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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About CECs (but were afraid to ask)

Don't wait until your BICSI designation is about to lapse. Find out how to gain the necessary continuing education credits (CECs) before it is too late.


December 1, 2001  


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I receive a lot of calls and e-mails from people inquiring about CECs (Continuing Education Credits), the credits that are required in order to renew BICSI’s professional designations. Unfortunately, many people don’t take the time to fully understand the BICSI requirements until just before their designation is about to expire.

In this column, I will try to give you a head start, by answering some frequently asked questions about CECs — and how to get them.

WHAT ARE CECS?

BICSI’s professional designations — RCDD, RCDD/LAN Specialist, RCDD/OSP Specialist, Installer – Level 2 and Technician — require CECs for renewal. These CECs are the number of hours of creditable professional development education or training for BICSI members. One hour is assigned for each productive classroom hour of formal training that pertains to the design or installation of structured telecommunications cabling systems.

These credits are used to: document professional development activities during the registration period; add value, validity, and credibility to the registration designation; and prove that individuals are staying abreast of developments in a rapidly changing industry.

CONFERENCES AND REGIONAL MEETINGS

Attending a BICSI conference is one way to acquire CECs. Conferences are held three times per year in the U.S., and regional conferences are held annually around the globe. In addition, a Canadian conference will be held next September in Quebec City.

To give you some idea of the CECs available for the various designations, I have listed some of this years’ events and their corresponding CECs below:

BICSI RCDD LAN Installer/
Conference Specialist Technician
Australia 2001 9 5 2
Brazil 2001 11 10 2
Las Vegas 2001 15 5 3
Europe 2001 15 6 2
Orlando 2001 15 3 2

Depending on content, regional meetings may also offer a CEC or two. CEC qualification depends on whether or not there is a pre-approved educational speaker at the event. For example, all Region 5 meetings in 2001 featured a presentation on Division 17 that qualified for one CEC.

WHICH COURSES ARE APPLICABLE?

Courses are another good way to gain CECs. In order to facilitate renewals, BICSI assigns CECs for technical courses that contain subject matter judged appropriate for the various programs.

These courses are not “certified” by BICSI and the association does not make any judgment as to the quality of the programs offered. Students must determine for themselves whether or not a particular course meets their needs.

BICSI assigns CECs when an organization requests hours to be assigned to their courses. The organization must send a comprehensive course outline with the classroom time required to cover each course topic, and a blank certificate of completion. The course is reviewed, hours of training noted, and a BICSI authorization is sent to the organization that owns the course.

A list of courses that are pre-approved by BICSI is available on the association’s Web site at www.bicsi.org.

HOW MANY CREDITS DO I NEED?

To renew an RCDD designation you need 45 CECs, which includes attendance in at least one BICSI Conference, BICSI District Conference or BICSI Cabling Workshop during the three-year registration period.

To renew your RCDD/LAN Specialist, you need 30 credit hours of specific LAN design training or attendance at the BICSI LAN Technology Update course (DA300) during the two-year LAN Specialist registration period.

To renew your BICSI Installer or Technician designation, you need 12 credit hours of installation courses or attendance at the BICSI Cabling Workshop within the two-year registration period.

Of course, an excellent place to learn more about CECs is on BICSI’s Web site at www.bicsi.org/cecsearch/cecsearch.html. Have a look soon — before the clock runs out.CS

Greg Porter, RCDD is Region 5 Director of BICSI and Business Development Manager for Tyco Electronics Canada Ltd., Markham, ON.


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