Associations target cooperative efforts in 1999 to deliver courses on EAC, CCTV, central station operation, home automation and mobile security. National Training School continues to provide burg and fire courses also.
“Educated men are as much superior to uneducated men as the living are to the dead.”
— Aristotle, 384-322 B.C.
“It is only the ignorant who despise education.”
— Publilius Cyrus, 1st century A.D.
While these two old maxims may seem strongly worded, they apply today as much as they did centuries ago. The importance of education for security industry professionals is even more heightened as the tightening labor market puts skilled technicians at a premium. For both new and veteran installers, education is the key to personal growth as well a vital aspect in making their employers — electronic alarm companies — profitable.
That personal growth includes obtaining licensing (where applicable), honing skills in central station operation and burglar and fire alarm installation techniques, and acquiring installations skills in new areas such as CCTV, access control and mobile security devices. Not only is new technology demanding installer education, but increased education can mean more account retention, better installations and more referrals.
To this end, several industry associations have individually and/or jointly developed several educational training programs for low voltage installers and central station operators. The associations created the Low Voltage Systems Alliance (LVSA) in March 1998 to address the educational needs of the industry. Together, as well as individually, these associations have produced (or are in the process of producing) training for central station operators, electronic access control (EAC), CCTV, home automation and mobile security devices. Those courses are in addition to the well-established National Training School (NTS) Level I and Level II burglar alarm classes and Practical Fire Alarm course.
Associations Work with National Training School
The delivery instrument for much of the industry’s education efforts is the NTS, which has a board of directors from several industry associations. NTS schedules classes through the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s (NBFAA) Chartered State Association program. Dealers can obtain continuing education units (CEUs) for attendance. CEUs are important in states like Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington, which require CEUs as a licensing requirement.
NTS is currently offering burglar alarm and EAC courses. Planned courses in 1999 include CCTV and central station operator. Home automation and mobile security device programs are in the planning stages. In 1998, nearly 1,600 individuals graduated from the NTS’s three-day Level I burglar alarm course. Another 428 took the Level II course. The Electronic Access Control (EAC) Installer Training course was first offered at ISC West in Las Vegas in March 1998. More recently a course in Puerto Rico was sponsored in Spanish by Tronex, a Latin American distributor. The course is for entry-level installers.
While SIA and CSAA are working through NTS to offer several educational opportunities, both groups offer a separate central station operator training course through APCO (Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials).
The SIA/CSAA program focuses on training central station managers, who are then certified to train their own operators. In 1998, 75 instructors and 400 operators were certified.
A final project on the CSAA docket is plans to create a joint committee with Underwriters Laboratories to promote the benefits of UL certificates.