SIA expands Central Station Operator/Instructor training

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va.--The Security Industry Association has expanded its Central Station Operator/Instructor Training course offerings this year, adding two additional courses. The SIA training courses are intensive, five-day programs hosted by industry players like MicroKey Solutions and Alarm Watch, that train and certify central station personnel to conduct in-house operator training, which is an important, standardizing task according to Kimberly Roberts, SIA manager, education training. "It's good to have consistent training throughout the industry," Roberts said. "Obviously, people, when they go back to their own organizations, are going to teach company-specific items, but it's good to have a strong basis that everybody knows and recognizes in the industry."

Using experienced trainers, the course provides instruction about the entire process of training a central station operator, identifying necessary elements of an in-house training program and teaching techniques for evaluating student progress and improving performance. Student instructors are shown how to create supplemental training materials such as written references and job aides for the operator in training. Upon completion of the course, the graduate becomes both a SIA Certified Operator and a SIA Certified Instructor who is authorized to certify his or her own operators.

CenterPoint Technologies' VP operations and business development MJ Vance began her security industry career with a SIA Central Station Operator/Instructor course in July 2004, hosted by the Dice Corporation in Bay City, Mich. Vance feels there is real value in such training. "Taking the SIA instructor classes really shows your level of commitment not only to educate yourself on the industry, but to educate your employees and help them sharpen their skills," Vance said "At CenterPoint, we really felt it was our responsibility--management's responsibility--to ensure every employee is given the right tools to succeed in the position they were hired for."

The 2009 course schedule is as follows: July 20-24, Kissimmee, Fla., hosted by MicroKey; Aug. 17-21, Alexandria, Va., hosted by SIA; Sept. 14-18, Kissimmee, Fla., hosted by MicroKey; Oct. 5-9, Baltimore, Md., hosted by Alarm Watch. The two additional course offerings are at MicroKey Solutions in Florida and Alarm Watch in Baltimore. The course offerings can be investigated at www.siaonline.org.

Roberts points out that early registration has its benefits. "We're offering it for members and non-members as well," Roberts said. "For those who sign up in advance for the first two sessions, we are offering an early bird discount of $25 off the registration fee." Registration for the July class by June 3 earns the discount, while registration for the August class by July 8 saves $25.