October 10, 2017


When Matthew Hale, CTS®, joined Focus 21, the large Surrey, U.K.-based AV integrator and service provider, his new employer had news for him: All of its AV personnel were required to be CTS certified. Unfazed, Matt got to work, first completing AVIXA’s Essentials of AV course, then the AV Technologist course and, finally, embarking on the full CTS training. He just recently received his CTS certification, a year after joining the company and right around the time that Focus 21 achieved its AVIXA Audiovisual Provider of Excellence (APEx) status.

"Following the path from Essentials, to Technologist, to CTS was a positive way to gain and apply knowledge in stages," says Matt "I can recommend this professional development pathway to anyone in the AV industry. It has helped me to gain confidence in myself as an AV professional, and has solidified the trust that my clients have in me and the company for which I work."

Matt says that though the course materials were lengthy and at times challenging, they weren’t difficult. He sailed through the final exam with more than the required correct answers. Furthermore, in the months immediately following his certification, he repeatedly called on the knowledge gained from all three accreditation levels, and continues to do so in his day-to-day work.

"CTS is a valuable asset, and I am proud to call myself a Certified Technology Specialist™," he says.

Having progressed with the company from installation engineer to service engineer, servicing major financial institutions and insurance companies in central London, Matt maintains that the technical aspects of the job are a breeze compared with the challenges of the traffic and finding parking in the city.

"Yes, the traffic. That’s the most challenging aspect of my job! That and the logistics of working and living in London."

"Adjusting to every individual client can be a challenge," he continues. "There is a whole different range of requirements depending on their needs and equipment, and a wide variety of client types. Some of our clients are companies that were founded more than a century ago, while others are super-modern technology brands, all having equally high expectations. You have to be on the ball all the time."

Matt is excited about the future possibilities of virtual reality and augmented reality, and how those will impact the field of AV (and his gaming obsession) in the near future. But it’s the more than 200-year-old institution of the London Stock Exchange that gets him the most animated. "The AV in the lobby is spectacular," he says, of the benchmark Focus 21 installation. "We provided a huge system that enabled the creation of their dynamic visual that shows the state of the FTSE market and each individual property on it, and it's all live data. If you're lucky enough to see a market opening there, you see it in full flow. It is just amazing."

Ready to take the next step toward CTS? Free to AVIXA Premium or Elite Members, you can earn the AVIXA-Recognized AV Technologist Certificate by taking a 100-question test that can verify you have the basic level of technical knowledge needed to work toward your certification goals.

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AVT Badges for This Whole Team in the U.K.

Find out how one member company is harnessing a FREE Premium or Elite Member benefit for their entire team. "The training gives us the opportunity to show our clients that we're serious about what we're doing and that we can provide them with the best service backed up by our knowledgeable staff," says Visualization Managing Director Nick Pidgeon.


Innovation at the London Stock Exchange

Read about the special effects used to create the dynamic London Stock Exchange installation and Focus 21's case study.

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