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Certification Programs for Gate Operator Installers and System Designers

Posted By Todd Daniel, Sunday, December 21, 2014

Certification Programs for Gate Operator Installers 
and System Designers

By Brent Nichols / Picasso Gate, Inc.

At this time there are two programs completed both of these programs are administered through IDEA. Todd Thomas is with IDEA and oversees the curriculum, testing, and certification of the individuals that have gone through the program. The last certification program is the Certified Gate Technician which has not been started yet. 

The Certified Gate Installer, this is a certification for those that install the gate operators and the gate operating system. It was the first of the three identified programs to be completed. The American Fence Association at their week long field school, now in Dallas, has offered hands on training and class room instruction for this program for the last 6 years. It walks the students through a variety of gate operating equipment, accessories, and the installation and wiring of these components. The class room material covers the UL 325 standard, the ASTM F2200 standard and a number of other items that go along with the hands on training. At the end of the class is a test. To be certified there is a stipulation of experience that must go along with being certified which is two years of field experience. The “hands on” class right now is offered once a year in the fall in Dallas at the American Airlines Training Facility. The other option is to order the study materials from IDEA to do a self study class then test at one of the location during the year this also requires proof of field experience to be certified. There is a cost for the field school which includes testing. If you do a self study there is a charge for the materials and then a fee for the testing.

The Certified Gate Operator Systems Designer, this is to provide the knowledge and the information for a sales/system designer to have the knowledge to design a gate system. It covers gate types, gate operators, ground loops, access controls, gate operating system layout and design most importantly it covers the requirements for a gate system with both the UL 325 and ASTM F2200 standards. One of the main goals for this program was to train the designers of the gate systems what is required in the standards for installing a safe entry gate system and how various types of gates and accessories can work in different applications. This is offered in a two day class which has been taught at the American Fence Association field school and in two day class prior to the opening of Fence Tech. This program can be taught in any location unlike the gate operator certification hands on class which requires massive numbers of gate operators and fixtures that is required for the gate installer program at the field school. The Certified Gate Systems Designer is offered as a self study class with the ability to test at various times and locations. Again there is a fee for the study materials and another fee for the testing.

The Certified Gate Operator Technician, this program has not yet been started but we will begin the work on the class in 2015. This will help train a gate technician to be able to go out and troubleshoot any gate system and complete repairs or upgrades as needed. It will look at multiple gate systems and gate operating equipment and accessories. It will provide a step by step troubleshooting procedure to help the service technician walk through a gate that is not functioning or is not functioning correctly. It will take a few years to develop the program there is a lot of information and issues to look at and determine the “how to” steps of troubleshooting.

All three of these certifications require to be updated yearly as changes are made in the UL and ASTM standards, input from the instructors, input from manufacturers and installers as well as changes in technology. We also look ourselves on how to improve the content and drawings in the text materials.

For people wanting to be certified they can contact the trade organization they belong to or contact Todd Thomas at IDEA.

The outline you provided appear to be some of the notes from discussion items from our last meeting they real have no relevance to this article. 

The coalition is made up from members of the Fence Association, DASMA, NOMMA and IDA. Discussions are at times lively and we do not always have total agreement upon areas of discussions but the members are all knowledgeable in the gate industry and are all agreed upon a common goal which is to increase the quality of automated gates and promote the highest standards to produce safe gate systems.

The Fence Association offers the field school at two prices, members of the American Fence Association and non-members. If you are a member of any of the four associations listed above that is involved with the development of these certification programs you can enroll at any offered program at the member pricing. Because it is a joint effort of all these trade associations to produce these programs any member of these organizations can attend any certification class offer by any of these organizations at the member price. 

I think I have answered all of your questions a provided you with a good overview of our committee. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

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