About Certification in Boston, MA

In August of 2007, a fire in West Roxbury took the lives of two Boston Fire Fighters.

Boston FireThe fire ignited in the kitchen and spread into the kitchen exhaust system, where it burned in the duct work for over an hour. The resulting investigation revealed serious deficiencies in the kitchen exhaust system, and a failure to properly clean and maintain the system.

In response to this, the Boston City Council passed an ordinance that requires certification for exhaust cleaners that do any work in commercial kitchens within the City of Boston. Boston contacted IKECA™ to develop and implement a certification protocol to meet the needs of the city. IKECA™ developed two unique certifications for the City:

  • The Boston Certified Cleaning Specialist™ (BCCS™) and  
  • The Boston Certified System Inspector™ (BCSI™). 

Effective May, 2009, all exhaust cleaners and inspectors must be certified through this program, and apply for and receive a license from the City of Boston Fire Department.

Effective Februrary 1, 2015, The Boston Certified Cleaning Specialist ™ (BCCS™) has been revised to reflect NFPA 96 2011 and Boston-specific work requrements.

Both require that the applicant sign and abide by a Code of Professional Conduct.

Both certifications are renewable every three (3) years.

Certification through this program does not require membership in IKECA. The BCCS™ and BCSI™ certifications are applicable only to the City of Boston and do not provide IKECA certification for any other municipality, state or jurisdiction.

IKECA's Involvement

IKECA™ is an approved certification body for the Fire Department's program, and designs and administers the exams for the City. IKECA is a trade association representing kitchen exhaust cleaners and inspectors all over the world.