Confederation of Aerial Industries Ltd (CAI) formed in 1978 to represent the rapidly growing UHF TV aerial industry. With the switch from black and white TV viewing to colour, the UK TV aerial industry grew dramatically as everyone in the nation had to replace their old VHF TV aerials with one for UHF. In the late 1980s the CAI extended its scope as the natural representative body for satellite dish installation when satellite viewing began its dramatic rise in popularity with birth of Sky TV. Today, CAI has membership categories for everyone engaged in audio visual signal reception and networks across the UK and Republic of Ireland. From sole proprietor aerial and satellite installers, to the largest communal system design and installation companies, there are also manufacturers and distributors who supply all the necessary equipment for signal networking around the home and business. Applications from consultants and broadcast operators are also welcomed.
We concentrate on raising standards in our trade through an ongoing assessment programme that measures competence, reputability and compliance against our mandatory codes of practice and conduct. We have developed an extensive hands-on education and skills programmes that trains installers how to attain and maintain those standards. This is recognised by broadcasters, government and the construction trades, enabling members to benefit from increased work flow as consumers seek competent and reputable businesses.
CAI Member Responsibilities
CAI is different from most trade associations in that applicants for membership have to undergo the assessment process to check they comply with CAI standards prior to being accepted into membership. Consumers choosing a CAI member to advise or complete the work they require are assured of competence & compliance. To achieve this CAI members must;
- Work to standards outlined in the CAI Codes of Practice and British Standards
- Be continually re-assessed to ensure standards are maintained
- Use quality, tested equipment verified by the CAI Certification Scheme
- Guarantee all installations and equipment used for 12 months
- Be fully insured to cover all aspects of the business scope
- Prove they employ a competent and reputable work force
Helping the Future of the Industry
CAI offers a comprehensive, education & skills programme with the objective of ensuring that members and non-members have the opportunity to keep themselves and their employees fully up skilled with the latest technologies and techniques. This also benefits the consumer by providing them with the best possible standard of service. There are 10 training programmes that carry City & Guilds Accreditation. The courses are designed to develop skills and competencies necessary to meet the demands of the signal reception and networks installation industry. The courses are delivered by professionals with real hands on experience in our industry at well-equipped centres around the United Kingdom.
Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) recognises our Foundation Diploma in Signal Reception as being a gateway to obtaining a CSCS card. These cards are becoming more and more a common requirement to gain access to construction sites in order to carry out service trade work such as signal reception systems.
Product Certification Schemes
CAI Benchmarking lays down the minimum standards for the technical performance of products based on the specific technical parameters for satisfactory broadcast reception. The scheme allows the measurements to be carried out by a test house that is able to demonstrate that it meets the required standards of measurement accuracy detailed in the technical standards for each benchmark. Applicants and holders of CAI benchmark certification are bound by legal binding contracts that secure adherence to all aspects of the benchmark certification. CAI certification covers aerials and cable only and is a standard that must be met within many installation contracts.
TrustMark is the Government endorsed quality scheme that signposts people to reputable local tradesmen. It is a registered social enterprise, operated under licence from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). TrustMark operates a quality mark framework under which 30 Scheme Operators work in the repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) sector. This includes trade associations, local government trading standards teams, and independent bodies. Members of the operator organisation, who can fulfil all the criteria, are approved to carry the TrustMark logo and recruit reputable and trustworthy tradesmen. The CAI has become one such scheme administrators and is the only scheme operator for the signal reception and home entertainment industry.
The CAI has a separate website aimed purely at consumers looking for help, advice or the installation services of CAI members. It is aimed mainly at directing viewers needing reception services to a CAI member. www.getmeviewing.org.uk has a simple help and advice menu bar and its front page is dominated by its search engine – ‘Find a local installer’ – driven by a variety customer location descriptors such as postcode, town, city or county.
CAI has many Supporting Partners and is a support reference point for many industry organisations such as at800, Digital UK, Ofcom, BBC, Freeview, Freesat, Sky, the Digital TV Group (DTG) and numerous suppliers of audio visual equipment for the home. The CAI is
- Collaborating with the DTG to publish the update editions of the DTG’s R-Book for aerial system installers fitting Freeview and all other DTT-based platforms.
- Supporting at800 to help populate a network of highly skilled accredited installers to address possible disruption to Freeview services caused by 4G mobile transmissions. at800 is an independent organisation created to ensure that all UK viewers continue to receive Freeview, or are offered a suitable alternative TV service, when 4G at 800 MHz is activated in their area.
- Working with a number of audio visual product distributors to provide the necessary customer support by CAI members should signal provision be required.
- Hosting an annual trade only event for Manufacturers/Distributors to showcase new industry products to installers along with providing seminars held by industry keynote speaker professionals.