UL’s 2021 Monitoring Station Audit – Information Update

Steve Schmit, UL, prepared this update on 2021 Monitoring Center Audits and asked TMA to share it. You may download a PDF of the update from the TMA website.

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 brought the concepts of remote inspection, virtual audits, and working from home into full-fledged practical use, at a speed few would have predicted. The experience was a dramatic demonstration of the value of collaborative problem solving and clear communications. In that spirit, UL would like to share plans for 2021.

Standards and Confirmation of Compliance

Developing requirements that aligned with COVID-19 public health risk mitigations brought focus and visibility to the Standards making process.  While the experience was new to many, TMA’s UL Standards committee has been productively engaged in driving change for many years and continues to work an active agenda intended to keep the Standards current and relevant.

As Standards change, UL’s Certification Programs do also, incorporating new technical requirements into the annual audit process for monitoring stations. The 2021 audit cycle will include focus on the last 2 sets of revisions to UL827, Standard for Central Stations Services

Work From Home

On October 27, 2020, UL827 was revised to adapt Sec 51, Operation During a Regional/National Disruption. These requirements were developed by a Task Group of monitoring industry subject matter experts and built on early UL Guidelines for operating during the pandemic (published on March 16). They achieved ANSI consensus through UL’s Collaborative Standards Development Process to become part of the American National Standard.

For purposes of application within UL’s Certificate Program, Sec 51 was considered effective upon publication. During the 2021 audit cycle, UL staff will assess compliance for stations using remotely located operators under current COVID-19 mitigation conditions, and those stations that plan to do so in the event of future national or regional disruptions.

In early April, UL will publish details intended to clarify the evidence of compliance that UL auditors will look for during the 2021 audit.

As the nation’s vaccination campaign progresses, governmental emergency declarations and associated health safety guidance will change. Early indications suggest that there will not be a universal “all clear” lifting of scientifically based health guidelines, but rather a gradual reduction in social distancing metrics, with dependency on vaccination status, COVID variant emergence, and other variables. UL envisions working with monitoring stations to determine applicability of Sec 51 requirements, based on conditions in their location, with the goal of distilling universal guidelines for handling the dynamically evolving situation.

At the same time, TMA’s UL Standards Committee is making a UL827 revision proposal for requirements that would enable a monitoring-from-home option under any conditions. The Committee has addressed concerns brought forward during the emergency conditions discussions, but the proposal is in the very early stages of the consensus process.

If adapted, stations will continue to have a continued monitor-from-home option. However, stations should start planning for returning operators to in-station duty in the event that there is a gap between lifting of emergency conditions and adoption of non-emergency condition home based monitoring requirements.

Cybersecurity and Power Supply Requirements

On April 11, 2019, UL827 was revised to include new requirements for secondary power supplies and cybersecurity measures. These requirements were developed by TMA’s UL Standards Committee and went through 2 public comment periods as part of the consensus process.

UL’s pre-pandemic 2020 audit plan included focus on compliance with these requirements. Those plans had to be deferred when priorities shifted to operating safely within health and safety mandates.

As shared in the Summer 2019 TMA Dispatch newsletter, revisions were made in Section 11, Power Supply, and Section 17, Central Station Automation Systems. Material that could have potentially significant impact includes secondary power requirements in paragraph 11.5.1 and Table 11.1, and cybersecurity requirements in paragraph 17.15, along with its references.

For purposes of application within UL’s Certificate Program, these requirements will be effective 12/31/2022. This means UL Certification beyond that date is contingent on demonstration of compliance.

UL’s formal notice to Certification holders will be sent in early April and will include a plain language explanation of the requirements. In addition, UL will offer Town Hall style webinars (date/time to be announced shortly) to review the requirements and audit expectations.

During the 2021 audit cycle, UL staff will assess compliance status with the new requirements. Corrective action on any items of noncompliance will be assessed during the 2022 audit cycle.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your UL auditor or any of the following:

Steve Schmit – steven.a.schmit@ul.com

Nancy Murphy – Nancy.Murphy@ul.com

Javier Olarte – Javier.Olarte@ul.com

Don’t miss TMA’s Mid-year Meeting – April 20-22, 2021

The Monitoring Association’s Mid-year Meeting will open in just a couple days on Tuesday, April 20th!

