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Infocomm Trainers' Certification Programme

Dr Kaizad Heerjee, Assistant Chief Executive, Online Development Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore Speech  - Launch of the Infocomm Trainers' Certification Programme

Dr Kaizad Heerjee, Assistant Chief Executive, Online Development
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Speech  - Launch of the Infocomm Trainers' Certification Programme
Singapore, 3 October 2002

In 2001, Gartner Consulting conducted a survey over 3 geographical areas, namely the Americas, Asia / Pacific and EMEA (or Europe, Middle East and Africa) to gather information on training and certification. The survey revealed that 42.5% of the candidates surveyed had received training in an instructor-led environment. When surveyed for the most useful method of learning, only 22% cited instructor-led classes as being most useful. Now obviously, the other 20.5% found something lacking in these classes. Why? What can be done to ensure that trainees attending instructor-led classes learn in a productive manner? All things being equal, the answer quite obviously lies with the instructor. For the same content, one instructor may inspire the class to want to learn more, while another may just inspire the entire class to take their siesta!

Certification and its Benefits

How can the infocomm training industry assure trainees of the quality of the instructors we have

One of the first steps is to certify infocomm trainers. Certification of infocomm trainers will ensure that our local infocomm professionals are trained by qualified trainers to meet the specific needs of our infocomm industry. A certified trainer is deemed by professional standards, to have met the minimum competencies in knowledge and skills transfer. The certified trainer would also have attained competency in delivering and accessing learner understanding and is able to respond appropriately to the needs of the learners. Certification is proof that an infocomm trainer has attained competency in the skills required of a trainer and can therefore withstand scrutiny by the most demanding of students.

The second step is to certify the technical skills of our infocomm trainers in providing the training content. The technical skills of the trainers, who themselves are infocomm professionals, should be upgraded regularly to keep up with worldwide developments. This will ensure that they are, in turn, equipped to train other infocomm professionals in the technical skills needed by the industry. Certification is a standard of measurement for knowledge and skills possessed or gained. It is also a standard of measurement to identify knowledge or skills gaps. Being technically certified means that the person's technical knowledge and skills are acceptable by industry standards and will therefore gain immediate recognition within the industry. This has direct impact on the employability of the individual.

Finally, I call on all infocomm training providers to work towards certifying their infocomm trainers in both technical skills as well as trainer skills. One without the other is not good enough. Certification of infocomm trainers is crucial because only competent and professional trainers will help to develop a skilled infocomm workforce that can effectively meet the needs of the industry and contribute to its growth. Our quality infocomm trainers will then draw trainees from the region, which is the first step towards making Singapore a regional hub for infocomm training and certification. Needless to say, the bottom-line of the infocomm training provider will be affected by the quality of their infocomm trainers. Quality, rather than price, is the differentiating factor. One bad experience with an uncertified trainer will turn away many more potential customers because negative feedback will reach the ears of potential customers faster than the speed of light.

The NICC's Infocomm Trainers' Certification

The National Infocomm Competency Centre (NICC) was incorporated in Oct 2001 to enhance employability of the infocomm professionals in Singapore. NICC has identified certification as a major contributor to that mission. Certification provides a benchmark, and a standard of measurement.

This launch of Infocomm Trainers' Certification by NICC is a direct response to the industry's call for more professional infocomm trainers. Over the past few months, NICC has successfully introduced 3 established infocomm trainers' certification programmes to infocomm trainers in Singapore. From the PSB Academy we have the PSB Trainer's Award (Advance Level); from the University of Cambridge, we have the Cambridge-SMG Trainer Award; and from CompTIA, we have Certified Technical Trainer+.

Funding Support from IDA

I am pleased to announce that the IDA is supporting this Infocomm Trainers' Certification through our Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme (CITREP). Infocomm trainers who wish to be trained and certified in these accredited programmes will be able to receive funding support of up to 70% for the course and examination fees capped at $3,500. For those who are competent and just wish to be assessed without training, CITREP will support 70% of the examination fees capped at $1,500. The funding support is also available to companies who are sending their infocomm trainers for training and certification.

The IDA offers a range of infocomm training incentive programmes. Moving ahead, we hope to see the trainers under these programmes certified as well.

In conclusion, I want to urge the infocomm training industry to respond to the call and raise the level of professionalism amongst your trainers.

I would like to commend the NICC for introducing the Infocomm Trainer's Certification Programme and I hope the training industry will support this programme.

Thank you.