License for window cleaners

On a British forum I read a post on licenses. In some areas over there (Scotland being one) wcers are required to be licensed to work. I thought this was an interesting idea. Since in this country requires licensing for different contractors (even wcers that engage in CCU in California) it might be something to think about in a general sense. We’ve all experienced a fly by night operation coming in and undercutting your prices because they don’t carry insurance or pay sales/use tax. What do you think, would it be beneficial?

Its a biggie this one. I personally think it will just become another form of revenue for the government unless it is monitored correctly. Doug has been instrumental in getting the Scottish one up & running & most local councils were not interested at first. Now he’s managed to get some police involvement that can get the cowboys arrested & taken off the streets from operating. His biggest problem at the moment is unifying all the different councils to form one licence - it seems if you operate in 2 areas you need 2 licence’s. More if you work further afield. The good news is the ability to raise the prices on work due the under cutting brigade being forced out of the trade. The bad news - anyone can & apply for a licence with no work experience having to be shown.

unless it was heavily enforced, I don’t think it would work.

I think enforcement would come when the authorities realize one of the downsides of not having wcers licensed is a threat to the safety of children. I don’t say this lightly but there are wcers out there cleaning buildings and businesses that give them the opportunity to be unsupervised around children. In just about every other area where someone is in charge of children there is usually a background check. Maybe this is over the top but when I saw a similar point made on a UK forum I got a little concerned and thought I’d bring it up here. What do you think?

Have you ever heard or read about this regarding our industry? I sure haven’t.

Are children only at risk from WC’ers?

Don’t WC’ing companies have background check requirements (their own and their customers) in (many) cases?

Where are there children present where only a WC’er would be present?

But WC’ers are not in charge of children – anywhere.

How is a license anything like a background check?

Perhaps cleaning in daycares would be one area. I admit I hadn’t thought much about it until it was being discussed by others. I’m not saying any of us would do anything like this but there are unscrupulous individuals that use whatever they can as cover. Perhaps a background check could be part of the licensing application.

There are unscrupulous teachers, priests, police, politicians, etc.

I can’t see a WC’er being left alone in a daycare unsupervised with children, though…

I see these as two, separate requirements, if ever ('course I’m a Libertarian.)

One of the guys on the other forum said he had been doing a job for several years where while doing his job found himself alone w/ the kids in the room. He also said in all those years he had never had a background check done.
So while it’s not likely it could happen.

Are there any crappy licensed businesses out there?

Quality work does not maintain a license, a fee does. Totally useless… and people will lie and say they have one anyway. Most fake companies here claim to be licensed yet we do not have a license to be had. (for window cleaning)

Never in our lifetime will we be able to get rid of these “companies”, I sure do not want a extra thing to do to maintain my own.

Just a thought. With all the complaints about lowballers this would definitely cut down on them. Over in Scotland there are heavy fines for not being licensed. I’d love to see certain things attached to a license like a background check and the requirement to carry insurance for starters.

I think usually there would be more concern about a license and background check being done on a person who is in a position of authority over children like a coach, teacher, priest, or whatever. Window cleaners are rarely if ever in a position of authority over children, we are just usually a stranger. Most abuse happens with a person who is in a position of authority over children and it is very rare when it is a stranger.