BICSI Lapsed Credential Amnesty
28 August 2019
Originally written for Inside Networks: September 2019 Issue

BICSI views learning as a life-long endeavour and places much emphasis upon continuing education as part of maintaining credentials and certifications. This accords with most professional bodies in other industries. Typically, ICT professionals who study and sit their BICSI exams are usually dedicated and driven individuals in their careers as these credentials are a life-long endeavour are a big commitment, not to be taken on lightly. As such we have seen those that have achieved BICSI accreditation go on to major career achievements and many have reached senior positions in their companies. Such is the power of knowledge, especially when it has global recognition and is centred at the birthplace of the lead country in the development of ICT Networks, the United States of America.

There is no other accreditation in our industry that is revered in quite the same way as one from BICSI whether as a Technician, Designer, Project or Operations Manager. It’s not just about the excellence of the training or the kudos that certification brings, though that is undeniably part of it. It is the belonging to a global ICT community that provides career-long support from a not-for-profit organisation with a pedigree spanning more than 25 years. Many organisations have tried to emulate the success of BICSI and meet a gap in the market for ‘safety net’ accreditations but these are private businesses. They cannot resource the standards development work, the conferences, publications and CEC programme in the depth that BICSI do with its global partner network. Another critically important point that differentiates BICSI is that the course material is independently reviewed and verified. In the case of exams, they are independently adjudicated. Most other non-BICSI training and certification in our industry is self-regulated which is quite different.

Why is this important?
It provides employers with the confidence that the person they employ to design, project-manage or install their critical infrastructure will have the requisite skill set to carry out their duties. This is assured not only on day one but will be guaranteed ongoing as maintaining the qualification will require continuing education and ensures the credential holder stays abreast of changes in standards and practices.

For those who have gained a BICSI certification and achieved in their industry, demands on their time can increase substantially. These professionals are in high demand. Consequently, it can be challenging to maintain the requirements of continuing education. As we know our industry is constantly evolving and it is essential to top up knowledge. There are many opportunities to do this that are recognised by BICSI as detailed in their CEC Programme Policy. One of the most popular ways to keep topping up CEC’s is to attend online webcasts. These are available on a regular basis for example from Cabling Installation & Maintenance and can be viewed on-demand. Re-certification is more than just renewing a credential. It encourages credential holders to keep pace with new ideas and practices that can help them succeed. BICSI has many approved programs such as the BICSI RCDD, DD102 course which is the most sought after design credential to hold in the Network Cabling Industry.

Unfortunately becoming a victim of your own success can mean that the time available for continuing education gets squeezed.  Working on a long term, time-bound project or a life event such as starting a family, can all mean that the time available to gain the necessary CEC’s is compressed and it becomes a mountain to climb. Many high achieving professionals find themselves in this position at some time in their career. BICSI have recognised this and have introduced an amnesty as part of their 2020 credentialing programme for those whose credentials lapse.

Why Re-certify?
Boost your competencies and stay on top of emerging ICT industry trends and technologies
Propel your professional achievements by positioning yourself as a leader among your peers
Advance your career with newfound knowledge and emerging job opportunities

How does the amnesty work?
It is a one-time programme that is applicable if a BICSI credential is lapsed for up to two terms past the original expiration date e.g. 6 years. If certification lapsed less than 6 years ago then the amnesty is valid and a re-sit of the relevant exam is not essential to re-certify. Individuals who fall into this category will still need to attend the relevant training as indicated in the Credentialing Reinstatement Flyer 2019.  As well as completing the training, the BICSI member must also support their application with evidence that during the lapsed period they have been doing work of the nature that is associated with the credential.  At the end of training, the exam does not need to be taken so long as the other criteria above are met.

“Keeping up with the CECs needed to renew a credential can be a difficult endeavour. BISCI’s amnesty reinstatement opportunity can help by allowing lapsed credential holders to regain their credential by either retesting or providing documentation, attending one class and paying the reinstatement fee without testing,” 

Betsy Conroy, Chair of BICSI’s Education Advancement Committee

Networks Centre is BICSI’s sole European Authorized Distribution Training Partner (ADTP) and Authorized Training Facility (ATF). Based in the South East of England, they have a large modern dedicated facility to cater for both classroom and practical elements of training. Details of the current BICSI training programmes can be found on the Networks Centre Training Academy website which is continuously updated.

As you would expect there are strong links between reputable manufacturers of structured cabling, BICSI and international standards bodies. As an ANSI accredited, consensus-based standards development organization, The BICSI International Standards Programme creates standards and guidelines for use in the design, installation and integration of information and communications technology (ICT). ANSI (American National Standards Institute) is very closely associated with ISO and many standards are common to both bodies. This close association with code and standards writing bodies around the world further assists the ICT community in delivering safe, efficient and effective products, systems and services.  

BICSI believes that continuous knowledge and competency enhancement advances not only an ICT professionals’ career but also their organisation, and the ICT industry as a whole. Whether you are just starting out in the industry or are lapsed and need to re-connect with the global ICT community of professionals, there is no better time to take the next step to stand out from the crowd.

You can find more information about the BICSI Amnesty Program by emailing a member of the Training Department today.