What is SBCA Certification?

SBCA stands for Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association. The SBCA created a National Standards and Testing Programming (NSTP) in 2001. Most installation fulfillment networks are requiring install technicians to be SBCA certified.
The program consist of a one day class followed by a two test. At the start of the program there was a Level 1 - Single Receiver and Level 2 - Multi-Receiver test. Today Level 1 and Level 2 are combined into a single test. By passing the first test a technician is considered to be understand the basic concepts of performing a satellite dish receiver installation. There is no hands-on test. NSTP Certification only means you passed a test that showed you have at least a basic grasp of DirecTV and Dish Network single and multi-receiver installation.

The SBCA also has a Level 3 Certification for Commercial installations.

While having a SBCA certification does mean you are more likely then not to know what you are doing, it does not mean by default that you are a good technician. Most DBS installers agree that certification is good, but that the SBCA certification is to easy. By the middle of 2002, most technicians were certified.

DirecTV and Dish Network both require independent dealers and sub-contractors to have SBCA Certification, but do not have the same requirement of their in house technicians. Both Dish Network and DirecTV are said to have in-house training programs that substitute for SBCA Certification. There is significant debate with-in the industry whether or not significant "in-house" training is really taking place. In-house training only focuses on the products of that company. DirecTV does not train installers regarding DISH technology, and Dish network does not train for DirecTV systems.

The NSTP test installers in all technologies.

This lack of universal requirement has lead many technicians to consider SBCA certification has an empty credential. Some technicians have not been required to take the certification course and therefore have not. This does not mean that they are not experience install or service technicians.

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