The Confederation of Aerial Industries Ltd (CAI) is the largest trade association in the UK for those involved in Content Delivery. In other words our members install, sell, distribute or manufacture the products that get entertainment media into your home or place of work. With the advancement of technology this has moved on from just the conventional means of satellite dish or terrestrial aerial through a piece of coax and now includes broadband, fibre optics and multimedia installations. Whatever your requirement in this field there is likely to be a CAI member who can accommodate you.
Our installing companies are encouraged to become CAI plus members and this provides confidence to both government and the public in the ability and quality of them. With the majority of domestic CAI members now having this status, the consumer now has a choice of which company to use. It should be understood that all our members comply with our Codes of Practice, which define both the technical, commercial and safety practices.
Readers of this can be assured that our team of permanently employed assessors inspect our members for QA procedures, quality of installations, conformity to our Codes of Practice, plus quality of tools, meters, identity cards and safety equipment. We also check for satisfied customers, valid insurance and training. We even guarantee* the work of our members, which demonstrates just how confident we are in them (*Note: Guarantee is applicable to domestic installations only up to a maximum value of £500). For CAI plus members, we also ensure that at least one engineer per van holds a valid Working at Heights certificate and has a current clear criminal records check.
The stability of the CAI was further reinforced when we moved into our own freehold premises located in Watford, purchased jointly with the SCTE. This move opened a new era for the CAI for it is the first property the CAI has owned and includes the CAI training centre.
The CAI aerial and cable benchmark initiatives have been widely accepted as the mark of quality and not just in the UK. The benchmark schemes have provided the industry with the ability to identify the quality and type of both cables and aerials. CAI members are actively encouraged to use only the CAI approved products.
The smooth transition from analogue to digital demonstrates just how successful we have been with our initiatives and continue to be by looking into the future and the issues that may affect our industry such as 4G mobile technology. Members are involved in using CAI provided articles in their local newspapers or as leaflet drops in promoting what they can offer to help with the mitigation of interference caused by this new technology.
Many of our members are also qualified to install systems into communcal and commercial buildings and landlords and managing agents must be encouraged to keep up with the expanding technical requirement of digital television reception. Measuring signals correctly and understanding what those measurements mean places a large emphasis on the need for training and, as a result, it is unlikely that a non-member company, not having access to all the information, will be able to cope with new installations. The CAI is determined that all members have the necessary knowledge and skills to cope with the new requirements and members' customers should be reassured that they are in the hands of fully trained and informed professionals.
In order to ensure good reception of digital television and increase the immunity to interference, the Confederation has embarked on a number of initiatives. These are cable benchmarking, aerial benchmarking, training and a new set of Codes of Practice. Our tutors have gained the necessary qualifications to assess and verify candidates. In addition, the CAl runs a series of training courses from basic installation techniques for those just joining the industry through to more advanced courses on, for example, fibre optic installations, structured cabling for IPTV and broadband etc., CCTV, to a City & Guilds course on IRS and SMATV networks. The CAI also has representation on British and European committees covering aspects such as electrical and mechanical safety of aerial systems, EMC and filtering.
I would like to thank the rest of my board of directors and the co-opted members of committees for all their hard work and the time they give totally free of charge. It would also be remiss of me not to mention the staff at Watford for all they do for our members which in turn is for the benefit of our customers - you!