Online Level 1 Training Now Available


Alarm technicians no longer have to travel, enter a
classroom or take time away from work to get alarm
technician training. An online version of the National
Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s (NBFAA) Alarm
Technican (Level 1) Course
has been introduced,
allowing trainees to receive Level 1 training anywhere they
can access the Internet at any time and at their own

The NBFAA’s National Training School (NTS) launched its
first online course Oct. 13 after spending a year
translating its classroom course into an online program.
Those who complete the course will receive the same Level 1
training they would have received from attending one of the
NTS’ live classrooms. Dale Eller, NBFAA Director of
Education, told Security Sales & Integration, that
online trainees will be no less trained than those who take
the course in person.

“The actual content is identical. What they will learn
about all the subject matter is identical,” Eller
says. “Just the delivery has changed.”

Unlike live training, a person taking the online course
will not be certified upon completion. They will still need
to take and pass a separate, two-hour test in person –
either at the site of a live training course or at a test
site arranged by the NTS.

The online course is conducted by a program, rather than a
live instructor, allowing a person to take it at any time
of the day at whatever pace they like. Those signing up for
the online course will receive by mail the Level 1 training
manual. Much of the Web course involves the use of a
graphical interface that includes moving diagrams. Eller
says the interactive graphics is key to maintaining that
the online course lives up to the live course.

“One of the greatest benefits of Level 1 is the interaction
between instructor and students and between students. We
knew we had to maintain that interaction,” says Eller. “We
put into the course as much graphics interaction as we
could. If someone needs to know gap difference in recess
contacts, there are animations that will actually show what
the gap means.”
At the same time, Eller says the graphic interfaces can
instruct in a way an instructor with a white board or
chalkboard never could. What an instructor could only
verbalize, the online graphical interface can actually
show. “The next generation of alarm installer is the
Nintendo generation and they learn differently than
us ‘old’ people.”

While online training can work in place of live training,
Eller says it will not replace it. The NTS has no plans to
discontinue its live training and will offer both means to
educate alarm technicians. However, the online training
offers an accessible alternative to the distance and time
needed to take a Level 1 course, let alone the wait to see
when a course would be offered nearby.

“The hurdle live training has had to overcome was distance
and time. Companies are a little bit hesitant to take guys
out of the field for three days, plus the cost of hotel,
plus meals,” says Eller, who adds those taking the course
online can not only stay on the job but also apply what
they are learning while they take the class. “The advantage
is during the day, they could be reinforcing the class with
what goes on it the field.”

The online offerings by the NTS will not stop at Level 1.
Online versions of the Fire Alarm Installation
and Advanced Burglar Alarm Technician
courses will be available in early 2005.

To get information or to sign up for the online courses, go
to, click on
and click HREF=> “On-Line
on the left side of the page.

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