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POV: Benefits of ANSI-ISO Accreditation

Dec 1, 2006 12:00 PM, By Spencer Bullins, CTS

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In October, InfoComm International announced its application for American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation for Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) certifications under ISO 17024. ANSI, a private, non-profit organization, accredits other organizations, serving as a third-party product, system, and personnel certifier. ANSI-ISO 17024 plays a noted role in facilitating global standardization of certifications, providing international mobility, enhancing public safety, and protecting consumers.

Accreditation by ANSI-ISO will signify that InfoComm's procedures meet ANSI's essential requirements for openness, balance, consensus, and due process in accordance with the ISO 17024 standard.

As the chair of InfoComm's new certification committee, I would like to share some insight into this bold step forward in the development of the AV communications industry. As our industry expands in size and sophistication of its products and systems, this move to a world standard for the CTS program is another example of the evolution of the type of quality services that InfoComm offers to the AV industry.

ANSI accreditation will promote the unique qualifications and expertise that InfoComm certifications provide by ensuring integrity, enhancing consumer and public confidence in Infocomm certifications and the people who hold them, and facilitating recognition of the CTS program across industries and geographical borders. As the only certification program in the industry to be ANSI accredited, it will give the CTS holder and their company an edge up on competitors inside and outside the industry that do not train and certify their personnel to these high national and international standards.

The backing of ANSI-ISO can also open doors to CTS holders. For instance, the U.S. Department of Defense now requires contractors that perform certain information assurance functions to be certified by credentialing bodies that have been independently accredited by a third party, such as ANSI.

We believe that ANSI-ISO accreditation offers significant opportunities for the 5,800 current Certified Technology Specialists in the United States and around the world. InfoComm aims to work with world-class organizations when developing programs, and ANSI is a highly regarded global entity for business standards. This effort puts InfoComm in the company of organizations such as Cisco, Microsoft, CompTIA, and Project Management Institute. ANSI accreditation further reinforces InfoComm's commitment to providing a quality certification program for the professional audiovisual industry.

InfoComm will be making some administrative and programmatic changes in the upcoming months to ensure compliance with ANSI standards. All CTS holders have been sent a letter informing them of changes to the CTS program and assuring them that current CTS holders will maintain their certification status under the new ANSI program. In the next few months, InfoComm will be holding meetings to help ensure that the CTS exam measures the areas of most importance to the industry and that the evaluation process is in compliance with ANSI specifications.

As a past president of InfoComm International, I feel that this is one of the most exciting developments that the association and industry have been involved with in quite some time. I hope that the ANSI-ISO stamp of approval will give professionals even more reason to invest in the training that the industry needs and our customers demand.

Spencer Bullins, CTS, of AMX is chair of InfoComm International's Certification Committee and a past president of InfoComm.

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