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BICSI Winter 09 Conference delivers a fresh start to the new year


February 21, 2009
By Anthony Capkun

mt_ignoreComprising two full weeks of courses, credentialing exams, educational presentations, exhibits and networking opportunities, the 2009 BICSI Winter Conference in Florida last month hosted over 4800 attendees, more than 1600 of which were registered “information transport systems” (ITS) professionals.

BICSI
is an industry association that supports what it calls the ITS
industry, which covers the spectrum of voice, data and video
technologies. It bestows credentials like RCDD (Registered
Communications Distribution Designer), OSP (Outside Plant Specialist),
etc.




Besides
checking out the trade show and seminars—which covered topics as
diverse as labelling standards and dynamic power architecture for data
centres—the prevailing thought on everyone’s mind was the status of
BICSI’s NxtGEN project.




BICSI revamps its modus operandi with NxtGEN

For a
couple of years now, BICSI has been focused on realigning its
credentialing process, which aims to both elevate the status of the
RCDD while making it easier for others to pursue specialty
designations, such as OSP. Essentially, “… what could be done to
elevate the RCDD and to be more inclusive of emerging technologies and
stakeholders”?




Whether
you already hold a BICSI design credential or installation
certification—or are in the process of attaining one—the NxtGEN Program
promises to elevate its status while creating more awareness and demand
for professionals like you.




The
first milestone in the NxtGEN Program was the release of the ITS Design
Fundamentals curriculum, examination and certificate. The program
allows students to take electronic exams based on self-study in
preparation for the proctored NxtGEN Specialist/RCDD exams.




Being
released this May, the NxtGEN Specialist credential uncouples the
Specialty program (i.e. OSP) from the RCDD prerequisite and will create
access to individuals who need the knowledge and credibility of the
specialty, but neither have the time nor an immediate requirement for
the RCDD.




Under
the NxtGEN Specialist program, candidates will be able to sit for the
NTS, OSP and WD credentials after having passed the ITS Design
Fundamentals examination and providing proof of two years of approved
and verifiable design experience.




In
September, the Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual (TDMM),
12th edition, will be released—the first manual to be released under
the NxtGEN program. It will serve as the basis for the NxtGEN RCDD
exam, the first of which occurs January 2010.




Another
advancement is the creation of a credential for those working in
disciplines where design expertise is not required, but the credibility
and knowledge of the RCDD is still important. The NxtGEN committee is
studying the structure and criteria that would be required to deploy an
RCDD-like credential next year that would be founded on education and
industry experience, as opposed to actual design. (BICSI’s NxtGEN
committee has narrowed down the list of possible names for this new
credential to about five. Members will soon vote for the winning name.)
NxtGEN will also encourage the creation of stand-alone credentials for
emerging markets, like the recently approved Electronic Safety and
Security (ESS) Specialist examination.




“We have
a fresh start going into 2009,” said Edward Donelan, association
president and keynote speaker. “The results coming out of this
conference support the fact that the ITS industry is strong and will
continue to flourish.”




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