Hikvision RSM Professional Misconduct

By: IPVM Team, Published on Mar 19, 2018

A Hikvision RSM engaged in professional misconduct of a US State's licensing law, involving continuing education held at an ADI branch.

In this note, we examine the misconduct, share the legal file, explain the issues involved and the unsuccessful defense offered.

Background - ********* *** ************ ***********

**** *************, ********* **, where **** ******** ********, require ********* *** ******** installers. ***** ******** ******* continuing ********* (***) ******* to ** ****** ************ to ******** *** *******.

************* ***** ****** ***** salespeople ** ****** *********** of ******* ********* ****. This ******** * ******** service ** ********** **** the ************* **** ** win ******** ****, ** the ************ ******** *** courses *** ****, ***** at * ***** ***** their ******** *** ****, **** courses that ******* **** *** ************ sells.

Misconduct **********

** **** ********, ********* RSM ******* **** [**** no ****** *********] *** found ** ***** **** *****, ******* ***** and ********* ******** ********* ** **** ******* ** professional **********:

  • *** ********* *** ****** out * ***** ** certificates **********, **** ******* out *** **** *** license ****** ******** **** an ********* ***** **** enter ** **********.
  • *** ***** ** ************ was **** ** ** ADI ****** *** * weeks, ***** * ********* instructor ******** ** ***, submitted * *********.
  • ********* ******** *** ******* as ** ******** *********** that he *** ***** **** 'for ****' *** *** Hikvision *** *** '****** * volunteer'.

Transcript ********

*** **-**** **** ************ ******** ******* ** what ******** *** **** was *******.

***** ** ** ******* of *** ************ **** were ****** *** *** left:

*********'* *** **** **** 'maybe' ** **** *** certificates ** ***, ******* them ***** *** * weeks ***** * ********* instructor **********:

** ******, *********'* ***, * commissioned salesperson ******** ** ********* USA's ******* *********** ***, emphasized that ** *** ** for ****:

*** *** ******* ********* that ** *** ***** this '*** *** *********':

*******, *** ********, ********* USA ** ** ***** Chris ****** [**** ** longer *********], ******** *** hearing, claiming **** *********'* *** does *** *** **** to ** ** ********* USA's ******* *********** *** teach ******* **** ******** Hikvision's ** ********:

*** ********* *** *** accept *********'* *******, ********** that:

*********'* *** ************ *** ****** to *** ********** **** the ********* *****:

Comments (46)

What kind of ethics does Hikvision have when a Hikvision executive, at a legal hearing, preposterously claims that his salesperson goes to ADI as a "volunteer" and "doesn't get paid for it"?

That "volunteer" argument might have worked if the RSM was a non-exempt hourly employee. Either Hikvison's VP of Sales needs some labor management training or he knows better and is a shyster.    

What kind of ethics does Hikvision have when a Hikvision executive, at a legal hearing, preposterously claims that his salesperson goes to ADI as a "volunteer" and "doesn't get paid for it"?

Jeopardy Answer: The Red Cross, The United Way, The Salvation Army, and ADI

Question: What are three volunteer orginizations and a distributor?

John,

The only thing I can actually say in Sherwins defense is that he isn't one of hikvisions technical engineers who usually gives there trainings. He goes above and beyond to actually understand the tech and help out integrators he works with. 

In each territory they are assigned a field engineer who gives the trainings. So he doesn't really get paid for it.

I can't  say for sure but it truly could have been an oversight .

I have seen many a time that instructors had prefilled signatures on ceu forms. It is a common practice and after the class the dealers just sign there name. I have not seen any vendor (including Sherwin) belittle the value and credibility of the ceu credits and licensing system. Most vendors take pride in the ability to give the accredited class.

 

In each territory they are assigned a field engineer who gives the trainings. So he doesn't really get paid for it.

