AVIXA has launched its new install training program: Microcredentials. Three video-rich, interactive online classes deliver basic-level install training on the topics of pulling cable, terminating cable, and equipment mounting. The classes are aimed at entry-level AV installers and technicians and are intended to solidify basic knowledge required on almost every job, as well as provide a pathway to the AVIXA AV Technologist Test and the more advanced CTS certifications.
On completion of each individual class, technicians will earn a digital badge that they can share on their LinkedIn page, email signature, online portfolio, or similar.
Among several industry professionals involved with developing the AVIXA microcredentials trainings are Travis Lisk, CTS-I, Vice President of Technical Operations at Advanced AV and Farrell Wood, PMP, CTS-D, CTS-I, National Quality Assurance & Training Manager at Whitlock. They recently shared their thoughts on the new training program.
Why is there a need for basic-level install microcredentials?
Travis Lisk: Everyone understands that the CTS certification program is phenomenal, but it’s aimed at people with exposure to the industry as a whole. It doesn’t apply to the group of newly hired AV professionals who could use very specific credentialing for what installers do when they’re out in the field.
Farrell Wood: These microcredentials align perfectly with what many companies, including ours, are trying to do with in-house trainings for installation technicians. It provides validation of the skill sets of technicians, particularly those new to a company or to the industry. They can home in on these very specific skills before challenging the CTS or CTS-I certification, which can be a lot for someone brand new to the industry.
How will it specifically benefit the individual?
Travis Lisk: It’s an opportunity for very specific training. One of the things our staff struggles with is communicating what they want to get trained on. They easily recognize manufacturer training but often have a hard time with communicating what it is they need additional training on. Now they have the ability to say, I want to get this microcredential, and receive targeted instruction.
Farrell Wood: For those techs that don’t have a lot of experience or people to train them, it allows them to focus on specific areas and accomplish a solid foundation. Plus, it’s a good motivator. They will have a feeling of achievement before moving on to doing that work in the field or to taking a more advanced qualification.
How will the trainings benefit AV systems integration companies such as yours?
Farrell Wood: It’s a lot of work to do on-the-job training and make sure a new hire has mastered a specific skill set. For us, we don’t have a lot of internal training people who are traveling around and doing hands-on training. That’s a huge expense and it becomes hard to justify the time. To have another avenue that covers training in specific job areas is extremely valuable. These microcredentials also reduce the amount of time new employees spend learning on the job. Our goal is that our technicians don’t have to do that, so that when they go out in the field they have done the specific training beforehand and aren’t learning on the customer’s site.
Travis Lisk: From a hiring perspective, if someone comes to me and identifies that they have this microcredential it will help me identify what their skill sets are.
How do you see these microcredentials benefiting the AV industry as a whole?
Travis Lisk: It helps greatly with standardization. Whereas the IT industry has well-established practices, the AV industry has been fragmented as to what is the acceptable practice. It will also help from the customers’ perspective as they’ll be able to specify that in order to win a particular contract, the technical staff be trained to a consistent approach and will have attained one or all of the microcredentials.
The AVIXA Microcredentials Install Training Program will launch in 2017. The cost of each course is $275 for AVIXA members, with an introductory promotional price of $199 per individual. Bundled pricing is available.
Want to dig into the course outlines? Visit AVIXA Microcredentials