I-STAR Senior Specialist Training

Training for Contractors Installing Smart Home Technologies for Senior Customers

The Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation (ISEIF) sponsored development of a free online training and certification program for contractors who wish to install smart devices for older adults. It is known as the I-STAR Senior Specialist Training Program.  The I-STAR Specialist training educates and sensitizes home improvement contractors, service vendors, and equipment installers to the specific needs and preferences of senior homeowners to promote successful installation, programming and operation of smart home devices in their homes.

Contractors/installers who successfully complete the I-STAR Specialist Training course and receive the completion certificate become an I-STAR Specialist.

As the result of becoming a Certified I-STAR Specialist you will be able to:

  • Understand the common cognitive, physical, motivational/attitudinal challenges related to smart home device adoption by seniors
  • Assess specific senior homeowner needs prior to device installation
  • Ensure effective installation of Smart Technology to accommodate senior homeowner limitations and preferences
  • Read consumer cues and communicate with seniors effectively.
  • Provide effective device demonstrations and related instructional techniques
  • Troubleshoot Smart Technology and develop successful approaches to restoring senior consumer confidence in a device
  • Communicate and work effectively with a senior homeowner’s caregiver, if needed
  • Apply to be added to the I-STAR Smart Technology Database on the Smart Self Reliance website, which seniors can access for Smart Technology services

Accessing the Training

To access the training, please follow the links below that will take you to videos on the Illinois Media Space platform.  Be sure to watch all videos in the order listed:  Introduction, Module 1, Mondule 2, and lastly, Module 3.   If you need to take a break when watching a video, you can simply hit the pause button.   However, if you close the browser you will lose your place and the videos will start from the beginning.  Click on the links for the Table of Contents and Exam Registration while your videos are playing for easy access to the training resources available for this course.   Certification requires that anyone taking the exam must pass with a score of 80%.   


Module 1: Overview of the Older Population

Module 2: Communication and Engagement Strategies

Module 3:  Senior Consumer Selection of Smart Devices

Table of Contents: Times for Quick Access to Module Lessons


All of the videos are available on the Indoor Climate Research and Training Channel in the Illinois Media Space.

Accessing the Exam

To access the exam, please follow the exam link. Click “Start” to create new exam log-in details. You will need to create a user name and password and complete details about your name and contact information to proceed with the exam.

I-STAR Senior Specialist Exam

Exam Completion

Upon completion of the exam, hit the submit button.  The system will send you a certificate of completion or immediately provide feedback on which questions you missed.  You may review the training modules (with the aid of the Table of Contents) to find the correct answers to missed questions. When a score of 80% has been achieved on the exam, a certificate of completion will be sent to you.   For more information or questions about the exam, please contact ICRT at icrt-ari@illinois.edu for assistance. Once you complete the exam and pass the training, your contact information will be shared with Smart Self Reliance if you or your company applied to be added to their contractor list.