How Do Integrators Get Trained?

By Ethan Ace, Published on May 30, 2012

Improper training can lead to return trips and dissatisfied customers, increasing integrator's installation and support costs. However, outside of manufacturer training, few formal training programs are available, leaving contractors to their own devices. To find out how integrators handle training their employees, we asked the following question of 93 respondents in our Spring 2012 survey:

Key Findings

Here are our 3 key findings:

  • On-the-Job and manufacturer trainings were the most common methods, and often used in conjunction.
  • In-house training programs, either formal or informal, were not uncommon.
  • Very few integrators rely on independent third-party training.

On-the-Job Training

On-the-job training and manufacturer training (below) were about equal in our survey, with around half of all respondents mentioning them. Most commentors in favor of on-the-job training viewed it simply as "best", giving technicians experience with installations and troubleshooting of real-world systems. Others preferred field experience because classroom training may be forgotten by the time tech uses his training. Lastly, integrators in rural or smaller metropolitan areas preferred on-the-job training as it requires no airfire or other travel expenses incurred when sending techs to manufacturer training in areas where it is offered.

  • "It is a blend, but the best training occurs in the field. Most of the classroom sessions are like drinking from a fire hose. We don't fly people to training. When a series of webinars are used, that is very helpful because they can be viewed many times."
  • "In live installations, because it's better to show live how we have to set up a camera and technician can look on the live installation on site"
  • "On the job training because most forget when you do a class setting"
  • "It is a blend, but the best training occurs in the field. Most of the classroom sessions are like drinking from a fire hose. we don't fly people to training. When a series of webinars are used, that is very helpful because they can be viewed many times."
  • "Through experience and on the job training, a book can only give basic knowledge but when they are troubleshooting in the field that is the best way to do it."
  • "On the job training with manufacturer courses to suit. We're in a remote area, it is expensive to travel for classes so we choose carefully."
  • "On the job training because most forget when you do a class setting"

Manufacturer Training

Manufacturer-specific training was about as common as OTJ, also with about half of respondents mentioning it. Often, integrators answered that this was given in conjunction with on-the-job training, providing both theoretical and practical training.

  • "Product training by manufacturer and in field training by senior techs."
  • "We try to bring in the manufacturers into our office to give short training sessions or send them out to more formal training if it's local."
  • "Factory training when it is hands-on and in-depth. We don't find any value of sending a technician to sit in a classroom viewing PowerPoint slides just to get a certificate. More often, we are finding manufacturers webinars and web-based training to be more efficient and cost-effective."
  • "Manufacturer training is generally the standard. We look to have our techs certified on the brands we sell."
  • "We send them to the manufacturer for initial training. Many of our technicians have enough experience with different systems they can generally pick up on a new one with the instruction manual. If they don't feel comfortable installing a new system in the field after working on it in our office, we'll send them to the manufacturer for additional training."
  • "We prefer to use web-based training courses provided by the manufacturers, as it relates to specific products. Installation training is done on-the-job with a mentor, who they are paired up with for at least a year."

Internal Training

A smaller number of integratrators, answered that they have formal or informal in-house training programs. In some cases this is in the form of classroom or one-on-one sessions, while others simply allow techs to work on their internal demo systems. Multiple respondents answered that these trainings were led by their senior technicians or engineers, who were factory-trained. This reduces training budgets, since one staff member may disseminate his knowledge to multiple lower-level techs, without needing to send them all to factory training.

  • "We have a team of engineers that get trained abroad and then they train our technicians internally. I generally don't feel safe to invest a lot on technicians who have proved to be unloyal to the company. Should they chose to leave, its cheaper and faster to train new guys inhouse."
  • "We have a training room within our office. We bring in technicians and have them trained by other technicians. We found that actually making the technician become the trainer actually made that technican sunbstantially more fluent on that product. So, we now rotate technicians and make them train on systems."
  • "The best way to train technicians has been hands on. We have set up scenarios in the office for them to actually perform the installs/troubleshooting. This gives them more confidence when performing in the field."
  • "We have trained many staff internally with great success. For VMS related projects the IT staff typically deals with the server builds, camera configuration etc. The physical install crew installs the camera and makes final adjustments (camera and software) to suit. IT staff back up and provide technical support for the intall crew to suit."
  • "One on one or in groups inhouse. Sometimes reps will be brought in to do product training."
  • "Internally. best practise along with all the 'quirks' of the software/device. usually 10% classroom, 90% during install."
  • "We have regular (once in 3-4 months) service workshop we are discussing all news and problems. All problem's solutions and tech tips are documented for internal use."

Lack of Independent Training

Only a handful of respondents sent their employees to any sort of non-manufacturer training. Specifically mentioned were ESA, NICET, and BICSI. Indeed, past discussions of this topic have shown that very few quality independent training courses are available. Most security industry options are dated, with material still heavily focusing on analog technology with little mention of IP. BICSI, on the other hand, offers cabling design and installation courses, but only design training and certification in security, with no practical installation training.

