Victaulic valve cleaning exercise during AFSA’s ITM Inpsector Development program at General Air Products in Exton, Pennsylvania.

ITM Program Develops Inspectors

Registration Now Open for 2022

The American Fire Sprinkler Association’s (AFSA) Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance (ITM) Inspector Development program is preparing to welcome students to its Spring 2022 ITM class virtually on April 11. Now is the time to invest in your workforce and expand your services! The program features a blend of learning tools, environments, and styles that combine to make a highly immersive and comprehensive training package for future inspectors, including on-demand lessons; live webinars; on-the-job training (OJT) guidance; instructor support; and two in-person live sessions that include mock field inspections, lab instruction, classroom training, role play, class tours, and NICET I & II exam prep. 

PROVEN TRACK RECORD 

Since the program’s inception in 2016, the passing averages for students continue to impress: 91 percent of AFSA students pass their Level I exam, and 92 percent pass the Level II Inspection & Testing exams, all on their first attempts. All told, AFSA averages a 92-percent pass rate for Level I and Level II exams versus the national average 63-percent rate. 

AFSA was the first to offer an industry-wide ITM Inspector Development Program, which aims to develop “green” or beginner technicians into NICET Level II-equivalent inspectors. With the ever-growing need for a well-trained, well-rounded workforce in mind, AFSA’s ITM program goes far beyond just providing technical training. Led by AFSA Manager of ITM Technical Training John Johnson, CFPS, and other accomplished industry experts, the program’s small class size allows instruction to be tailored to individual students’ interests, strengths and needs both inside and outside the classroom. 

“The instructor is absolutely a 10. More like a 20,” comments one student. “I have been in this industry for 30 years, and I thought I had a knowledge of NFPA 25. Now, I have the confidence to reference the information quickly and effectively, thanks to your program.” 

In addition to the lessons, AFSA offers you guidance every step of the way, starting with candidate selection. AFSA provides the tools to not only help you pick your trainee but to offer unrivaled support to them along the way. AFSA also provides hands-on tools, such as the Contractor Manager Guide, train-the-trainer information, and more that help you establish support for your candidate. 

While technical learning is essential to the program, it also includes methods for the development of soft skills such as role-play to further prepare your inspector for situations they may encounter in the field and how to conduct themselves professionally. 

WHAT’S INVOLVED? 

Three key figures play pivotal roles in the success of AFSA’s ITM Inspector Development Program: AFSA, the student, and the employer.  AFSA’s program delivers a blended learning environment that includes 56 hours of on-demand courses and 21 hours of live, interactive web instruction; live in-class lectures; and hands-on field and lab inspections and testing training. The instructors encourage and foster character-building traits and help students strengthen communication skills, both written and verbal. 

Students are the second key players in the program’s success. Students must commit approximately three hours a week to program studies (much is done online and on-demand). They also must keep pace with program activities, including OJT tasks led by their supervisors as recommended in the program. This helps to ensure students’ readiness to score well on pre-scheduled NICET exams. 

Employers are the final key to unlocking a successful ITM training experience. Vet/recruit the right candidate(s). Designate an in-house supervisor/instructor to oversee the students’ ITM training. Adhere to program activities and related timeline with regards to OJT tasks as recommended, which involves documenting and verifying work experience as required by NICET as part of their certification process. Employers must also ensure students keep pace within the program cycle and are duly prepared as each new phase of this comprehensive 20-month program begins. 

INVEST IN YOUR WORKFORCE 

AFSA’s program was developed by seasoned industry experts with 65-plus years of combined industry experience and 50-plus years of teaching the fire protection community around the globe. Recently, students in Cycle 9 tested for their NICET level II and students in Cycle 11 tested for their NICET level I certifications. 

“The November and December 2021 ITM classes both tested with a 100-percent success rate on their NICET examinations!” comments AFSA Director of Education Services Leslie Clounts. “We are so excited to see these students, with their employer’s support, embrace this program and their training to become skillful, knowledgeable, and impactful ITM inspectors.” 

In just 20 months, your inspection team can “hit the ground running” as you start this service within your company or expand your team. Pairing AFSA’s ITM Inspector Development Program with proper OJT and supervision will position contractors to educate a “green” inspector in-house and prepare him or her to help grow your company. 

Interested in registering a student? Registration is now open for the Spring 2022 class, which will virtually launch on April 11. Plus, the first six months of the program is conducted online! A limited class size maximizes student learning outcomes, so early registration is encouraged. Find more details and register online at firesprinkler.org/itm or contact Clounts at lclounts@firesprinkler.org or (214) 349-5965 ext. 130.


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