Audiovisual Providers of Excellence Program (APEx): FAQs
What is the purpose of the InfoComm APEx Program?
The InfoComm APEx program is a marketing recognition program for integration companies and AV design consulting firms dedicated to providing quality service to customers and upholding industry excellence. This offering replaces InfoComm’s CAVSP™ program.
Why is InfoComm moving toward the APEx Program?
After 10 years of CAVSP, it was time to reevaluate this initiative, and consider whether it met the goals of the members and the association. The conclusion reached was that a more robust program aimed at promoting industry quality is needed. It was also decided that the AV customer should have a role in determining whether or not customer satisfaction was achieved.
Moreover, CTS certification, while extremely valuable, should not be the lone-determinant of a company’s commitment to industry quality. Many InfoComm members offer product-specific certifications and training that are valuable. Other renewable certifications, like the Project Management Institute’s PMP program, are highly-regarded and should be considered when evaluating a company’s commitment to quality.
There was also the desire to integrate industry standards into our industry excellence program. Because both the Standard Guide for Audiovisual Systems Design and Coordination Processes and the AV System Performance Verification standard were developed in an open, consensus-based process, approved by an independent outside body, and are aimed at providing proper communication and documentation between the AV industry and the client, using both within your organization is a requirement. Alternately, if you already have internal processes within your organization that meet or exceed the requirements set forth in the standards, you will qualify for the APEx program.
Because these changes represent a complete overhaul of the program, it was decided that a name change was necessary as well.
Why are there different requirements for companies based on size?
While there are certain principles all participating companies should have to adhere to, InfoComm wants to ensure that companies of all sizes are incentivized to pursue quality initiatives. We believe the new program scales fairly for companies of all sizes.
Under CAVSP, companies reported their number of technical and customer-service oriented personnel. Under APEx, companies only report their number of employees. Why is that?
Because different companies have different ways of categorizing employees, it is most relevant to note the overall size of the company when considering requirements.
What constitutes a small, medium or large company?
For the purposes of this program, small companies have 24 or fewer employees. Medium companies have between 25 and 99 employees. Large companies have 100 employees or more.
Are there different APEx levels?
No, a company either achieves APEx status, or doesn’t. Each company must earn 100 points annually through a variety of requirements. Points are earned differently depending on the company size.
How does the customer survey program work?
You will direct your customers to a third party organization that is outside of InfoComm to complete an online survey on your firm’s work. The completed surveys are judged completely by the third party, and the survey responses are not sent to InfoComm. Additionally, none of your customer’s information will be sent to InfoComm. InfoComm will only receive a note on whether or not the survey from your customer was positive or negative. Only surveys with an overall positive rating will count toward InfoComm APEx status.
The online customer surveys are a required element of the program. Small companies must provide two positive customer response surveys annually, while medium companies are required to provide four, and large companies must provide six.
When does the CAVSP program end?
Your CAVSP designation sunsets when it expires or Dec. 31, 2014, whichever is first.
How will InfoComm promote the APEx program to the public?
InfoComm will invest in online advertising, SEO promotions and create an awareness campaign for industry end-customers. InfoComm will also create a toolkit for APEx companies to use when responding to bids/tenders, slides for client presentations, logos, window clings and more.
My company doesn’t currently use InfoComm’s standards. Do we have to buy them?
InfoComm members can download standards free of charge from their member dashboard on the infocomm.org website. If you feel you need more explanation than the standard contains, you may benefit from purchasing the accompanying guide to standard, which is available at infocomm.org/store. Members receive discounted pricing on standards guides. Non-member companies are not eligible for InfoComm APEx status.
My company is located in a non-English speaking country. Will materials be available in languages other than English?
There are plans to translate APEx materials, including the required standards, into Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German, and more.
What is the annual cost of becoming an APEX Company?
I am a tech manager, and my institution has held CAVSP status. What happens to us?
Your institution will continue to carry its CAVSP status until it expires. InfoComm is considering plans for an APEx program for technology managers, but none is currently in the works.
My live events company has held CAVSP status. What happens to us?
Your company will continue to carry its CAVSP status until it expires. InfoComm is developing an APEx program with requirements aimed at the rental and staging communities, which will launch later this year with input from InfoComm’s Rental & Staging Council.
My company invests in a certification program that is not on the APEx eligibility list. Can it be added?
Certifications with renewal requirements can be considered. Please contact Aron Abrams for more information.
My company is not a member of InfoComm? Can we be part of the InfoComm APEx program?
This designation is for InfoComm members only.