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2.The new centres
4.Interactive Lectures
5.Lecture Theatres
6.Theatre design
7.ISO Standards
8.Design Consultants
10.Future proofing
11.Mobile equipment
14.Faculty technicians
16.Room bookings

17.Skill levels

18.AV School
22.Presentation skills
23.Equipment database

Case Studies

Audio Visual Centres in the 21st century

17 Skill Level of AV Staff.

17.1 What criteria do you set when appointing AV staff? What qualification is required when you write the job specification? What attributes are you going to ask for in the job advert? Since the demise of the City and Guilds and B.Tech courses for AV personnel it seems that a formal training programme has been abandoned.

17.2 Where then do the new breed of technicians get their training. The answer is that they don't get any form of academic or practical training at all. You may ask then how they learn their trade. A very good question?

17.3 It seems that even some old hands just pick it up as they `go along', some may have had an electronics background if you are very lucky or perhaps have been a sound engineer. Generally its a very mixed bag and there is no sign that this will change. So then, what does one ask for in a potential candidate? The best you can hope for is to outline a broad range of skills that you require and try not to put off very good unqualified technicians by being too specific about their educational background. We have been very fortunate that we have first class technicians who have experience in many fields and can undertake all that is asked of them from basic AV to video conferencing and installations of major AV projects. On the other hand we have had some that could give chapter and verse on setting up a video data projector but in practice had difficulty with basic kit. These people are no longer with us.

17.4 One way of finding a good technician is to find out if they can produce a good solder joint at interview. You would be surprised how many fail and it has proved a good yardstick with which to judge technical competence. It is not the only criteria of course but is a solid indicator.

17.5 But this is not the point we need qualified staff that have a theoretical/practical background in electromechanical devices together with electronics, optics, video production/editing and a solid understanding of new technologies to name but a few.

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