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Continuing Education Renewal Credits

What’s in it for me? or RU sure?

Earlier this month, I attended the Almo ProAV E4 event in South San Francisco, a mix of free food, continuing education classes, a raffle, and a showcase of Almo’s manufacturers in a miniature trade show environment.  It was a good crowd, balanced between local AV integrators, design consultants, regional sales managers, and national experts of the AV industry including Gary Kayye of rAVe publications.

Infocomm CTS-D Certified Technology Specialist logoIn addition to the new gear and obvious networking potential, I also attended E4 largely because of the free CTS-D renewal units (or RUs) available for attending the 1-2 hour classes.  I wasn’t the only one; a few of my Bay-area CTS and CTS-D-toting friends also mentioned how much they appreciated the free Infocomm renewal credits.  (I’ve said it before: Don’t you just love free?)

For readers outside of The Land of AV: Infocomm Intenational® is a nonprofit association serving the professional AV communications industry, since 1939 A.D. (or 1 A.V.) I like to think of Infocomm as the clergy of the AV industry, teaching us the Best Practices (The Golden Rules) of AV design and integration.  If 25% or more of your company’s sales and technical staff is certified as an Infocomm CTS, CTS-I, or CTS-D, your company can also call themselves an Infocomm Audio Visual Solutions Provider, or AVSP.  To maintain your individual Infocomm CTS certification, you must obtain 30 RUs every 3 years, and pay them some money of course.  (Hey we all gotta eat, right?  Even clergy.)

C Is For Continuing EducationAlso starring The Letter C, the other major AV industry association is CEDIA.  A CEDIA Membership is a company membership, and employees of those companies are considered Members.  Their renewal credits are called Continuing Education Units or CEUs.   Both Infocomm and CEDIA host trade shows every year, showcasing new audio, video, touchpanels, and other audiovisual products.  The main difference between Infocomm and CEDIA is this: CEDIA is mostly centered around the home theater and consumer integration market, whereas Infocomm is largely focused on commercial integration and unified communication.   There is plenty of overlap between the two markets, and there are other audio, video, and broadcast associations out there too.

AV geeks are not the only geeks that need these renewal units to renew their licenses.  Architects and need AIA and CES renewal credits, as do Professional Engineers (the requirements vary state to state).  This past week, I was invited to co-host a lunch and learn presentation at the City and County of San Francisco’s Bureau of Architecture office.  About half of the 25 attendees signed up for the AIA/CES renewal credits; I guess the other half were there for the free lunch.  Hopefully, they all learned something.

Hopefully, you did too.

What types of continuing educations credits are you required to obtain?  Does your company offer formal classes, or lunch and learns, that include AIA, CTS, CEU, or other renewal units?  Please comment below, or email the author Paul Konikowski at pkav.info at gmail.com
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