Sorting Out Certification

By Dan Hounsell  

Dan Hounsell Even the most cursory look at today’s institutional and commercial facilities reveals an alarmingly complex operation. From technologically advanced HVAC and electrical systems to expanding lighting, plumbing and irrigation systems, facilities are loaded with products and components that are essential but that also present tremendous challenges.

For maintenance and engineering managers, the complexity doesn’t end there. Front-line technicians rely on advanced diagnostic and monitoring equipment — now including infrared imagers — as well as laptops and personal digital assistants. Orchestrating the work for most departments is a computerized maintenance management system, which today is often web-based.

Staying Ahead

Keeping all of this under control is a monumental undertaking, and the challenge never stops. One way to stay abreast of new ideas related to both management strategies and technology is to take part in professional development.

As managers know, however, training and education need to deliver. They need to benefit the organization paying for them, and ideally, they also benefit the person taking part, whether it’s a manager or a front-line technician. More than ever, though, managers and technicians need to consider whether taking part in training to earn a certification offers the biggest payback.

Maintenance and engineering management has evolved in the last decade to meet the growing demands of facilities, and managers have become bigger players in all types of projects and decisions.

Paralleling these changes is a growing list of certifications that managers and technicians can earn to signify their knowledge in a particular area. You can check out a list of organizations that issue certifications for the maintenance and engineering profession, as well as articles on training and education, at www.facilitiesnet.com/trainingeducation/

Sifting and Winnowing

This list might not be complete. (E-mail me if we’re missing one you’re interested in.) But it gives managers a glimpse of the challenge that lies ahead — sorting through the requirements for earning a particular certification to determine which ones will be the most beneficial for their departments and organizations, as well as which ones will carry the most weight in the profession.

The technology that courses through facilities will continue to change, as will the need for new management strategies to keep everything operating smoothly. Savvy decisions on training, education and certification offer managers the best opportunity to stay on top of the game.

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  posted on 1/1/2007   Article Use Policy

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