Chair answers some tough questions at Fall Conference in Las Vegas.
November 1, 2008
BICSI has announced the BICSI NxtGEN timeline beginning with the unveiling of the ITS Design Fundamentals Program in January at the 2009 BICSI Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla. Key dates are as follows:
January 2009 – The ITS Design Fundamentals Program will be unveiled. This program will allow the student to take convenient electronic exams based upon self-study in preparation for the proctored specialty exam.
May 2009 – The Specialty Exams (Wireless, Outside Plant, and Network Transport Systems) will be offered to individuals without the Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) as a prerequisite credential.
September 2009 – The Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual, 12th edition, will be released.
January 2010 – The first RCDD exam based on the new NxtGEN prerequisite qualifications will be administered.
“This is the beginning of a new era for BICSI and our credential holders as we look to be more inclusive of ITS and related industry professionals,” said BICSI president Ed Donelan. The program fulfills two of the four main goals of the strategic plan. The credential goal calls for BICSI’s credentials to be regarded as the most coveted and premiere designations in the ITS industry. The knowledge transfer goal means BICSI will be a globally valued resource of information, insight and learning opportunities essential to achieving BICSI and other industry designations.”
At the organization’s Fall Conference in late September, Jerry Bowman, U. S. north-central region director and chair of the NxtGEN committee, provided members with a further update on what prompted the major overhaul to the designation.
“We are not the same BICSI we were 15 years ago,” he said. “The industry is different. I wish I could tell you how many members I’ve talked to who have said, ’15 years ago, I was doing strictly voice and data.
“Today, I’m doing security, extensive data centre design. To address those changes in the marketplace, with things like industrial security and building automation systems, we have to change the way we handle the curriculum and credentials.
“We do not want to see the designation damaged, but we do need to change it in some regard to make it more relevant.”
NxtGEN guidelines include the following:
• Existing credential holders will be grandfathered.
• Candidates currently in the process of obtaining a credential will be given sufficient time to complete the process under the existing program.
• Individuals in the “waiting period” can retake the exam under the existing program or re-apply under the NxtGEN program.
• Exceptions will not be made after the conversion begins.
The organization’s membership currently includes 7,333 RCDDs and 7,800 installers and technicians. According to Bowman, without NxTGEN, those numbers would plunge dramatically within 10 years.
‘This is not an effort to create money, but it is an effort to remain viable.” -Jerry Bowman.
During his presentation, he also answered a series of questions on the topic that had previously been posted online by the membership including one RCDD who asked is BICSI simply money hungry and is NxtGEN simply a way for it to make more money? “This is not an effort to create money, but it is an effort to remain viable,” Bowman replied
Another member wanted to know how many sales people did Bowman know with “zero hands on or design experience, but somehow their application made it through. I call them paper RCDDs. I wonder if any exam apps ever get turned down?”
Bowman, replied: “Do we completely eliminate those folks from our family? The answer is no. Probably 30-40% of you out there now would fall into this sales or management or education category.”
Another complained that as a technician he has always felt like a second class citizen and wondered why BICSI does not take better care of him and others? “Questions like these are hard to answer sometimes,” said Bowman. “Sometimes you don’t know why things happen. To that end though, we have created a technician outreach program. The entire purpose of one subcommittee is to look at what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong for technicians and installers and tell us what to do to fix it.”