InfoComm International has announced a new designation for integrators and design consultancies – Audiovisual Providers of Excellence, or InfoComm APEx. Replacing the Certified AudioVisual Service Provider (CAVSP) programme, which will conclude at the end of the year, InfoComm APEx is designed to be a more rigorous programme than its predecessor.
"After ten years of CAVSP, it was time to reevaluate this initiative, and consider whether it continues to meet the goals of the members and the association. We reached the conclusion that today's business environment demands a more robust programme aimed at promoting industry quality," said David Labuskes, InfoComm's executive director and CEO. "For example, it is important for the AV customer to have a role in determining whether or not client satisfaction is achieved, therefore positive customer evaluations are a programme requirement."
InfoComm APEx will also recognise a broader base of industry certifications beyond InfoComm's CTS credential as a sign of commitment to quality. "CTS certification, while extremely valuable, should not be the lone determinant of a company's achievement of industry excellence," said Labuskes. "Many InfoComm members offer product-specific certifications and courses that are valuable. There are other renewable certifications that are highly regarded and they should be considered when evaluating a company's commitment to quality."
The new programme also mandates the use of two industry standards to foster better communication between the AV provider and the client: the ANSI/INFOCOMM Standard Guide for Audiovisual Systems Design and Coordination Processes, and the AV System Performance Verification Standard. "Because [these standards] were developed in an open, consensus-based process, approved by an independent outside body, and are aimed at providing proper communication and documentation between the AV industry and the client, using both on several projects is a requirement. InfoComm makes all of its standards available to its members at no charge in order to drive the adoption of practices that will advance the industry," said Labuskes.
Requirements vary based on the number of company employees. Additionally, InfoComm says it will invest in a substantial online campaign to promote APEx companies to end-customers. A toolkit that APEx companies can use to promote their designation will be made available to participating companies.
While InfoComm APEx is aimed at integrators and design consultancies, InfoComm is in discussions with the live events, technology manager and manufacturing communities, and will reveal programmes later this year.