Q: Is there a certification program geared toward system integration?
A: The Security Industry Association (SIA) Systems Integration Industry Group (SIIG) is in the process of developing both training and certification programs for those in the industry who participate in system integration. The certification program will be supported/promoted by SIA member companies.
The program is aimed at benefiting everyone. Douglas Wright, SIA Manager of Industry Groups explains, “It will prove you
possess the knowledge and skill to integrate security systems, especially when IT systems are present. You will have one more tool available to separate you from your competitors.” Manufacturers can be better assured that the products they introduce will work as intended because they are installed (integrated) properly.
There are to be initiatives, one for training and the other is a certification. The training initiative includes many products SIA has already developed such as the World of Electronic Access Control [WEAC] and the IT and Networking course SIA is now developing. The training initiative will fill in the gaps that exist with current courses. The certification initiative will be a set of requirements including a test that will determine whether or not this person can demonstrate mastery of knowledge and skills. Related factory supplied seminars will provide information (knowledge) that the candidate may need to know in order to pass the test.
It is SIA's intent to provide training that will be useful and possibly satisfy state requirements, but that may not be necessary if a state does not currently mandate training for this job. SIA intends to get the new courses approved by NTS for CEUs and those “may” be useful to satisfy state requirements.
SIA member companies will be supplying Subject Matter experts and employees who review content. Their “resources” will help pay the costs of delivering and hosting the courses. The certification program will be supported/promoted by member companies.
Completion of training modules does not equal satisfaction of certification requirements. Completion of training modules will help the candidate learn the necessary knowledge to pass the certification test. The subcommittee wants those with the experience already to be able to “sit” for the exam, without having to take the training.
SIA has published an RFP for the training module; an RFP for the certification will be published in the near future. If all goes as planned, the SSDS training and certification will be available by the fourth quarter of 2006. The certification program will be launched after all of the training is in place. The candidate then can enroll in the training or just take the test. In addition to passing the test, there will be other requirements such as proof of successful work experience, educational requirements (degrees, etc.), code of conduct, etc.
Security Dealer Technical Editor Tim O'Leary is a 30-year veteran of the security industry and a 10-year contributor to the magazine. O'Leary's background encompasses having been a security consultant since 1986 and an independent security company owner/operator, in addition to his research and evaluation of new technologies and products introduced to the physical and electronic security fields. He is a member of the VBFAA (Virginia Burglar and Fire Alarm Association); certified for Electronic Security Technician and Sales by the VADCJS (Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services); and, has served as a judge for the SIA New Product Showcase. Send your integration questions to Tim.Oleary@secdealer.com.