Avi, I think what you mean is that he does not get paid an additional fee / bonus for doing training. But Xing is certainly paid by Hikvision to be there unless you are suggesting that Hikvision requires or Xing chooses to takes paid leave to do training at ADI. Is that what you mean?

I have not seen any vendor (including Sherwin) belittle the value and credibility of the ceu credits and licensing system.

I have attended a number of CEU classes (Hikvision and others) and they are thinly veiled sales pitches for what the manufacturer is selling. Maybe you are so used to that, that it does not phase you but the manufacturers are 'teaching' these courses because they know they can frame them to advocate what they sell.

Most vendors take pride in the ability to give the accredited class.

And they should. Getting in front of a roomful of customers for 2 hours to 'teach' them why they should buy what you offer is quite valuable. So is giving them certificates with your company's name on it because that is a service to those installers.

Avi, my broader question to you is how much do you see these CEU trainings being impacted by manufacturer sales motivation?

John,

He definelty gets paid to be there.He doesn't receive additional pay to give the trainings.

Most manufacturers and there reps do not push for so many trainings.

I see the added value to have the trainings. So I make a push to find the certified trainers. Most of them have  been hands on and are  techincal.

Now this just may just be in the tristate area. Or that i am vetting out the right trainings.  

New Jersey is a very strict state with ceu requirements every 2 years.

Most of the required classes are not given by regular sales reps. Advanced training is required.  Robert Shoremount gave a training by us  and the new jersey alarm association hosts a 3 day event every year that gives these classes in Atlantic city.

I know many people who have been fined for working without a license in New Jersey. They are very strict

 

Although I doubt you would ever get an answer from Hikvision, it would be interesting to find out if Hikvision reimbursed him for the $500 misconduct fine associated to his "volunteering".

Although I doubt you would ever get an answer from Hikvision, it would be interesting to find out if Hikvision reimbursed him for the $500 misconduct fine associated to his "volunteering".

Do you know how many $50 cameras they would have to sell!?!?

Oh, boy. 

Lots of RSMs- sorry, I mean "instructors"- from lots of companies are too loose with CEUs, giving an hour-long sales pitch thinly disguised as a class in order to qualify. But to just hand out CEUs without even the fig leaf of educational content makes a mockery of the entire system. But of course Hikvision has never felt itself to be above playing fast and loose to make a quick buck. 

I wonder if this will encourage New Jersey to crack down on the entire CEU system. 

The lack of enforcement by licensing boards is who is really making a mockery of the system. I am surprised to see any enforcement at all. The offender must have been so brazen with their disregard to garner that attention. 

 

The report did say it was reported to the enforcement body.  It doesn’t sound like their investigator(s) uncovered it.  I highly doubt it is heavily audited... but I don’t work in NJ to verify.

Unfortunately, most boards do not investigate until a complaint is made by the public. 

I am surprised to see any enforcement at all.

The transcript explains that one of the committee members, Robert Shoremount, was teaching a course at that ADI in September and found it, relevant excerpt:

 

Are they saying he was volunteering his time, or that he didn't get paid by the attendees.

Lots of people teach courses at a disty/disty event.  The course if offered for free to the attendees.  The disty doesn't pay either.  Rather, the RSM is a paid employee of the manufacturer and is being paid by the manufacturer for their normal time as a sales person engaged in sales activity, even if it is an educational opportunity....

The other point I am confused in is the filled in certificate.  It is a problem to have them filled in already for the attendees with the course name/date/location, etc. already filled in?  Obviously, leaving them behind for months is a problem.

 

So confused... So strange... typical Hikvision.

I recently attended a Hik cyber security session, and it was interesting about cyber security in where it came from, who the actors are, and how to distinguish different types of threats, but it didn't give any actual advise or steps to be taken except for changing password and checking ports...

Filling them out in advance is not a problem. Leaving them around where anyone can find them is a big problem. 

I don't know if it was on purpose or an accident, and obviously neither does the Advisory Committee.  

