Program Promotes Student Success
The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is pleased to have graduated its first Inspection, Testing and Maintenance (ITM) Inspector Development Program cycle and the results are in! Students and supervisors have given the program high marks, while boasting well above national first-time passage rates on NICET Level II exams: averaging 85 percent overall for the three exams. In addition, 91 percent all ITM program students pass their NICET Level I exams the first time! Overall, students’ first-time pass rates are 20 percent better than the NICET national average in all categories of testing.
AFSA was the first to offer an industry-wide Inspection, Testing and Maintenance (ITM) Inspector Development Program. The program, which launched its first group April 18, 2016, prepares candidates for NICET’s Level II certification exams for inspection and testing of water-based systems in less than two years, and we are proud to report that the majority of our students passed their NICET exams on the first try.
In fact, AFSA’s first class of ITM students had a 100 percent pass rate on their Level II inspection exam on the first try! And a vast majority of the class passed their testing and work practices exams for Level II on their first attempt.
The ITM program is a high-impact, dynamic program that strives to treat every student like a VIP through a variety of on-demand, webinar and in-person training on various aspects of inspection, testing and maintenance of fire protection systems, including on-the-job training recommendations.
“Overall, I think the class helped me pass my NICET Level II and made me a better inspector,” said one student. “I believe [our instructor] Jason will be a great asset to the class, he seems to be very interested in helping the students and improving the program, and I appreciated his patience and knowledge while working with us in the classroom.”
Coaching by our accomplished AFSA staff and industry experts empower students to thrive both inside and outside the classroom, and its small class size allows instruction to be tailored to individual interests, strengths, and needs. The program delivers a blended learning environment that includes: on-demand courses; live, interactive web instruction; live, in-class lecture; and hands-on field testing and inspections. Another student added, “[The ITM program] is a great program, and I was glad I was able to experience it.”
The program, divided into seven modules, is comprised of a series of lessons that cover a particular topic within the scope of that module. Modules included are: Core Curriculum – Introduction to the Trade; NICET Level I Exam and Preparation; Fire Protection Systems and Inspection/ Testing Procedures; Water Supplies and Fire Pumps; Advanced Inspection and Testing Procedures; Inspection and Testing Review and Field Work; and NICET Level II Exam and Preparation.
To AFSA, one alumni concluded: “Thank you so much for teaching us and letting me be a part of the inaugural class. The lessons learned will be with me forever.”
Supervisors of students in the program also express satisfaction with program results and use of the blended learning environment. Of the on-demand lessons, one supervisor states, “They kept him on track in a much better way than a simple correspondence type atmosphere.” Live in-person segments of the program “added validity to what he was doing as well as demonstrated to him the variety of backgrounds that were participating in the class.”
With every class, AFSA’s ITM program improves and grows. Designed by industry experts to provide members with the most qualified workforce, AFSA’s ITM Inspector Development Program is increasingly leveraged by employers to achieve results and provide a proven measure of attained job skills and knowledge.
“These professionals are the primary face of your company and have ten times or more the interaction with your customers than anyone else,” says Jason Williams, CET, AFSA’s manager of ITM technical training and lead instructor of the ITM program. “They can directly affect your sales, retention and liability of your service. AFSA’s ITM program can help groom your professionals with real world training, information and guidance. And all authored from contractors and the sources that shaped the ITM standard itself.”
If you’re ready to professionalize your inspections team, AFSA is enrolling for its next class, launching April 2018. Introductory pricing for the expansive program is $3,600 for AFSA members ($7,200 for non-members), with classes limited to an enrollment of 20 students. Registration is open to AFSA members only until six weeks prior to the first class. Visit firesprinkler.org/itm.