RFID certification to kick off next month

Industry body CompTIA hopes the program can help address the global shortage of skills needed to manage RFID projects.

A global industry consortium has developed a new certification program to assess the basic skills of technical RFID (radio frequency identification) personnel.

The certification will help address the shortage of skilled RFID professionals around the world, said Michael Mudd, Asia-Pacific director of public policy for the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). The industry group currently partners over 20 companies involved in the RFID market.

Citing findings from a survey conducted in North America and Europe during the second half of 2005, Mudd told ZDNet Asia that 80 percent of over 500 businesses felt there were insufficient skillsets in the market needed to manage RFID deployments.

He added that 67 percent of respondents said training and educating their employees in RFID technology is one of the biggest challenges they currently face.

Mudd noted that while training is necessary, there should also be "validation of what has been leant". And that is what CompTIA's certification initiative, first unveiled in July last year, hopes to address.

Care was taken to ensure that the program was designed as vendor-neutral, noted Mudd. It covers areas such as testing and troubleshooting, standards and regulations, radio frequency physics and installation.

According to Mudd, CompTIA has tied up with two testing centers--Pearson Vue and Thompson Prometric--to measure a person's competency in RFID project management.

Candidates need to register and sit for an examination, which starts from Mar. 28, and answer 75 to 100 questions in a multiple-choice format. Questions will be drawn randomly from a database of about 600 questions.

To ensure its program stays relevant, as new RFID technology emerges, CompTIA will review its examination questions on an annual basis. Practitioners who have obtained the RFID certification "are encouraged" to retake the examination, he noted.

The association, Mudd added, will work with relevant bodies to make the certification available to various markets. In Singapore, for example, it has tied up with NTUC Learning Hub to offer rebates for the examination fees.

Interested candidates can visit the CompTIA Web site for more information, or to submit a registration form.