 

UPDATE:  To meet the needs of industry professionals, IPVM launched IPVM University - the security industries best, and most comprehensive, independent training in Cameras

Comments : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Train Your Team With IPVM Courses From Experts on Mar 01, 2020
You trust and use IPVM for reporting and research and you can also have your...
Access Visitor Management Systems Guide on Jul 22, 2020
"Who are you, and why are you here?" Facilities that implement Visitor...
AHJ / Authority Having Jurisdiction Tutorial on Aug 06, 2020
One of the most powerful yet often underappreciated characters in all...
Fever Camera Sales From Integrators Surveyed on Jun 01, 2020
Fever cameras are the hottest trend in video surveillance currently but how...
Access Control Levels and Schedules Tutorial on Sep 29, 2020
Configuring access levels and setting up schedules is central to maintaining...
Facial Recognition: Weak Sales, Anti Regulation, No Favorite, Says Security Integrators on Jul 07, 2020
While facial recognition has gained greater prominence, a new IPVM study of...
Help Security End Users Facing Coronavirus Improve Remote Access on Mar 24, 2020
Many end-users and integrators are struggling with the impact of coronavirus...
Dynamic vs Static IP Addresses Tutorial on Apr 16, 2020
While many cameras default to DHCP out of the box, that does not mean you...
Mobile Access Control Usage Statistics 2020 on Sep 21, 2020
Most smartphones can be used as access control credentials, but how...
Use Access Control Logs To Constrain Coronavirus on Apr 09, 2020
Access control users have included capabilities that are not commonly used...
Mexico Video Surveillance Market Overview 2020 on Oct 20, 2020
Despite being neighbors, there are key differences between the U.S. and...
Top Video Surveillance Service Call Problems 2020 on Oct 23, 2020
3 primary and 4 secondary issues stood out as causing the most problems when...
Pivot3 Mass Layoffs on Mar 27, 2020
Pivot3 has conducted mass layoffs, the culmination of grand hopes, a quarter...
Installation Course Fall 2020 - Save $50 - Last Chance on Sep 22, 2020
This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
Security Sales Course January 2020 - Last Chance on Jan 02, 2020
Notice: This is the last chance to register for the course. This sales...

Recent Reports

ISC Brasil Digital Experience 2020 Report on Oct 23, 2020
ISC Brasil 2020 rebranded itself to ISC Digital Experience and, like its...
Top Video Surveillance Service Call Problems 2020 on Oct 23, 2020
3 primary and 4 secondary issues stood out as causing the most problems when...
GDPR Impact On Temperature / Fever Screening Explained on Oct 22, 2020
What impact does GDPR have on temperature screening? Do you risk a GDPR fine...
Security And Safety Things (S&ST) Tested on Oct 22, 2020
S&ST, a Bosch spinout, is spending tens of millions of dollars aiming to...
Nokia Fever Screening Claims To "Advance Fight Against COVID-19" on Oct 22, 2020
First IBM, then briefly Clorox, and now Nokia becomes the latest Fortune 500...
Deceptive Meridian Temperature Tablets Endanger Public Safety on Oct 21, 2020
IPVM's testing of and investigation into Meridian Kiosk's temperature...
Honeywell 30 Series and Vivotek NVRs Tested on Oct 21, 2020
The NDAA ban has driven many users to look for low-cost NVRs not made by...
Ubiquiti Access Control Tested on Oct 21, 2020
Ubiquiti has become one of the most widely used wireless and switch providers...
Avigilon Aggressive Trade-In Program Takes Aim At Competitors on Oct 20, 2020
Avigilon has launched one of the most aggressive trade-in programs the video...
Mexico Video Surveillance Market Overview 2020 on Oct 20, 2020
Despite being neighbors, there are key differences between the U.S. and...
Dahua Revenue Grows But Profits Down, Cause Unclear on Oct 20, 2020
While Dahua's overall revenue was up more than 12% in Q3 2020, a significant...
Illegal Hikvision Fever Screening Touted In Australia, Government Investigating, Temperature References Deleted on Oct 20, 2020
The Australian government told IPVM that they are investigating a Hikvision...
Panasonic Presents i-PRO Cameras and Video Analytics on Oct 19, 2020
Panasonic i-PRO presented its X-Series cameras and AI video analytics at the...
Augmented Reality (AR) Cameras From Hikvision and Dahua Examined on Oct 19, 2020
Hikvision, Dahua, and other China companies are marketing augmented reality...
18 TB Video Surveillance Drives (WD and Seagate) on Oct 19, 2020
Both Seagate and Western Digital recently announced 18TB hard drives...