I'm sure he got paid for an ADI counter day/ training day. 

 

I have worked in (3) different states and have been registered in all to do low voltage work. I can honestly say that this industry in those states, is not regulated anywhere near what they are purported to 'regulate'. Presently I am registered in Virginia, I brought it to the attention of the Department of Criminal Justice that a competitor company was hiring individuals without registration and paying under the table. I was told 'sorry sir we do not have enough investigators to follow-up' on your compliant. It is my understanding there are three investigators for the entire state.

This purported HIKVISION incident is just a case of chasing the big guy to get a headline, nothing more. Mr. Xing is an honorable person, Mr. Zenaty is an honorable person and this matter is foolish to print and has no good reason. This is not 'headline news', it is a minor infraction that could have been handled quietly if it was anyone beside Hikvision. Simple mistake that is being blown out of proportion by IPVM. If this had been a AXIS rep or Pelco rep, this would not even be a storyline, again chasing after HIKVISION for clicks.........

Before someone claims that he was getting paid, produce proof of your statement. You cannot produce that proof........... so next time consider being fair and think before you make outlandish statements only to defame Mr. Xing and Hikvision......

That is an incredible level of dedication to your business partner!

If this had been a AXIS rep

Happy to do this on an Axis rep or Avigilon rep, etc. Any major player. We're on the lookout every week.

Before someone claims that he was getting paid, produce proof of your statement.

You want proof that a Hikvision salesperson gets paid to go to ADI??? Come on, that's funny! Are you suggesting that the Hikvision RSM requested vacation time or went on unpaid leave to go to ADI? That's preposterous and you know it.

Regardless of the company, the idea that any salesperson goes to any distributor and is not paid for it is absurd. The burden is on you/them to prove such an incredible scenario.

If this had been a AXIS rep or Pelco rep, this would not even be a storyline, again chasing after HIKVISION for clicks

The question is really would this have ever happened with an Axis rep? Hikvision has shown an ongoing series of telling half-truths, suppressing information, and otherwise acting unethically in multiple avenues of business.

Hikvision, and their tunnel-vision partners like yourself, claim they are being picked on (by an "angry blogger"), and that each of these continued examples of poor business practices is some kind of oversight, one-off example, a situation taken out of context, etc.

How many dots does IPVM have to string together before you see the line that Hikvision has crossed?

I see the line at the bottom of my Bank Deposit slip.....does that answer your silly comment?

I see the line at the bottom of my Bank Deposit slip.....does that answer your silly comment?

So you are saying your defense of Hikvision is because that's how you get paid? I am trying to understand your rejoinder of you seeing your bank deposit slip.

I assume many vendors pull stunts like this.  I assume the supervisor responded as they did because that level of bs jive hokum bat guano is considered perfectly acceptable in the physical security sales world.  I assume they learned it back in the day at some other vendor.  

Perhaps IPVM should issue a subscription bounty for identified exceptions like this so we have motivation to uncover this stuff ;-)

Good to see you posting again UDI#7.

"Mr. Zenaty is an honorable person" that's like saying Hillary Clinton does not lie !

Sorry I wrote that wrong I mean to say Super Honorable Guy.....

Unfortunately this is a comedy of errors. I don’t believe that there was any intent by the RSM, but he admitted to and paid the fine.

I guess Zenaty was put into a tough position. How do you go about defending this?  It was careless. He should have said that training is part of his job description, and is provided as a service, whether for CEU’s or in general, but isn’t compensated per training class.

Notice to all manufacturers working in NJ, if you provide training, do your due diligence and properly follow through.

The authority in NJ is trying to protect the dealers involved. Yes, they did not pay for the course, but each dealer paid someone to attend. These regulations are there to protect dealers from attending trainings with the expectation that they will count toward their licensing requirements. It’s NJ’s rules. If you want to play in their sandbox, follow along.

