It’s all about gaining the initials CTS (Certified Technology Specialist) – a step SCHOMS was actively encouraging with a sponsored course before lockdown and one which it aims to repeat now restrictions are easing.

CTS certification demonstrates that holders are competent in creating, providing, operating and servicing AV solutions while conducting AV management activities.

Both Douglas McLeod, Learning Spaces Product Engineer at the University of Dundee, and Calum Grant, Media Services Technical at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, now use the initials in their titles after gaining the accreditation.

“It certainly raises your credibility in the eyes of people in the university world,” said Calum. “Professors with abbreviations after their name command a bit more notice and being able to include CTS after our name does the same for us."

“If you’ve got CTS after your name, people know what you’re talking about, you get a level of respect.”

Douglas added: “The people I deal with are from across the AV industry not just end users. If you’ve got CTS after your name, they know you’ve got something about you, that you know what you’re doing.

“It says to people that you’ve got expertise and accreditation in the field. It’s also very useful when it comes to discussing and applying industry standards in meetings with architects, contractors, project managers or colleagues in estates.”

Douglas has just renewed his certification after being one of 20 members who attended a three-day CTS course run by AVIXA senior staff instructor Chuck Espinoza at Loughborough University in June 2018. 

“You’ve got to keep on top of it,” he said. “You have to renew every three years by undertaking training which has AVIXA renewal units. Thirty are required over the three years and it’s best to do this continually, not waiting until it is due to expire." 

“The course was excellent. It was funded by SCHOMS and was advantageous for my university to send me because it was like a bursary scheme. It was an intense classroom experience with peers, we crammed a lot in and we were able to network in the evenings.”

Calum gained his certification last November after taking a different route. “It was basically self-study and all online,” he explained. “At the beginning of lockdown I put my head down and studied intensively for months."

“All the resources are online, the AVIXA website is great, all the training materials are there – interactive quizzes and tests – it covers a wide area, not just video and audio. It looks into other things like installation and servicing. You can also go on to take CTSd and CTSi, it gives you a wider picture."

“My university paid for it because my bosses saw the value of my having the qualification. They were able to get it at membership price.”

Calum agreed with Douglas’s overall verdict – “There’s no down side." “And I’m pretty sure it would be a deciding factor in employment,” Douglas added. “Where two people go for a job and one has got CTS certification, it would play a big part.”

For the course in 2018, SCHOMS offered a £500 bursary for each attendee. 

A big thank you to the following institutions for making the most of this opportunity so far...

Abertay University  |  Bangor University  |  Brunel University  |  De Montfort University  |  Durham University  |  Edinburgh Napier University  |  Keele University  |  Leeds Beckett University  |  Royal Society of Medicine  |  Swansea University  |  Nottingham Trent University  |  University of Birmingham  |  University of Cambridge  |  University of Dundee  |  University of Essex  |  University of Exeter  |  University of Hertfordshire  |  University of Huddersfield  |  University Of Sheffield  |  University of Strathclyde

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