SP&T News

Education a 2011 priority

During last fall, the Canadian Security Association (CANASA) conducted a comprehensive survey of its members and recently released its findings. One main objective of the survey was to help us improve the various products and services we currently offer and help in the launch of a new Affinity Program for our members in the early part of 2011. While providing even more value to members is very important, the most interesting results of the survey were to be found elsewhere, showing that the concerns of our members have remain the same over time.

August 11, 2010  By JF Champagne

A similar survey conducted years ago at the height of the mass marketing of security systems and “free alarms” ask members what was their greatest concern for the future. Many were surprised to find out that a majority of respondents identified “keeping up with technologies” as the issue most likely to impact their business in the near future rather than the impact of mass marketing. So it should not come as a surprise that in 2010 our members have once again identified “keeping pace with technology” as the issue that will impact their business the most over the next two years, despite an economy that remains lukewarm. A little more surprising was to find out that a quarter of the respondents indentified “Recruiting and retaining skilled workers” as their biggest challenge. I can only make assumptions here but I would suspect that respondents are more concerned about finding “skilled people” than just finding “workers.” After all, while we now have about half of the country with some kind of regulations governing the electronic security industry, the training requirements remains very minimal.

So it is with a clear voice that more than 42 per cent of respondents believe CANASA should focus its energy to expand its education programs in 2011. Rest assure that your voices have been heard. The business plan of the Association for 2011 will put education front and centre of our initiatives and give you every opportunity to get more and better education.

The Alarm Technician Courses (ATC) continue to be a success year after year and have helped trained thousand of technicians in the past. But you may wonder if it is the right program for yourself or your technicians.  I can tell you that it does not matter if a student started to work in the industry three months or 10 years ago. Graduates continue to give very high marks in their evaluation of the program regardless of the number of their years of experience.

We have also re-introduced the Certified Security Project Manager (CSPM) this year in partnership with the Security Industry Association (SIA) this year and early feedback clearly indicates this program will be back next year. If you or your staff manages large projects, this designation program is a must.


But we need also to address the growing needs for more education in the field of IT and networking as well. In fact, this ranked first in the list of preferred programs that our members are looking for followed by business management.

There was a time not that long ago when there was a debate at CANASA about whether to continue to provide education at CANASA but that time has passed and the results are in.

The primary focus of the Association for 2011 will be education.

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