We represent several manufacturers that have either an AIA CEU authorized course, or their own certification/certificate programs.  Although these do not get applied toward  state license requirements, in the case of AIA members, they help them meet their CEU annual requirements, and in the case of the individual certification courses, they are used in a range of situations from being able to purchase a certain class of products, to "bragging rights". 

One common thread is that, before we can conduct a course, we are bound by rules that require we attend and pass "Train the Trainers" courses, and submit documentation of each session we conduct, together with a list of attendees and their contact information. The manufacturer then issues the actual CEU's or certificates earned.

I was surprised when reading the article that there are not more stringent procedures in place when completed course certificates are to be submitted to state licensing boards. 

Question...when a distributor hosts a training session that can be used as part of satisfying a state licensing requirement, does that distributor bear any responsibility towards ensuring that the entire process is conducted properly?

 

Most states and most agencies do NOT have you send the certificates or attendee list to them.  It is on the credential holder to keep records and submit the CEUs.

NJ does require the trainer to keep records for 6 years.  They should be able to ask Hik to provide a list of attendees, and if they don't match what has been submitted, then go from there.

NJ makes it very difficult to give training.  You have to submit who the trainer is & their resume to get that individual approved, submit lots of paperwork, etc.

Much more work than a typical BICSI or formerly ESA course, for better or worse.

when a distributor hosts a training session that can be used as part of satisfying a state licensing requirement, does that distributor bear any responsibility towards ensuring that the entire process is conducted properly?

That is a very good question. We are going to ask NJ for comment on that.

Clearly, distributors get significant value from hosting these training sessions as they can and do incorporate it into their sales expos.

I am actually in shock that an agency investigated this. 

I'm thrilled for the information and could care less about who was investigated. 

I am one who has been regulated by agencies and did things 'by the books' while watching others profit by 'working the system' and when they were turned in, absolutely nothing happened.  No investigation, to action because there wasn't the manpower.

As for Hikvision and this person, you are a paid employee, just not specifically paid to do these courses.  I don't feel there is a 'gray area' here, but I also don't think it was given much thought since this is the first enforcement case I have heard of in many years.  He probably did just leave the forms and forget.  It happens.  Maybe it's time to have a central repository with numbered CEU certificates.

Think about the professional industries you count on that require CEU's to keep licensed.  Let's think about pedestrian bridge designers, for example. 

How would you feel if a report came out that a large percentage of CEU's were passed out without attending the courses and your doctor or dentist was one receiving them?  It ranks up there with diploma mills.

think it was given much thought since this is the first enforcement case I have heard of in many years.

NJ has a long public list of disciplinary actions. Most of them are either not showing one's license number or marketing services without a license. We scanned the actions but did not find any other CEU disciplinary ones (though the list is long so certainly there may be).

Perhaps more awareness would help in people spotting and reporting it to such committees. Looking at the transcript, the NJ committee took this seriously so that gives hope.

Great for NJ and just 49 more to go!!  I’m from California and we have no hope for sane regulations. 

Frankly, I fail to see the importance of being paid.  If you are going to participate, whether you are paid or not, you should as a standard, comply with the rules.  And no, I don't live in a perfect world.  But you have to at least try.

A larger issue for me is if the RSM would do this, as small as some might see the infraction, what else would they do?  Can I trust them when they are in my shop? 

Not sure I see a serious misconduct here on Mr. Xing. 

He pre-filled CEU forms, perhaps in anticipation of a certain class size.  They list the specific date and location.  The attendees are required to sign in, I believe.  Those forms were only of value for that specific time, date and ADI Branch.  He should have a list of who signed in and actually attended the class. There may have been less actual attendees than he anticipated.  He accidentally left some of the extra forms in the classroom.

Any misconduct would have been on some other technician, who would have found a form and fraudulently filled out their name as if they actually took the class.

