assessing difference between security integrator and companyShould you be looking for a security integrator who is “certified” or “qualified”? These essential identifiers help business owners determine the effectiveness of a security partner. Asking the questions, “What does certified mean?” and “What does qualified mean?” when vetting a company is essential. Even more important is knowing the company can deliver expertise that is both qualified and certified.  

What Does Certified Mean?

“Certified’ is an objective term. It means an integrator has a certificate from a company or organization stating they’ve met industry standards. Certifications are typically specific to a product or system, so multiple certifications are common.

However, certification starts and ends in the classroom. An individual can be certified without being qualified. Be sure to ask about a certified integrator’s background in:

  • Up-to-date knowledge: Certifications only stay relevant until the standards change. Security technology is continually evolving, so certifications must be regularly updated.
  • In-the-field experience: Any new security engineer should have worked alongside an industry veteran in order to get in-the-field experience.
  • Component-specific education: An integrator that respects continuous training will ensure their clients are also educated on the systems they install.  

What Does Qualified Mean?

“Qualified” is a subjective term. It describes someone’s experience doing the job. A qualified integrator understands everything about their industry and puts that knowledge to practical use in a way that is most beneficial for the client.

Since the term is subjective, “qualified” means different things depending on who you talk to. However, it’s easy to determine a qualified integrator by making sure they offer:

  • Valuable resources: Qualified integrators make a point of staying up-to-date through education, experience, and new certifications. As such, they’ll be able to provide industry resources clients can review to learn more about their security infrastructure.
  • Industry information: Is their website a simple sales page, or a source of quality information? A qualified integrator should be able to offer education to their clients.
  • Price consistency: An integrator shouldn’t be highlighting huge markups on cheap equipment, steep discounts, or other kinds of inconsistent pricing. Such “bargains” can lead to cost increases later down the line.
  • Comprehensive customer service: Customer issues are never a burden to a qualified integrator. As they are solution focused, integrators provide support that ensures the effectiveness of solutions. This includes educating clients and answering questions and concerns quickly.

While qualified and certified are not the same, they are closely linked. A qualified security system engineer considers certification integral to their professional development.

Choosing A Security Integrator That Has Both

There are two things which make it clear that a security integrator is both qualified and certified. Company culture and client relationships.

A reliable company culture is a culture of learning. Employees are encouraged to take ownership of their professional development. Their firm will support this through training sessions, conferences, guest speakers and even book clubs based around current industry issues. That education will extend outward, to client support. The integrator will meet with clients frequently to address their needs. They will provide resources and information on important events. They may also offer Lifecycle Management (LCM), which offers ongoing communication and support for the life of a security system.

“Qualified and certified” is the gold standard for security integration services. Only then can a business leader trust they’re getting the best, most comprehensive security solution for their needs.


At 3Sixty Integrated, our engineers stay up-to-date on the latest in electronic security technology and trends, to ensure we’re able to provide our clients with top-of-the line systems and up-to-date support. To get more information on working with our highly trained team, call (210) 504-1731 or fill out our contact form.