TMA releases new Level 1 operator training course

Association to work on false alarm training course and updating Level 2 in 2018
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

VIENNA, Va.—The Monitoring Association recently announced a new Level 1 training course for operators.

The previous Level 1 course was “Like drinking from a fire hose … it was just too much information,” Jay Hauhn, TMA’s executive director told Security Systems News, particularly considering the course is designed for new entrants in a monitoring center, people who may be new to the industry.

The new course adjusts the scope of the content. “We really changed it to be a good overview of the industry without force-feeding content,” Hauhn said.

As an example, the previous course extensively covered standards, such as UL and FM, and how standards are formed, Hauhn noted, and the new program condensed it into “a brief overview of how standards are important.”

The new course is manageable for new operators, according to Elizabeth Lasko, TMA’s vice president of communications and marketing. “It can be done in a day or it can be done over a week, depending on how you want to do your training,” she said. “It’s going to provide—we think—the best possible introduction to the industry and to the critical job of a central station operator.”

The course’s content was also updated to represent monitoring centers’ current technologies, Lasko noted. “This is a complete revision, really a brand new course,” Lasko said.

TMA worked with a partner to redesign the course to have a new interface and improved instructional methods, including narration, closed captioning, video and illustrations. “Those were all upgrades from the previous course,” Lasko said.

TMA’s Level 1 course was first released seven years ago and it received an update two and a half years ago, said Hauhn.

The new course started development in 2015. “We really spent a lot of time on the content, the flow, seeking lots of input as we got portions of it done—from our stake holders and our members. We basically started from scratch,” Hauhn said.

Several volunteers from the industry helped TMA to create the new Level 1 course: Kate Brickner, corporate trainer, training and development, Vivint; Mary Jo Lakhal, formerly security industry senior program manager, West Safety Services; Laurie Mitchell, national director CMS services, Siemens Industry, Inc.; and Caryn Morgan, curriculum designer, Manitou Elite Certification mentor, Bold Technologies

“What they did to help us get this done was nothing short of incredible,” Hauhn said.

TMA has other education initiatives on the horizon. “Next we’re going to create a false alarm class geared toward alarm users, as well as update the Level 2 training,” Hauhn said.

Lasko said that the course is “already approved for CEUs in the state of Oregon, and several other states are already in progress. So, we will be announcing those as they give us their approval.”

The Level 1 course will be available in French and Spanish in 2018. Special pricing is available to TMA members through Jan. 19, 2018.