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What Is A 5 Diamond Central Station

Alex Flitton
Jul 4, 2019 8:05:00 AM

So you’ve been doing some homework on central stations, and you’ve noticed that some of them are 5 Diamond Certified by The Monitoring Association.

That’s good! because you’ve found some of the highest performers in the industry. Central stations that take the lives and property of your customers seriously will work to become 5 Diamond certified, which requires the highest levels of performance and reliability; each are qualities your customers will appreciate.

What is a TMA 5 Diamond Central Station?

A 5 Diamond Central Station is a monitoring company that has demonstrated its ability to uphold the highest levels of service quality and technological capabilities in order to provide the greatest quality service possible.

5 Diamond central stations adhere to the “5 commitments of excellence” as prescribed by The Monitoring Association.

What is The Monitoring Association?

The Monitoring Association is an organization comprised of industry experts and thought leaders that represents professional monitoring companies around the world. It works to uphold the highest performance and reliability standards in cooperation with international law enforcement, fire officials, insurance providers, equipment manufacturers, and government and regulatory agencies.

The Monitoring Association, formerly known as the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), was first organized in 1950, and for the last several decades, has developed industry standards that are followed by central stations, each of which are approved by nationally-recognized testing laboratories such as: Underwriters Laboratories (UL), FM Approvals, and more.

What Are The Monitoring Association’s 5 Commitments Of Excellence?

Each 5 Diamond central station adheres to 5 commitments of excellence that are strictly enforced. The commitments are as follows:

Commitment to random inspections and quality criteria standards:

The first commitment that 5 Diamond central stations make is a submission to random inspections that are made by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory. Because third party inspectors have the infrastructure and existing qualifications to provide such a service, TMA relies on these organizations to conduct the inspections and advance the regulatory literature regularly. TMA only works with well-known testing laboratories that have earned consumer trust with years of proven experience. Some of the laboratories are: FM Approvals, Intertek/ETL, and Underwriters Laboratories.

Commitment to the highest customer service levels:

Second, Five Diamond central stations commit to providing the highest levels of customer service. This not only manifests in the positive interactions between an operator and a subscriber, but in the effectiveness and efficiency of the service provided.

In the event of a life-threatening emergency or property-loss scenario, it is absolutely essential to have an operator that is both competent to provide emergency response, and that can do so with speed and precision.

5 Diamond central stations are also committed to ensuring that your security systems are correctly installed, diligently monitored, and properly maintained. One way AvantGuard monitors the quality of installations and consumer-product knowledge is by measuring your alarm factor score against comparable companies in your industry.

Another way AvantGuard ensures the highest quality of customer service is by hiring highly-skilled, and even multi-lingual operators to reduce wasted time in call transfers. In fact, about 30% of AvantGuard operators can speak more than one language, offering faster support to your increasingly diverse customer base.

Commitment to ongoing job-related education and testing:

Another aspect of earning a 5 Diamond certification is regularly training and testing seasoned operators to ensure that their knowledge of, and adherence to, industry standards remains in tact.

All certified operators must go through a regulation-quality training course which is regularly updated so they are trained in the latest industry improvements. In addition, every AvantGuard employee, operator or not, goes through operator training so that they understand the business better, and can speak to the high-quality service that AvantGuard offers.

Another aspect of this particular commitment includes participation in TMA trainings, educational opportunities, meetings, conventions, and certifications. AvantGuard further participates in TMA by having its president, Justin Bailey, participate on its board of directors.

Commitment to raising industry standards:

The fourth commitment that 5 Diamond central stations adhere to, is the continual improvement of industry standards. For AvantGuard especially, yesterday’s standard is tomorrow’s challenge to improve and overcome.

The purpose of these standards is to establish, maintain, and improve the security industry’s optimal performance levels. This is also done in coordination with law enforcement, fire safety, insurance, security equipment manufacturing, and government agencies.

One way AvantGuard has worked to improve industry standards is by creating its AG Chat feature. Because security systems in particular are known for their false alarms, AG Chat seeks to reduce false dispatches by connecting with subscribers in more effective, and verified ways. The AG Chat feature automates processes, reduces response times, improves false dispatch rates, and connects with subscribers more often than regular phone calls.

Commitment to lowering the incidence of false dispatches:

The final commitment that a 5 Diamond central station makes is to develop methods of decreasing false dispatches. Costing many cities millions of dollars every year, false dispatches are the single largest problem created by the security and fire-safety industries.

False dispatches occur when an alarm is triggered at a residence or commercial space, and a dispatch visit is made when no emergency is measurable or apparent.

By offering services like integrated video security, AG Chat, and requiring verified responses, AvantGuard makes reducing false dispatches a priority. In addition, AvantGuard works with its customers to improve alarm factor scores and make its processes more effective.

Renewing The 5 Diamond Certification

As a central station meets these 5 criteria, they must regularly re-apply and qualify for the 5 Diamond designation each year. This makes the certification a rigorous and highly-regulated process, ensuring that central stations don’t temporarily adjust their operations to look good, while lowering the bar after receiving the certification.

The commitments that a 5 Diamond central station adhere to ensure that technology investments must be made, standard training practices must always be in place, and regular improvements to daily operations are made.

Why Should You Choose a Five Diamond Certification Security Provider?

Simply stated, a 5 Diamond central station has proven its dedication and ability to care for your customers’ lives and property. When it comes to managing emergencies, getting help to subscribers, and relieving the pressure from local dispatch agencies, a central station that has earned the 5 Diamond designation has earned an elite rank in its industry.

Out of more than 3700 monitoring centers in North America, only 200 of them meet the certification standards of TMA’s 5 Diamond program. In other words, only 5% of monitoring centers are able to meet the qualifications.

To learn more about what a 5 Diamond central station can do for you, reach out to one of AvantGuard’s monitoring specialists today.

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