Defending bicsi

Oct. 1, 1997
I recently read some things about bicsi (not in your magazine, though) that just do not ring true. I wanted to answer those comments as a concerned member of the bicsi organization.

George M. Fewell, rcdd

Seattle, WA

I recently read some things about bicsi (not in your magazine, though) that just do not ring true. I wanted to answer those comments as a concerned member of the bicsi organization.

What upset me the most was the comment that bicsi has worked to get its products specified as a prerequisite in state projects. What bicsi products? bicsi does not manufacture products; it offers and encourages education for our industry.

All it took was a phone call to bicsi to find out that bicsi does not encourage states or municipalities to specify anything. bicsi`s official line when called by a state or municipality is that if you do specify a registered communications distribution designer (rcdd) or a bicsi-registered installer, then do it as "rcdd or equivalent" or "bicsi-registered installer or equivalent." bicsi recognizes that there are many qualified people in our industry who have the experience to do a design or installation job. By using a phrase like "rcdd or equivalent," an owner is doing nothing more than assuring that he or she is hiring someone with the experience to do the job.

Another criticism of bicsi that does not make sense is the idea that you have to join the organization to become a registered installer. No one has to join bicsi to become a bicsi-registered installer. If you have the experience, all you must do is take a test. By offering a test as part of its installation program, bicsi is simply attempting to ensure that when someone hires an installer, he or she is getting what is being paid for.

Any competent organization can be licensed by bicsi to offer its training. This includes manufacturers that offer their own certification training. So, an individual could get training from Ortronics, Siemon, mod-tap, or a number of others and could conceivably get bicsi-registered at the same time if the company has incorporated bicsi training into its program. bicsi is not trying to get installers to become dues-paying members, but rather it is trying to get the industry educated so that the job is done uniformly.

I have only been a bicsi member for about four years, and I am certainly not a member of its inner circle. However, when I called and asked to speak to executive director Jay Warmke, he was willing to talk to me and answer my questions. I got the impression that he is approachable and will answer anyone`s questions about bicsi. It would have been simple for the author of the article critical of bicsi to call and clarify the organization`s position on things before writing assumptions.

If other installer organizations are doing the same thing as bicsi, that`s fine. All of these organizations are really working toward the same goals, mainly education. This industry is too small for us to criticize each other. We need to be working together to improve the job we do in designing and installing telecommunications infrastructure. Isn`t it about time we started working together instead of letting petty differences keep us apart?

Editor?s note: Designers who wish to become bicsi-registered rcdds must be bicsi members. bicsi-registered installers, apprentices, and technicians need not be bicsi members.

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