The AV Industry’s Continuing Quest Toward Quality

May 10, 2006

By Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D.

President Martin Van Buren once said, “It is easier to do a job right than explain why you didn’t.” Indeed, with technology accelerating at such a rapid pace, it is essential that designers ensure that equipment being incorporated into boardrooms, classrooms, and other facilities functions correctly and becomes a benefit rather than a hindrance to users. Nothing can provoke the ire of a client more than investing in a beautiful room that lacks function.

InfoComm is making great strides to addressing the need for quality control in the audiovisual industry. We view certification, education, and collaboration as key to a successful and healthy industry and believe that this commitment to excellence will improve our industry’s ongoing relationship with architects and design-build firms.

Certification is a mark of excellence increasingly demanded by design firms. InfoComm created the Certified Technology Specialist designation for AV professionals who have demonstrated knowledge and comprehension of the science and technology used in communications including audio, video, display, and systems. The CTS is the only AV certification recognized by the National Certification Commission.

InfoComm also offers specialized advanced certification in design and installation. A CTS-D or CTS-I indicates at least 2 years of industry experience and a higher skill level than the general CTS designation. InfoComm offers courses through the InfoComm Academy that help candidates focus and refine their skills and knowledge. Certification testing is offered at various times in locations worldwide.

Companies can earn Infocomm’s Certified AudioVisual Solutions Provider designation by demonstrating their commitment to certification and professional excellence. They can achieve Basic, Silver, or Gold CAVSP levels based on the proportion of their technical sales and customer service personnel who earn General or Specialized individual certification. We have seen more large companies and architectural firms giving preference to AV integrators that have earned the CAVSP designation. The dependability factor has never been more important in business, and firms looking to “do it right the first time” know they can rely on CAVSP companies.

As a former educator, I fervently support lifelong learning. From online classes for technical support staff to in-depth project management for executives, InfoComm offers an array of educational solutions.

One of InfoComm’s newest classes is Project Management: Competencies and Structure, a foundational course providing the practical knowledge and hands-on exercises needed to start and complete a project successfully. The curriculum focuses on project life-cycle phases, the corresponding project management processes, and nine knowledge areas. The class allows participants to learn project management best practices with AV industry-specific case studies and start working toward a CAPM® or PMI Project Management Professional (PMP®) designation. The training is recognized by the prestigious Project Management Institute and is conducted by a Project Management Institute (PMI®)-Registered Education Provider (REP®).

A related class, Project Management for Executives, provides an executive overview of five project management processes. For project managers who attend the Competencies and Structures course, we highly recommend this class to maximize their effectiveness within their companies. The class examines the authority and responsibilities associated with key project roles and explores the different facets of an organization that must be aligned for the full benefits of mature project management.

These classes, like many of InfoComm’s offerings, can be taken during specified times, at InfoComm’s headquarters, trade show held in June each year, or delivered on-site at a company. For more information visit

As the largest pro-AV trade association, InfoComm has long welcomed collaboration with other groups to harness best practices and uphold intra-industry quality. Whether it is working with architects, design-build experts, and integrators to create the AV Best Practices Guide or working with BICSI to ensure that there is a comprehensive approach to cabling and wiring on both sides of the conference room wall, InfoComm is committed to harnessing synergies that will increase the public’s satisfaction with the end result. .

Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D., is the executive director of InfoComm International®, a trade association of the professional audiovisual and information communications industries.

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