Approved Installation Contractor (AIC)
What is AIC?
IAGI’s Approved Installation Contractor recognizes geosynthetic installation companies that meet a minimum level of professionalism, ethics and business practices. Approved Installation Contractors must meet requirements in the following areas: corporate history and business practices, insurance verification, safety training, and professional competence and experience. Click on the links below for additional AIC program information.
Why was the AIC program developed?
IAGI developed this program based upon dialog with member installers, member suppliers, outside experts in the containment field, and government officials involved in the geomembrane industry. The goal was to establish a benchmark of business practices and professionalism for installation contractors.
The AIC program recognizes geosynthetic installation companies that meet a minimum level of professionalism and business practices. The term “Approved” should be interpreted to mean that evidence is available to show that the information provided is verified as best as possible by a third party organization.
How was the AIC program developed?
The AIC program was developed based on the principles and business practices that an industry advisory board determined were important to geomembrane installation companies who consistently perform quality installations. As with any good system, this set of requirements is subject to improvements and revisions. As experience is gained with this program, the Board of Directors of IAGI fully expects to improve the program to meet both the needs of the customer of the installation company as well as the installation company itself.
This program outlines a basic level of business practices a company must meet in order to fulfill the AIC requirements. The companies that achieve AIC status must show that they have the ability to be bonded. The Board of Directors of IAGI is cognizant that geomembrane installers come in many sizes and many of the very small specialty operators do excellent work. It was not the intent of IAGI to prevent these small specialty contractors from competing for work within the industry. The Board also felt that is was important that a company have some financial backing in order to meet the various challenges that come from running a specialty trade company. Hence, there is not a minimum level of bonding capability that a company must achieve, just that they are capable of purchasing a bond. The company does not have to actually own a bond at the time of AIC process – but they have to have a current letter from a bonding company stating they can purchase a bond.
The key elements that a company must submit for third party review and verification under the AIC include:
The application must be signed by a company officer and notarized. All of this information is submitted to a third party accountant for review and verification of information. The entire process must be completed annually. The initial cost for the AIC application is $1500 (USD) for IAGI members and $2500 (USD) for non members. The renewal cost annually is $1000 (USD) for IAGI members and $2000 for non-members. Applications for renewal must be complete within 60 days of the original approval date or will be subject to the initial cost for renewal past that date. For information on becoming a member of IAGI, click here.
There are many performance expectations that geomembrane installation contractors must meet on any jobsite. Safety management is important criteria of this program. The safety requirements stated within the program are not a substitute for local, federal, and/or state/provincial requirements. Safety provisions and plans are generally provided by the jurisdiction in which the work is being performed.
What the AIC program isn’t
AIC is not a substitute for engineers/owners doing their own background check on the installers they are planning to use on the job site. If the owner and/or engineering firm has more requirements than are covered by the AIC program, it is the obligation of that party to state those requirements and conduct further investigation of the company to ensure they meet those requirements.
For example, the industry could not come to consensus on the subject of Employer Modifier Ratings (EMR). Many on the panel wanted to require an EMR of less than 1.0 to receive the AIC designation. Others were concerned that a small company that may have had one injury, but an otherwise excellent track record would be prevented from getting the AIC designation. Requiring an EMR of less than one may have discriminated against the small installer. When working with many of the larger owners, they often require that a company meet the EMR threshold of less than one. In this case the owner/engineer could ask for an AIC company with an EMR of less than 1.0 in their specification.
The same type of requirement can be called out in a specification where an owner/engineer wants a company with more experience than 5,000,000 square feet of geomembrane installation.
The AIC designation will give the engineer/owner a starting point – knowledge that the companies that have completed this program have a minimum level of professionalism and business practices implemented in their companies. IAGI fully expects those hiring an installation company to have other requirements outside the AIC designation based upon the installation company’s field of expertise.
What is AIC International?
AIC International was established after the AIC program began due to the increase in interest from companies outside the US and Canada. The AIC program was originally established based on the best business practices in the United States and Canada. However, the demand for the AIC program to broaden to the standards accepted in countries around the world was great and IAGI has made provisions for these countries. Based on the many different qualifications that the AIC program requires, the AIC International program takes into consideration the best business practices in the applicant country. The provision for this is if a company adheres to the best business practices of their country, the company is AIC approved in their country of submission. Therefore, if a company is listed on the AIC Companies list as AIC International and their country name, this company may only place the AIC designation on bids and jobs within the country specified. Companies may apply for the general AIC program but must adhere to all of the standards and qualifications that were set forth when the program began.
For those companies that are not in the United States and Canada and would like to apply for the AIC under the AIC International rules and regulations, please review the AIC International Checklist for more information. For all International applicants, all forms, letters and applications must be submitted in English. Any items that are submitted in another language must be accompanied by a translated version. A representative of the applicant company may translate this or may pay for a third party company to translate.
If you have any additional questions or comments regarding the IAGI International program, please contact the IAGI office at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (720) 353-4977.
Current AIC program status
The AIC program has been accepted internationally and the number of companies continues to grow. For more information about the program or the International application process, please contact Laurie Honnigford at email@example.com.