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TREND CONTROL SYSTEMS LTD - Industry First For Trend As Training Goes Online

In a move that will greatly widen access to its highly acclaimed training resources, Trend Control Systems Ltd has become the first building controls manufacturer to offer interactive online courses to the users and suppliers of its products. The company is initially offering two courses through its newly launched ‘e-learning’ website - one for operators of the Trend ‘963’ BMS supervisor and the other an overview of the BACnet communications standard. More will be added at regular intervals. The site also provides online study material for individuals on the Trend ‘Attitude’ Apprenticeship scheme.

Trend e-learning is not intended to replace the company’s popular classroom-based courses, which will remain central to its training provision. Indeed, its Horsham training centre is being expanded to cater for greater numbers of trainees. The e-learning courses will complement traditional training, as well as providing a very convenient form of tuition for those both in the UK and overseas who for one reason or another are unable or disinclined to attend classroom courses.

The e-learning course for ‘963’ supervisor operators will prove ideal for many of the ever growing legion of individuals whose role involves interaction with a Trend BMS. Based on elements of a 2-day classroom course, its eight multi-media, interactive modules impart the basic knowledge needed to display and understand system monitored data and access and adjust control settings – everything in fact that is required for the day-to-day operation of a BMS. The course costs £450 and takes six to eight hours to complete. Exercises are included to test understanding and a certificate can be printed out on completion.

The e-learning course on the BACnet data communications protocol provides a thorough introduction to this ISO and European standard for building automation and control applications. The course is principally aimed at the large partner network of Trend Technology Centres and other specialist control companies that are authorised to supply and engineer Trend systems – for who it will be free of charge. Part of the package will examine the application of BACnet within Trend building management systems.

For those on the Trend Apprenticeship Scheme, the new website will give access to various e-learning packages. The first of these covers the two-year college course that leads to City & Guilds Certificate 2330 in Electro-technical Technology, which most on the scheme are working towards. This is not meant as an alternative to college attendance but as a valuable study aid that allows the apprentices access to any course module whenever they wish.

Forthcoming additions to the e-learning website will include an Ethernet awareness course and an introductory guide to building management systems. The former is again targeted at Trend’s partner network and will basically explain how Trend IQxcite controllers connect to and communicate with an Ethernet network. The introduction to BMS will be of use to anyone that is new to the building controls industry. Also in the pipeline is a course explaining the workings of the graphical configuration tool (SET) that is used to engineer Trend systems. Ultimately, Trend is looking to apply the e-learning concept to any relevant subject matter that does not require a ‘hands on hardware’ approach.

Accessing Trend e-learning courses is a straightforward process. A course that is chargeable can be selected and paid for directly through the website (; a user name and password is then e-mailed to the purchaser allowing access to the course material. Existing Trend customers can choose instead to contact Trend Training Reception on +44(0) 1403 226230 or and be issued with an invoice. Access to courses that are free of charge to eligible individuals is also arranged through Training Reception.

Trend has always invested heavily in training resources for users and suppliers of its systems. This is reflected in customer surveys, which repeatedly show industry-leading levels of satisfaction with this area of its business. In the UK, Trend’s busy training centres in Horsham and Leeds run scheduled and customised courses throughout the year. Overseas, it operates dedicated training units in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Poland and the US – with another due to open soon in Russia. The company’s classroom based courses and the e-learning scheme will be developed in tandem. Together they will enable Trend to the meet widest possible range of training needs.

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