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Specialized training is essential for Physical Access Control System (PACS) technical leads and team members. This page describes roles, responsibilities, and training opportunities.

Technical Roles and Responsibilities

PACS project teams consist of both agency employees and contractors. Teams include an IT Architect, Engineers, Technicians, Operators, System Administrators, Physical Security Specialists, Facility Managers, a variety of technical services team members, etc. The table below describes the most common PACS technical roles:

Technical Role Responsibilities
IT Architect Defines the project’s technical activities according to the project scope and requirements; conducts further analysis and design, as required; and directs the implementation of a PACS solution.
Engineer Makes configuration recommendations and advises the IT Architect about enterprise-wide network improvements, PACS hardware and software optimization, testing, deployment, and maintenance.
Technician Installs, administers, and maintains network and system components.
Operator Uses physical security functions, such as setting access privileges or taking actions to resolve system-generated events and alarms.

IT Architects, Engineers, and Operators may be federal employees and/or contractors. Technicians are typically contractors.

Teams also include a PACS Project Manager, Procurements Official or Specialist, project management specialists, budget analysts, lawyer(s), etc.

Role Recommended Training
IT Architects Must be knowledgeable about the GSA PACS APL and the manufacturers’ solutions for PACS. Should be knowledgeable about federal government and agency-specific policies, standards, and guidance documents to make design recommendations related to a PACS implementation. In order to implement a PACS solution, Architects must possess a current Certified System Engineer ICAM PACS (CSEIP) certification. There are no other similar, federally recognized certifications as of May 24, 2022.
Engineers May hold a CSEIP certification. There are no other similar, federally recognized certifications as of May 24, 2022. Engineers may optionally complete PACS product manufacturers’ training (for example, PACS APL products) related to the PACS implementation. Should be knowledgeable about federal government and agency-specific policies, standards, and guidance documents related to enterprise networks and an PACS implementation.
Technicians Should complete PACS product manufacturers’ training (i.e., PACS APL products) related to the PACS solution implementation.
Operators Should complete tailored training in federal government policies and standards related to PACS. Completing PACS product manufacturers’ (i.e., PACS APL products) certification related to the PACS implementation is recommended.

Agencies must specify their requirements for specific roles, responsibilities, and training in their Request for Information (RFI) (that is, request for contractor qualifications statements) and Statement of Work (SOW).

Training Opportunities

Agencies that plan to initiate a PACS project should include line items for related employee training in their annual training plans and annual training budgets.

Department of Homeland Security - Interagency Security Committee

The Interagency Security Committee developed a series of free, self-paced, online training courses that provide an overview of facility security standards, processes, and practices.

Equipment Manufacturers

GSA PACS APL PACS manufacturers whose products are listed on the GSA PACS APL offer product-specific courses for Operators and Technicians directly or through authorized service providers. Operators and Technicians may obtain certifications for completing some series of courses.

Note: Manufacturer training may not address unique operational requirements or site-specific configurations, so authorized service providers should conduct this training: GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS).

Authorized Service Providers

Authorized service providers offer manufacturer training for installing, configuring, and maintaining PACSs: GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS). This training can be tailored to your agency, facility, implementation features, operational policies, and procedures. This training should be planned during the Procurements phase.

Industry Certifications

Industry certifications are vendor-neutral and standards-based. GSA requires that all work performed on approved PACS for GSA-managed facilities must be designed and installed by a Certified System Engineer for ICAM PACS (CSEIP). The CSEIP Program trains those who implement solutions related to OMB M-05-24 and OMB M-19-17.

Additional certification opportunities are offered by commercial vendors.

GSA PACS Reverse Industry Day Conference (2018)

In 2018, GSA hosted a PACS Reverse Industry Day conference that featured government and industry experts on a range of PACS topics. Event videos are available via the GSA YouTube channel:

The next section, Lessons Learned, shares lessons learned from various federal agenices on planning, procurements, operations, and training.

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