New CSIA initiatives: Mentorship, social site, more insurance and education

Four new initiatives have been undertaken in the first six months of new leadership for the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA).

12/01/2009


Four new initiatives have been undertaken in the first six months of new leadership for the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA). [Also read: New leadership for CSIA .]

CSIA says it continues to be committed to the core value of improving the business skills of control system integration companies through implementation of best practices. Improvements are made to the Best Practices manual to "raise the bar" for CSIA members and keep the manual relevant as plant automation factors continue to evolve, CSIA says.

A natural extension of the Best Practices manual is CSIA Certified Member status, a cornerstone of CSIA. The path to Certification requires an integrator to prepare for and pass an audit based on CSIA's Best Practices. Preparation results in improvements to the integrators' business operations, and the status of CSIA Certification provides a marketing advantage, the organization says. A major goal of CSIA is to help end-user companies understand the benefit of using CSIA Certified companies so that Certification will be required to do control systems integration work in their plants.

New CSIA initiatives follow.

1. A Mentorship program is being formed to match a new System Integrator member with a long-standing Certified member company that understands the value of membership. The intent is to have the new member learn, understand and take advantage of the opportunities available to them.

2. A Web 2.0 project will create a new CSIA Web site that utilizes the new and popular social media concepts, similar to LinkedIn and Facebook. The key component will be a private, on-line CSIA member-only community that emphasizes collaboration and sharing of information and ideas by use of groups, blogs, and discussion boards. Some information will be made available to end-users and prospective members to provide a "taste" of what is available to CSIA members.

3. In addition to the USA Business Insurance Program, two new insurance programs have been launched. First, a surety bonding facility has been established for CSIA members requiring bonding within the United States. Secondly, a Professional Errors & Omissions facility is available for membership based outside the United States. All three insurance programs are exclusively available only to members of CSIA.

4. Webinars are offered to Integrator members throughout the year to provide educational opportunities all year. CSIA's Partner members often provide the webinars.

www.controlsys.org

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering , www.controleng.com