Where Training Meets Ambition: A Spy Alarms Testimonial

Founded in 1985, Spy Alarms is one of the largest privately owned installers of security systems in the South East with more than 75,000 customers – both domestic and commercial – throughout London, Kent and the Home Counties. Their goal: to provide competitively priced installations using quality components and the latest technology.

From studio apartments to country estates, and small offices to large industrial complexes, they install and maintain intruder and fire alarm systems for all kinds of premises. But effective delivery requires effective technical training and Spy is a rapidly growing business. In order to sustain their growth they decided to take control of their engineering resources by creating the Spy Academy to develop their own engineers from scratch.  Whilst the majority of the course is run in-house, Spy also needed to partner with a leading technical training provider. With over twenty-five years of technical training experience, Tavcom Training was the ideal choice. we sat down with Spy Alarms to discuss where training meets ambition. This is a Spy Alarms testimonial.


Tell us a bit about yourself

We are a proactive company that looks to grow through acquisition as well as the more traditional organic route. Over the last 10 years we have acquired twenty-three companies in the Southeast area and are actively seeking more companies to bring into the Spy Group.

Over time it became clear that the best way to support our growth and maintain our high standards was to grow our own engineering talent as well as recruit from outside. The heart of our approach is to ‘invest in the best’ and develop knowledgeable, proficient, and enthusiastic engineers who will be an asset to the business.


How does it work?

Our academy intake is six new trainees every 6 six months (with no/limited prior experience). We have our own in-house 12-week training programme which prepares ourtraining roomapprentices for the practical Tavcom courses. This involves pairing them with an experienced engineer for 4 days a week before they come to our dedicated training centre every Friday for a practical training day where they learn key basics from handling tools and wire cutting to practise installations and health & safety. This ensures they have some basic knowledge to work with before joining the Tavcom Training course. We have a fully developed training syllabus which gives them a comprehensive foundation knowledge. This is supplemented with three external training courses booked via Tavcom: Intruder Alarm Training, Mains Compliance and Basic Electronics.


Why is training important to you?

First and foremost we are a service business and we can only deliver good service to our customers if the engineers that do the work are trained, competent, know what they are doing and know what it means to represent the Spy Family. We feel in house training, supplemented by professional courses with Tavcom to BTEC level standards, are a key part of us building the right team, skill-set, knowledge and culture for our business.

It’s important that the people we are sending out there to work on jobs are competent and know what they’re doing, not only from a practical point of view but from a regulatory and safety perspective as well. As one learner Chris Owens said, ‘The Fire Alarm practical course has given me the confidence and experience to move more towards fire alarm installations and commissioning works.’

Learner celebration

Equally, we feel strongly that career development is important to our colleagues and is something we feel we should offer at all levels within our business.  Training is a key part of career development for engineers as they look to develop and broaden their skill set.  We are proud to be able to offer that to all our engineers and consider it to be a long-term investment that benefits the business as well.

Time and again it’s been proven that companies who invest in their employees experience significantly higher employee retention rates than those who don’t. When considering the future development plans of the business, we want the best and brightest working for us and that means investing in your engineers and making them feel valued.

How has your training experience been with Tavcom? 

We have a very close relationship with Mark Allen (our key account manager at Tavcom). Mark is very responsive to our requests and is always updating us with the latest courses. Tavcom will also arrange bespoke in-house training courses as and when required for the Spy family which works really well for us when we have a more niche training requirement.

How do we know it’s good? Our engineers always come back buzzing after completing a Tavcom training course!


To find out more about Spy Alarms, please go to their website: https://www.spyalarms.co.uk/

Learner holding a certificate



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