This past year the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) shone a bright light on the moving industry. In a series of missives they exposed the feckless TSM, rogue movers across the country, and in a novel twist, gave the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and movers one to the wedding tackle. From claims of negligence, to fraud and theft these articles covered it all, including predictable commentary from industry leaders. The refrain was the same: more regulation and crackdown on rogue movers. To my eye though, the call for punitive action ignores the 900 pound gorilla in the room; most movers lack standardized and accredited training at the entry-level. I believe this omission to be at the heart of many of the problems we see today in the moving business.
Consider: Would you ask a couple of your buddies to come over and rewire your renovated condo? Plugs and switches do look easy, why not give it a swing? Because it needs a trained professional to make sure the job goes according to plan. A similar professional standard should apply to residential furniture moving. I am not saying that we need the same level of education as an electrician but there is a particular way to do this job and it starts with fundamentals. The Australian government understood this and created a six week introductory program for the transportation industry. The Kiwis went a step farther with a 12 week program. And the Canadians? The Canadian Association of Movers (CAM) has a Professional Mover Course which can be completed “in a weekend.”
Proper fundamentals training are the warp and woof of all professions including residential furniture moving. Without it we will remain a refractory industry destined to wear the “Kick Me” sign for the foreseeable future.