Adrienne Knick on bridging the AV and IT skills gap

Adrienne Knick on bridging the AV and IT skills gap

Certification expert reveals how AVIXA’s new Audiovisual Network Professional Certification builds the knowledge required to design and implement networks that support AV systems  

Alice Chambers |

Nearly all of today’s audiovisual (AV) systems require connectivity via a network. Take the new Sphere venue in Las Vegas, for example. A highly sophisticated and comprehensive network is required to enable the 15,000-square-metre venue to provide 16K ultra-high-definition video and sound experiences through its 164,000 speakers. 

“This convergence and need to share network resources creates challenges on both sides and professionals with a skillset that includes AV and IT are better equipped to overcome them,” says Adrienne Knick, senior director of certification at the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA). “The Audiovisual Network Professional (ANP) Certification is AVIXA’s new credential covering the knowledge required to design and implement networks that support AV systems. It focuses on six key areas of this process: needs analysis, hardware topology, software topology, system deployment, performance verification and project closeout.”

The certification allows AV professionals to demonstrate that while they’ve long known the AV side, they can also properly get their equipment on the network. The reverse will be true for IT professionals: they have ample experience with networking and this credential allows them to demonstrate that they are also able to properly integrate AV into that network.

Sphere venue in Las Vegas

Highly sophisticated networks are required to support cutting-edge audiovisual systems, like at the new Sphere venue in Las Vegas

“From the start, a diverse group of subject-matter experts from both traditional AV and IT backgrounds actively developed the ANP,” says Knick. “Our initial group came together, discussed the major duty areas and tasks that they perform as part of their jobs and from there created the draft exam outline. That was then sent for public survey to validate its relevance to real-world work being done. We collected hundreds of responses and used that input to fine-tune our draft and develop the final exam outline that dictates the content of the ANP exam.

“The exam content was then put together by subject matter experts. To ensure continued relevance with current and emerging network technologies, this group meets multiple times a year to evaluate the performance and candidate comments of existing test questions and write new ones.” 

There are several potential benefits to companies who support ANP Certification for their employees. 

“The certification provides an enhanced skill set for employees, acquired through exam preparation and ongoing education to uphold their certification,” says Knick. “It will also help employees to increase their productivity and client satisfaction.” 

Meanwhile, those that gain the certification will be better equipped to identify problems before they arise and more quickly overcome those that do occur, helping to close the skill gap between AV and IT professions.  

“Certification provides a baseline level of knowledge and a shared understanding of the work amongst those who hold it, creating a solid foundation for collaboration and success,” says Knick.  

Learn more about the ANP certification 

This article was originally published in the Spring 2024 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.     

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