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Government Endorsed Antenna Installer’s Scheme

There has been a lot of talk recently regarding the Government Endorsed Antenna Installer’s scheme.

What’s it all about?

Unlike licensed trades such as electricians or plumbers, the antenna installation industry is largely unregulated. This means that there are no mandatory training courses, capability testing requirement, licensing or 3rd party competency testing as such for anyone who wants to start walking on your roof and throwing up antennas. There are low entry barriers to this market, so anyone can buy a van and start installing them. Due to the many issues faced under the failed ceiling insulation scheme with shonky operators, the Government introduced the Antenna Installers Endorsement scheme to assist in offering the public accredited operators for installing antennas. At a minimum, these installers have to get their business details verified, references obtained, digital metering equipment assessed and recorded, insurances provided and annually updated, and on-line technical/theory competency exams undertaken. Additionally, a contract of agreement is signed with the Government.

So why should you choose a Government Endorsed installer for your antenna requirements?

Well, for me as an installer it means that at least you know I have been checked out by a 3rd party… in this case, the Government. You can take confidence in the fact that I have had to at least pass a basic technical exam and have my credentials checked out. Not all antenna installers are technical or theory experts (from my observations and experience… far from it in fact!). Your local antenna installer may have a flashy website, glowing references and big stickers on the van, however, his qualifications, background and experience may not indicate that he knows much about what goes behind putting up an antenna! I sometimes get calls from unhappy customers who have used these guys…and I end up fixing up some of these jobs. Remember with references – you only get to see the good ones! Some operators do a 1 day training course with one of the antenna manufacturing companies, or at best, 1 week ‘on the job’ training and they think this means that they are now fully qualified. (with the TAFE courses I had to do, it was about 7 years collectively..). When choosing an installer, always ask what their background is, and what qualifications they have…. and if they are fully insured. Go with someone who:

  • Is preferrably Government endorsed,
  • can explain all the theory to you in plain English, and
  • knows the antenna system equipment & components required, and
  • knows the local terrain and your requirements best.

This does not mean that they will always be the cheapest though… remember.. “the bitterness of poor workmanship and materials will always sour the sweetness of a cheap price!”
Even the ‘big’ companies that advertise antenna installations mainly employ either sub-contractors or work on a franchise arrangement. As long as you have the cash, you can buy a franchise. So beware – your local 1 man sole trader, company representative or franchisee may have been a baker or a farmer last week.

To see an up to date list of endorsed antenna installers, visit: www.digitalready.gov.au