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CEDIA and NSCA clash with InfoComm over certification

In a recent online article, Lemke wrote: “It is time to publicly discuss CEDIA and NSCA’s legislative attempts to mandate the Electronic Systems Technician (EST) programme as the basis for licensure to work in various states. We are taking this somewhat unusual step because the EST has not been accepted by the industry and we need to inform our members and the industry about what our association is doing to protect the CTS and our members’ investment in it.

“InfoComm has over 5,600 holders of our Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) designation with about 400 being at the advanced level for Design and Installation where they take extensive examinations with industry experts doing the testing. Just recently we also announced that we are seeking ANSI-ISO certification of the CTS to guarantee our members that we are running our certification programme along world-class guidelines.

“This communication is necessary today because CEDIA and NSCA continue to lobby states to mandate the Electronics Systems Technician certification even though there are less than 150 holders of the C-EST.”

Both CEDIA and NSCA have denied accusations that they were trying to mandate their certification programmes in certain US states, saying that they were merely defending themselves against other potentially harmful legislation.

According to Jeremy Glowacki from Residential Systems magazine in New York, CEDIA’s executive director Don Gilpin and Board president Ken Smith responded to this criticism in their own written statement, saying: “The US Department of Labour has recognised Electronic Systems Technicians as a separate and distinct profession as part of the 21st Century Workforce Initiative. The designation has its own separate occupational title and code. The federal designation has value to CEDIA’s legislative efforts as we continue to fight restrictive legislative proposals at the state level that do not recognise our profession and its unique training requirements.”

Chuck Wilson, executive director for NSCA, added his own rebuttal in a separate written statement. “It has been said NSCA is engaged in an effort to ‘lobby states to mandate the Electronics Systems Technician (EST) certification.’ This is inaccurate. NSCA supports the federally recognised occupation of Electronic Systems Technician and believe[s] this occupation is central to our growth plan for the industry, just as the electrician is central to the electrical industry. NSCA will continue to support this occupation as will other prominent not-for-profit trade associations across the industry.”