Learn more and register at: https://tma.us/virtual-mid-year-meeting/

Join us for the three-day program featuring a combination of thought-provoking education sessions, powerful networking, and a virtual exhibit floor! Sessions will focus on these three core areas:

  1. Leadership
  2. Operations
  3. Technology

Day 1 – Leadership sessions inspire:

Featured Keynote: Leadership Lessons from an Old Jarhead, General James T. Conway (Ret.)

Leadership Session #1: COVID, Biden and the Vaccine: Employment During and After the Pandemic

Speakers: Jaime Tuite, Judy Katafiaz

Leadership Session #2: An Update on the Realities of the 3G/4G Migration
Speaker: John Brady
View Top Take-away Minute with John Brady

Leadership Session #3: Financing 101 in 2021
Speakers: Megan Thompson, Esq., Gregory Buscone, Mark Grudzien, John Robuck

Leadership Session #4: Value of Monitoring – Expanding Beyond the Traditional Use Cases
Speaker: Elizabeth Parks
View Top Take-away Minute with Elizabeth Parks

Day 2 – Operations sessions look at:

Featured Opening Session: On De-escalation During a Pandemic, Bill Powers, CPP and David Lesure      
View Top Take-away Minute with Bill Powers, CPP, and David Lesure

Operations Session #1: Monitoring Centers: Communicate with Customers in the Year We Actually Live In
Speaker: Daniel Oppenheim

Operations Session #2: Success in the New Normal: Top Marketing Strategies for Monitoring Centers
Speaker: David Morgan
View Top Take-away Minute with David Morgan

Operations Session #3: Leadership Succession Planning: How’s Your Bench Strength?
Speakers: Pam Petrow, Ralph W. Sevinor, Brandon Freedman, Brandon Niles
View Top Take-away Minute with Brandon Niles

Operations Session #4: Alarm Industry Call Blocking Challenges
Speakers: Sascha Kylau, Morgan Hertel

Day 3 – Technology sessions explore:

Featured Opening Session: FirstNet Primer, Morgan HertelMark HillenburgChief (Ret) Harlin McEwenDuane Warehime

Technology Session #1: Working from Home Standard Updates
Speakers: Sascha Kylau, Joshua Greko

Technology Session #2: Work Form Home Practical Applications
Speakers: Steve Butkovich, JoeAllen Gentry, Rich Watts

Technology Session #3: Factoring in the Future— Is video monitoring part of your business model?
Speakers: Greg Eusden, Grant Graham, Wes Usie, Avi Lupo

Technology Session #4: Three Key Best Practices for Video Monitoring Success
Speakers: Chris Brown, Robert Baxter, John Romanowich, Steve Walker

There are several registration options (1, 2, and 3-day) available. Registration includes access to session recordings for up to six months. In the event that you are unable to attend sessions of interest, you will have the opportunity to view recordings on-demand, 24/7.

Learn more and register at: https://tma.us/virtual-mid-year-meeting/

We look forward to seeing you there!

Scott Stanton, Cisco To Deliver OPS-TECH 2020 Keynote

TMA is pleased to announce that Scott Stanton, Sr. Director, Americas Network Transformation, Cisco, will deliver a keynote address at its upcoming OPS-TECH 2020. Mr. Stanton’s remarks will speak to the future of networking and WiFi 6 and the impact on how this technology enables IoT devices and fills in the gaps of LTE and 5G buildouts. The keynote address will be delivered virtually via Zoom on Wed., Nov. 18th at 11:10 AM [EST].

OPS-TECH is the new combination of two of TMA’s most popular annual education and networking events – the Fall Operations Management Seminar and the Tech Summit. TMA is pleased to introduce a reimagined meeting structure and delivery format this year with the intention that the virtual platform will open up new opportunities for additional attendees to actively take part in these valuable programs. By focusing on three main areas of interest, TMA will offer education that will appeal to operations, video surveillance and installation professionals, and IT managers who want to take their companies to the next level. This solutions-based event will offer attendees the opportunity to come with a problem and leave with a solution.

