AVIXA™ has offered its CTS® designations programme for more than 30 years, and every year the association certifies more qualified AV professionals than any other organization in the industry. But why do companies invest in certification, and what are the benefits? Amanda Beckner, CTS, Vice President of Learning, AVIXA, explains why AV organisations should commit to professional development.
For decades individuals, companies and customers within the audiovisual industry have recognized the AVIXA Certified Technology Specialist™ designation for its credibility and integrity. Certification is known as evidence of technical proficiency and professionalism, showing commitment to continual development and improvement. These are values that increase consumer confidence in an AV service provider’s competency, experience and ethical behaviour.
Not only is the CTS credential respected worldwide, it is the only AV certification with ISO/IEC 17024:2012 accreditation. This means many architects, general contractors and others who engage AV professionals require their AV designers and/or systems integrators to employ professionals who hold the CTS credential. Others give preference to AV companies that employ CTS holders, because of its value and mark of high quality service.
A true certification programme assesses individuals against peer-developed standards and competencies and provides a credential that is time limited. A certification exam assessment must be independent of any specific course or curriculum. In addition, continued competency is enhanced through ongoing renewal requirements, and there must be adherence to a code of ethics. AVIXA is constantly updating its training and refreshing the context around it to ensure the learning experience is rooted in creating exceptional experiences that support end users’ desired outcomes.
Manufacturer and Integrator Training
Of course, there are other forms of training taking place in the industry, often carried out by manufacturers and integrators. I view the industry’s sources of professional development as complementary, not competitive, in supporting the AV workforce. But manufacturers and integrators need not re-create the wheel. Time and again, I meet a marketing or AV operations professional working for a manufacturer or integrator and tasked to create a training program from scratch. Why? The company could just license AVIXA’s vendor-neutral, industry-validated content and work from that. Then, energy could be spent on adding what makes their company’s solutions unique in the marketplace, rather than reinventing lessons on AV fundamentals.
Since 2003, the Association for Talent Development has been researching the question of “how long it takes to design one hour of instruction.” In the 2017 update of their study, they find that one hour of traditional classroom instruction takes an average of 38 hours to develop. The investment is even greater for online education. Extend the value of AVIXA membership by putting our three curriculum developers, three standards developers, four instructors, and countless volunteers to work for you. Save yourself many development hours by licensing AVIXA content. (Reference: https://www.td.org/insights/how-long-does-it-take-to-develop-one-hour-of-training-updated-for-2017)
Training for Consultants
For consultants advising clients on solutions that achieve their business outcomes, AVIXA offers training to help define systems performance metrics and standard processes to ensure exceptional experiences. Elite AVIXA members also have access to search and use online education for just the lessons they need.
Tailoring Training to Suit the Market
AVIXA has a wide variety of audiences, and personalization is a huge trend in adult learning. It is challenging to personalize the learning experience for each of the professional disciplines, competency levels, and geographic regions that AVIXA serves. The association is meeting those challenges by designing modularized curriculum that can be disseminated via different delivery methods, by investing in learning content management solutions to codify content, by improving processes for more effective translation and localization, and by offering a new service to Elite members — allowing them to search for and utilize the online learning module they need.
The Next Step
Beyond training, there is the difficult – yet rewarding – experience of developing industry standards. AVIXA is the leading resource for AV performance and documentation standards. Our standards are balanced and open, so everyone in the AV industry can benefit from incorporating them into their projects. These standards support technology design and procedures that focus on reliability, competency and success. The development process involves groups that work cooperatively to develop voluntary national consensus standards. AVIXA’s Board of Directors established a Standards Committee in 2006 to start working on performance standards. Each standard lists the names of the volunteers who authored it. I encourage anyone to reach out to peers who are using standards and ask about their experience and what they gained from it. Also, there are other advisory opportunities for consultants, and I invite you to contact me for details.
For more information on AVIXA’s diverse training offerings – including CTS – visit www.avixa.org.