BOLOGNA, ITALY -- Ceramic tiled floors and walls are high value-added systems resulting from the installation of semi-finished industrial products (i.e. ceramic tiles) by a tile layer. For this reason, the industry is strongly dedicated to promoting proper installation, a commitment that has been intensified following the creation of the professional association of ceramic tile layers and retailers, Assoposa.

The fact that Assoposa’s members include both ceramic tile layers and retailers reflects the association’s vision of flooring as a system. In other words, the tile layers and retailers belonging to Assoposa are considered interdependent parts of the same system, who work together to create the finished product (the technical standards refer to the term “tiling”). According to their specific responsibilities and areas of expertise, they jointly guarantee the aesthetic quality of the finished tiling, as well as the technical characteristics of uniformity, durability, cleanability and safety.

Assoposa’s mission is to provide professional training qualifications for Italian tile layers. For this purpose, it has set up an ISO 9001-certified professional qualification scheme for its members based on a clear definition of the knowledge, skills and competences that a tile layer must possess together with a rigorous system for verifying that these requirements are met.

All of Assoposa’s initiatives are focused on the precise strategic objective of raising market awareness of the importance of high-quality tile laying. Today, Assoposa is the only organization in Italy capable of offering professional qualifications (Tile Layer, Master Tile layer, XXL Slab Layer) to distinguish its members from the multitude of generic tile layers, but these qualifications are voluntary and optional. As with all building activities, there is no law in Italy to determine who is eligible to perform tile installation, while professional qualification systems are always voluntary and optional. Construction in Italy is an open market with no barriers to entry. No form of qualification or specialization is required by law, which means that anyone can install tiles.

Once a new economic and regulatory framework for professional qualifications has been established, it will be necessary to address the issue of education and vocational training for the young people who will become tomorrow’s tile layers and focus on setting up a tile laying school. Tile layers have a high average age of 45 and there is a lack of generational change within the profession. The limited interest of the younger generation in this type of work has led to the almost complete absence of adequate basic training.

Assoposa will be onsite at Cersaie each day this week at Tiling Town in Hall 32. This gives professionals a chance to meet with installation professionals each afternoon to discuss the activities carried out during the association’s lifetime and its future objectives, as well as for certifications.