Any company interested in becoming a 3M Certified Graphics Installation Company must first complete an application for membership.
BEFORE COMPLETING THE APPLICATION, BE SURE TO REVIEW THE “OUTLINE OF CERTIFICATION PROCESS” BELOW, PAYING PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO ITEM #3: ON-SITE INTERVIEW.
Outline of the UASG Certification Process
- Application Received
Application fee of $750.00.The following required documentation:
- Verification of employment for installer who will test
- 3-4 photos of recent work
- Proof of being in business for 3 years
- Proof of liability insurance ($1,000.000 in general liability)
- Worker’s compensation insurance (if applicable).
- Reference Requests
Reference request forms are sent out to all six of the listed references; the listed references are asked to rate the applicant in five different categories. There is 60 day window for responses to be received from the references.
- On-site Interview
After all six reference responses are received, an on-site interview is conducted at your facility by either the UASG Administrator or a Board member. The interview will focus on: (1) verification that the company’s installer(s) are all W-2 employees (not subcontractors); (2) specific inquiries are made regarding job records and business practices; (3) a partial installation on a complex substrate such as a bumper or fender will be observed, which is to be performed by the installer who has been designated to test (a mandatory requirement to move forward). This installer must be a full-time installer, not an administrator of the company who may also possess installation skills.Both 3M and the UASG have strict requirements regarding record-keeping which is crucial should a warranty issues arise. If a warranty issue does arise, proper record-keeping will assist with the evaluation and determination of the outcome of the investigation by 3M as to the reason behind the warranty claim. Absent proper record-keeping, there is no way to determine the reason for the failure.
BEFORE THE ON-SITE INTERVIEW WILL BE SCHEDULED, YOU MUST BE ABLE TO ENSURE THAT PROPER RECORD-KEEPING HAS BEEN PLACE FOR A MINIMUM OF SIX MONTHS. IF YOU HAVE IMPLEMENTED RECORD-KEEPING AFTER DETERMINING YOU MUST DO SO PURSUANT TO YOUR REVIEW OF THE UASG AND 3M GUIDELINES FOR UASG MEMBERSHIP AND 3M CERTIFIED STATUS, THEN THE INTERVIEW WILL NOT BE SCHEDULED UNTIL SIX MONTHS FOLLOWING THIS IMPLEMENTATION.
The following are some tips to assist you to successfully prepare in meeting these stringent record-keeping requirements as well as other necessary practices in order that your company will successfully pass the on-site interview. Please be aware that record-keeping documentation must be in place for a minimum period of six months prior to the interview. If your record keeping does not currently meet the six month criteria, then the interview will not be scheduled until you can assure us that it has been in place for that minimum amount of time.
- It is important that full and complete job records be maintained as to the particulars of any installation from commencement through completion and acceptance by your customer. These details include facts regarding the identification of the vehicle itself (if the job is a vehicle wrap), and should include not only the specifics of the installation, but the information provided by the manufacturer of the graphics and more importantly, documented thoroughly if your company is a print provider as well as an installation company;
- A pre-inspection installation sheet should always be completed prior to commencement of any vehicle wrap to document pre-existing damage to the vehicle;
- Maintenance of personnel files for all employees;
- A formal or written training program is in place for newly hired installers;
- Safety equipment should be kept in both shop and work vehicles;
- Compliance with Federal and State mandated employment regulations
- Application Summary
A summary is prepared based on the references and interview. The summary is distributed to the Certification Committee for approval. If approved, the applicant is invited to proceed to the testing phase. If rejected, the applicant is sent the appropriate denial letter.
- Testing Phase
Hands-on and written testing is conducted on a regular basis in St Paul, MN at the 3M facility. The hands-on portion of the test consists of several stations – compound curves, corrugations, flat walls, rough surface walls, floor graphics, etc. The written test is 50 questions based on 3M product bulletins and instruction bulletins as well as common knowledge information. A score of 80% on the hands-on and written test is required to pass the testing phase of the process.An overall score (on both the reference/interview and testing) must be above 80% to be approved for certification.A score of less than 75 on any one station will be considered a failure of the entire hands-on portion of the test. The applicant will be allowed to reschedule at a later date to attempt the test again.
Once the applicant has passed the hands-on and written tests, the scores are reviewed by the UASG and 3M. When both agree, the company is then considered a 3M Certified Graphics Installation Company.
- Compliance Forms
On a yearly basis, the certified company must submit evidence of the continued employment of the tested installer.
- Continuing Education
New materials and tools will be introduced periodically by 3M and training on these new materials and tools will be required on an as-needed basis.