Associations Focus: “Value Added” AV Employees

ICIA certification programs provide three levels of excellence.
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Associations Focus: “Value Added” AV Employees

Aug 1, 2005 12:00 PM

ICIA certification programs provide three levels of excellence.

As the AV industry continues to grow, companies and individuals are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors. That is why every year more than 1,000 AV professionals sought and received certification from ICIA. From the general Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) level to the more intensive and specialized CTS-D (Design) and CTS-I (Installation) designations, these distinctions are giving professionals a tangible asset when trying to persuade a customer that they are the most qualified to perform the job. In early 2005, ICIA became the only AV certification to be accepted by the National Certification Commission, verifying that the program is comprehensive and objective.

ICIA has been certifying professionals since 1981, and with the development of its industry awareness campaign in 2003, became the only association to offer a company-level AV certification. More than 120 companies have since attained their Certified Audiovisual Solutions Provider (CAVSP) status, which is awarded to organizations that have demonstrated commitment to professional excellence. These companies, listed on www.avolution.info, are able to use the CAVSP logo to promote their businesses in many ways, including sending out press releases, branding their websites and marketing materials, adding patches to their technicians' uniforms, and specifying their status in bids. Many clients are now recognizing the value of a CAVSP company bid and are including it as a requirement in their RFPs.

Companies can achieve General, Silver, or Gold CAVSP levels based on the proportion of their technical sales and customer service personnel who earn General or Specialized individual certification.

The general CTS level is achieved by AV professionals who have demonstrated knowledge and comprehension of the science and technology used in communications including audio, video, display and systems. Anyone is eligible to take the test, including technicians, engineers, designers, salespeople, customer service personnel, managers, and executives. The general CTS test is offered online, at InfoComm Academy headquarters in Fairfax, Va., and at ICIA's annual trade show, InfoComm.

In fact, ICIA offered its new three-day preparatory course, CTS Prep, at InfoComm 05 in June, a session that sold out long before the show took place, indicating the strong commitment amongst AV professionals to attain the status. In addition, many people are just more comfortable in an in-person learning environment. Sixty-one people who took the CTS test following the course came away with a CTS designation. Approximately 3,600 people are current Certified Technology Specialists, with more passing the test daily.

Even for those who have been in the AV industry for years, the CTS Prep course provides an opportunity to brush up thoroughly on audio and visual theory and technology, as well as on AV systems as a whole. Some professionals may have stronger experience in one or two of the three aspects, but not all, and are able to round out their knowledge.

Upon passing the General CTS test, individuals earn the right to append their names with the letters CTS and to move on to specialized tests for Certification in Design (CTS-D), Installation (CTS-I), Rental (CTS-R), and Sales (CTS-S).

For further information about certification, or to apply for a test, contact ICIA at (800) 659-7469 or (703) 273-7200, or check www.infocomm.org under “certification.”

For more information about ICIA and InfoComm, visit www.infocomm.org.

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