitable for our weather conditions. The Academy takes the learner through the different types of materials, roof materials and installation techniques, as every job will be different, making the application different and the outcome different.

For the kindred trades it can only be helpful if they either employ a qualified waterproofing person or work with a company that employs qualified people. All trades need to treat each other’s trade with respect and appreciate that while the one job is done there may well be a negative impact on another’s trade.

With a recognised training facility behind the company and employees, what can go wrong?

For more details on the course and the Academy, contact 011 760 2788.