The program will be presented in three sections over the course of several days:

  • Focus on Operations: November 9-11
  • Special BONUS– Focus on Video: November 12 (included in the Operations package or stand-alone)
  • Focus on Technology: November 17-18

Industry sponsors of the event include Full Meeting Sponsors: BOLD Group and MAS. Event Meeting Sponsors include OneTel, SentryAI, and TRG Associates, Inc., SDM Magazine and Security Business Magazine/SIW.com are the official media sponsors.

View complete program details and registration options.

Leadership In Crisis Topic For Closing Keynote At TMA’S 2020 Annual Meeting, Oct. 29

TMA is pleased to announce that Susan B. Swenson will deliver the closing keynote address at its upcoming 2020 Annual Meeting. Ms. Swenson has been the president and CEO of some of the largest and most influential telecom companies in the US. She was also the second Chairman at FirstNet (First Responder Network Authority). In her career, Ms. Swenson has been recognized as a turn-around leader during challenging times. Ms. Swenson will speak virtually via Zoom on Thurs., Oct. 29th at 2:35PM [EST]. Full details and registration options are available at www.tma.us/annual-meeting/.

“We’ve moved from a time of seeing people at the copy machine or the break room to a time of video calls, email exchanges coupled with burnout and personal hardships,” stated Ms. Swenson. “I’ll share insights into what leaders can do to help employees navigate these challenging times and what leaders need to do for themselves to be able to run this marathon.”

“It is often said that the strongest of leaders come forth in times of crisis. Without question, the scope of challenges presented to companies of all sizes across our industry in 2020 has pushed leaders into crisis-mode. Every aspect of our businesses have been tested and our leaders called upon to examine and analyze internal and external processes, policies, and services to best prepare for the new, yet unknown, unstable marketplace in which we now operate,” stated TMA President Don Young. “Susan Swenson has built a solid and highly-respected reputation as an exceptional leader in times of crisis. We’re pleased and grateful to have her as one of our keynote speakers for our Annual Meeting this year. Leaders, as well as rising leaders, who take part in our meeting will benefit immensely from her firsthand insights into her experiences of leading a number of companies through critical periods into recovery, and ultimately, renewed stability and future success.”

Susan G. Swenson has been the head of 13 different companies, and currently occupies the position of Non-Executive Chairman of Vislink Technologies, Inc. Ms. Swenson is also on the board of Harmonic, Inc. and Sonim Technologies, Inc.

Learn more and register to attend.

Google’s Thorsen to Keynote TMA’s 2020 Annual Meeting

TMA is pleased to announce Wayne Thorsen, Managing Director, Hardware Business Development for Google will deliver the keynote address at its upcoming 2020 Annual Meeting. Mr. Thorsen will speak virtually via Zoom on Tues., Oct. 27th at 11:10 AM [EST].

“This has been a year like no other where we are reminded of how essential our service is to the homes and businesses of this country and of this world,” said Don Young, president of TMA. “TMA has come together, in partnership with many other organizations dedicated to the well-being of our customers and employees, to educate and advise on how to navigate through these uncharted waters. I am truly blessed and proud to serve amongst so many selfless individuals who have volunteered their time these last nine months to share best practices and help guide each other regardless of competitive pressure. I believe that crisis brings clarity and I am inspired by the meaningful work TMA has done this year to deal with the pandemic, but more importantly, to give our members the opportunity to share in the benefits of what the future holds for our industry. Two of those benefits will be the continued development of standards as referenced in our latest edition of TMA’s Dispatch and exploring how machine learning and artificial intelligence could play key roles in that effort. We are fortunate to have Wayne Thorsen from Google as our keynote speaker this year who will share his thoughts on how he sees this technology advancing and accelerating in the months and years ahead. He will provide some insight on how Google views the opportunities in our industry going forward,” added Young.

In his current position, Mr. Thorsen leads the global business development teams that manage partnerships for a portfolio of Google products and services, including: Google Home; Nest; Chromecast; Google WiFi; Google Pixel; Google ATAP (Advanced Technology And Projects); and, Google Daydream (Augmented Reality and Google Lens). Prior to joining Google in May 2018, Mr. Thorsen served as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Strategic Partnerships for San Francisco-based So-Fi. He also previously led the Corporate Development team at Viacom, where he was responsible for leading M&A and strategic partnerships across the international media company.

