Enterprise Products Integration Pte Ltd. (EPI) recently released two new courses—Certified TIA-942 Design Consultant (CTDC) and Certified TIA-942 Internal Auditor (CTIA). “These courses are the first certified training in the world on the ANSI/TIA-942 Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers,” EPI said when announcing the courses in early January. “Before this, there was no benchmark to verify the capability of TIA-942 designers and auditors for the data center. Customers have been left to their own assessment to determine the capability of the designers and auditors. Now, the data center industry can use the CTDC and CTIA as references to validate the designers and auditors they work with and/or the data center professionals they employ.”
The two courses are part of the third track of EPI’s Data Center Training Framework. That third track, titled “Standard Compliance,” joins existing tracks “Design/Build” and “Operations/Governance.” A third course and certification—Certified TIA-942 External Auditor (CTEA)—is under development and will complete the Standard Compliance track. EPI plans to finalize and release CTEA at the end of 2014. All of EPI’s courses are accredited by Examination International (EXIN), “to ensure impartiality in the awards of the certificates, and this includes the CTDC and CTIA certifications,” EPI said.
CTDC and CTIA are being rolled out progressively over 80 locations worldwide, EPI said, via EPI offices as well as partner training centers. EPI describes the CTDC as a three-day course in which “the participant will learn how to design an ANSI/TIA-942-compliant data center. It will provide a clear understanding of the requirements … and possible implementation variations. This course is well-suited for all types of data centers, be it enterprise data centers or multi-tenant, third-party data centers such as colocation, managed services and cloud service providers.” A 90-minute closed-book exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions. Candidates must get at least 50 answers correct to pass.
It describes the CTIA as “a two-day intensive course” that “buildings further on the technical understanding of the standard acquired in the CTDC. It enables participants to develop skills and knowledge to conduct an internal audit program by applying widely recognized audit principles, procedures and techniques which are aligned with the ISO-19011 auditing guideline.” Candidates must correctly answer at least 32 of the 40 multiple-choice questions on the 60-minute closed-book exam in order to obtain the CTIA certificate.
The two courses were introduced nine months after EPI and TIA entered into a licensing agreement for EPI to build and conduct courses based on ANSI/TIA-942. Edward van Leent, chairman and chief executive officer of EPI, commented on the nine-month development process: “Our team of data center experts and consultants have been working intensively to design and write the contents for these courses. We wanted to release the courses earlier, but at EPI we have always been committed to delivering high-quality programs that provide high value to our clients. So we decided to extend our development schedule to ensure that we meet that commitment, and to ensure that these courses meet the quality of the accreditation and certification rules of EXIN.”
van Leent continued, “EPI has been conducting audits based on the ANSI/TIA-942 standard ever since it was released and has conducted by far the largest number of ANSI/TIA-942-related data center audits in the world. EPI is also a member of TIA as well as the committee developing the ANSI/TIA-942 standard, and is therefore uniquely positioned to develop these courses based on the standard and our audit experience. Many consultants, designers, auditors, end-users, data center operators/owners, et cetera, don’t always fully understand the requirements of the standard or give it their own interpretation of what they think the requirements are. This has led to issues on quality-of-implementation and over- or under-investments in data centers. This usually means money being wasted and, more than that, it puts companies at risk because of design/implementation issues giving availability expectations which are not aligned with the business requirements. Many data center customers have indicated that they would like to have training on ANSI/TIA-942 to get a better understanding of the standard to ensure proper usage. These courses will help to raise the quality of ANSI/TIA-942-based implementations in the industry.”