He pre-filled CEU forms, perhaps in anticipation of a certain class size. They list the specific date and location. The attendees are required to sign in, I believe. Those forms were only of value for that specific time, date and ADI Branch. He should have a list of who signed in and actually attended the class.

I don't know what NJ requires an integrator to submit to the state as "proof" they attended CED classes. 

If it is just submitting a certificate, then it seems pretty obvious that those were left there for any integrator to pick up at any time, whether they attended the HIK class or not. 

 

If it is just submitting a certificate, then it seems pretty obvious that those were left there for any integrator to pick up at any time, whether they attended the HIK class or not.

That's certainly the motive hinted at in the article, but after thinking about it, that seems counter-intuitive. 

If that's his motive, then why go to the trouble to even teach the class?  Plus, by just giving free, anonymous CEU's, he would not be enhancing his brand, nor evangelizing his products, and worse, insulting his own loyal techs who set aside the time to actually attend the class.  

that seems counter-intuitive....

by just giving free, anonymous CEU's, he would not be enhancing his brand

The CEUs are not anonymous. They list the manufacturer  who sponsored them, highlighted below:

A manufacturer giving a free CEU to a prospect is useful because the prospect needs those CEUs to remain licensed. Giving them saves the prospect both time and money and the prospect can remember that the manufacturer was the one who helped them out.

The motive is harder to determine but it is not 'counter-intuitive' to why a manufacturer would benefit from such handouts.

 

It's anonymous in that Xing would have no idea who used them, thus rendering them a ridiculously ineffective prospecting tool.  About like leaving free Burger King gift cards with your business card on a trade show table after you broke down your booth and left.  

I don't disagree that it might benefit a CEU hungry technician, but if that tech fraudulently submitted the form to NJ authorities, that is the more serious misconduct.  Xing should get a reprimand for petty negligence, but the more serious penalty should be to whoever used them.  

I agree that it's not a good prospecting tool. I also agree that any technician submitting should be disciplined.

What I would differ with your analogy is the post-trade show point. Leaving free gift cards at ISC West the day after is pointless. None of your customers or prospects are going to be. However, leaving them at ADI, which is where this was, is where customers go every day to buy your type of products, so it's in a place where qualified buyers go to buy.

John, just to clarify, I didn't mention ISC nor the day after,  I was thinking more of a local trade show, where you might break down early to catch a flight or something and the show still had some traffic.

But, it's funny, I relayed this thread topic to my wife, keeping it all generic, and she agreed with your take on it.  :)  The fact that the person who found it was a board member may have put an extra burden for turning it in.  Had an ADI employee found them when cleaning up the training room, they might have simply called Mr. Xing to inform him and/or destroyed them.

I think the weirdest thing about this is HIK's whacky response.  I think if they would have agreed to cooperate, turned in the sign in sheet, and expressed their outrage and sorrow at this 'obvious oversight', it would have played much better for them than the 'volunteer' schpiel.

Had an ADI employee found them when cleaning up the training room

That's an interesting point. If the other trainer found them right away, why had ADI not found them in the 6 weeks it was in their office?

And I agree with your point about better handling it. The whole 'volunteer' / 'free' defense did not help.

If that's his motive, then why go to the trouble to even teach the class?

Plausible deniability.

If excess certs were just dropped off at ADI and there was never a class, it would be a clear-cut violation. If excess certs were 'accidentally' left behind after a legitimate class, it would be much harder to prove intent.

I have referred this matter to the highest certification authority in New Jersey, Jeffrey D. Zwirn, CPP, CFPS, CFE, FACFEI, CHS-IV,P SET, CCI, MBAT:

He will not be amused...

(soon to be) Case Closed!

John is still unresponsive to his requests to debate him at ASIS.

Poor guy was just careless, but I doubt intended on sacrificing integrity of CEU.  the process (Hikvision) is really what to blame. There should be checks and balances, like we do not allow the teacher to carry around or issue certificates. These are mailed afterwards from a different department so things like this don' happen.

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