To strengthen VSAT-industry competitiveness, satellite operators and VSAT manufacturers recently called upon the Global VSAT Forum (GVF) to expand the reach of the GVF VSAT Installation & Maintenance Training Programme. Drawing upon the expertise of SatProf, Inc., GVF has now restructured the training curriculum and, for companies based in Developing Countries, the GVF-Andrew Werth Scholarship Programme provides a 50 percent registration discount forSpecifically, a new "Basic Certification" is now available for students who have learned and demonstrated core skills relating to interference mitigation that include accurate antenna pointing to minimize ASI and accurate cross pol alignment to minimize cross-pol interference and the proper connector attachment to prevent interference due to rebroadcast/retransmission. There is a growing industry consensus that it is an important goal to train every VSAT technician to at least Basic Certification status. Some satellite operators have even begun planning to ask every technician activating a terminal for their GVF student ID number. The ID number is provided upon successful completion of the GVF510 course and a Hands On Skills Test (HOST) administered by a GVF Examiner.
Meanwhile, GVF will continue to offer "Advanced Certification" for students requiring more thorough knowledge of fundamental theory and practical technique. This material will be taught in the new online courses GVF520 (Satcom Fundamentals) and GVF521 (Practical Technique for VSAT Installers). Students who complete GVF510, 520, 521, and HOST will receive the GVF Advanced Certification and unlike those with only Basic Certification, are eligible to be listed in the new and improved GVF public online Certified Installer Database.
As of 2010, the GVF Certification programme has more than 800 fully certified technicians in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas and Asia, with some 2,500 having taken one or more online courses, including the more recent online specialty courses focused on installation of Hughes, iDirect, and Schlumberger SpaceTrack terminals (a Gilat course is currently in development and will be unveiled soon).