View full details and meeting registration options.

Leadership in Crisis Expert to Keynote 2020 Annual Meeting

TMA is pleased to announce that Susan B. Swenson will deliver the closing keynote address at its upcoming 2020 Annual Meeting. Ms. Swenson has been the president and CEO of some of the largest and most influential telecom companies in the US. She was also the first-ever of Chairman at FirstNet (First Responder Network Authority). In her career, Ms. Swenson has been recognized as a turn-around leader during challenging times. Ms. Swenson will speak virtually via Zoom on Thurs., Oct. 29th at 11:10 AM [EST]. Full details and registration options are available at www.tma.us/annual-meeting/.

“We’ve moved from a time of seeing people at the copy machine or the break room to a time of video calls, email exchanges coupled with burnout and personal hardships,” stated Ms. Swenson. “I’ll share insights into what leaders can do to help employees navigate these challenging times and what leaders need to do for themselves to be able to run this marathon.”

“It is often said that the strongest of leaders come forth in times of crisis. Without question, the scope of challenges presented to companies of all sizes across our industry in 2020 has pushed leaders into crisis-mode. Every aspect of our businesses have been tested and our leaders called upon to examine and analyze internal and external processes, policies, and services to best prepare for the new, yet unknown, unstable marketplace in which we now operate,” stated TMA President Don Young. “Susan Swenson has built a solid and highly-respected reputation as an exceptional leader in times of crisis. We’re pleased and grateful to have her as one of our keynote speakers for our Annual Meeting this year. Leaders, as well as rising leaders, who take part in our meeting will benefit immensely from her firsthand insights into her experiences of leading a number of companies through critical periods into recovery, and ultimately, renewed stability and future success.”  

Susan G. Swenson has been the head of 13 different companies, and currently occupies the position of Non-Executive Chairman of Vislink Technologies, Inc. Ms. Swenson is also on the board of Harmonic, Inc. and Sonim Technologies, Inc.

Attend TMA’s General Membership Meeting, Oct. 21

TMA will host its General Membership Meeting on October 21st at 2:00PM [EST]. Set aside some time to hear the latest information on some of the great projects and initiatives that TMA volunteers and staff have been focused on in the past few months.
Like so many of your companies, our priorities shifted with the onset of the pandemic earlier this year, and we have initiated some projects that we hadn’t planned for prior to these challenging and unprecedented times. Our focus has transitioned to the development of resources, standards, and education that supports your company’s needs amid COVID-19.
Please mark your calendar to join TMA President Don Young, members of the Board of Directors, volunteer leaders, and TMA staff for this important meeting. 
We look forward to getting your feedback on our projects and to answering any questions you may have! 
REGISTRATION INFORMATION:
TMA General Membership Meeting
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 | 2:00PM [EST]
Please register at:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4616370347323265808
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
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Attend TMA’s Weekly Virtual Town Hall Meetings

To date, TMA has hosted two Virtual Town Hall meetings and we have an additional four scheduled. Attendance has been high and the interaction between members and key subject matter experts has been open and compelling, as we had hoped.
 
We will be hosting meetings at 11:00AM [ET] on each Monday of April [6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th). We may extend the schedule based on member needs.
 
Due to the outstanding support we’ve received for these meetings, and some concerns over the bandwidth and security of the Zoom platform, we have decided to present all future meetings on GoToWebinar.
  • If you have already registered for future meetings, you don’t need to do anything. TMA staff is transferring all current registrations to the new platform and you will receive a new confirmation with login instructions from GoToWebinar shortly.
  • If you have not registered, and would like to take part in our future Virtual Town Hall meetings, please register online.

Registration for TMA’s Annual Meeting is Open

Register now to attend our 2020 Annual Meeting. Set for October 24-28 in Marco Island, FL, this annual event is one that TMA members look forward to taking part in every year. This year, we’ll be celebrating our 70th anniversary.

REGISTER NOW

Look for additional program details as they are confirmed.

If your company is interested in sponsoring this year, please contact John McDonald (meetings@tma.us or (703) 660-4917) for a copy of our 2020 Sponsorship Prospectus.