BICSI CABLING WORKSHOP DEBUTS AT EXPO

The first bicsi Cabling Workshop was held at Cabling Installation Expo `96 in Charlotte, NC, in October. Cosponsored by bicsi (Tampa, FL) and Cabling Installation & Maintenance (PennWell Publishing, Nashua, NH), the Expo started with general session speakers and a technical seminar on Category 5.

--Barbara E. Thompson

The first bicsi Cabling Workshop was held at Cabling Installation Expo `96 in Charlotte, NC, in October. Cosponsored by bicsi (Tampa, FL) and Cabling Installation & Maintenance (PennWell Publishing, Nashua, NH), the Expo started with general session speakers and a technical seminar on Category 5.

The workshop featured three days of training at different levels of expertise. Cabling-industry professionals presented sessions on topics such as codes and rules, standards, tool handling, safety, fire-stopping, record-keeping, testing, inside and campus design, Category 5 and fiber optics, print reading, and installer tips.

"The breakout sessions were all well received," says Joe Jones, bicsi`s education manager. "More than 200 people attended the advanced fiber optics seminar, and the average attendance at the sessions was about 65 people."

In addition to the workshop, bicsi introduced its Installation Training and Registration Program, which trains and tests installers in cable installation practices at three levels. The training prepares candidates for the apprentice, installer, or technician registration exams. Enrollment is limited to 16 students per class, and all the classes at Charlotte were sold out.

At the end of the sessions, students were asked to evaluate the classes. "We have completed analyses on the student evaluations," says Jones, "and on a scale of 1 to 5, we averaged 4.57. This is exceptional for a pilot program."

The first examinations at the three technical levels were scheduled for December and January. Jones adds that "some people may want to take only the exam, and not the training; however, they will not be able to sit for the exam until the bicsi Installation & Practices Manual has been on the market for 30 days." The cost of the manual has not yet been determined.

Bicsi also held an open house at Expo where attendees walked through the Installation Program classrooms. According to Jones, the open house generated interest in bicsi`s general and proprietary installation training licenses for organizations that want to offer bicsi`s training at the three levels. Two licenses are offered. The proprietary license is for organizations that want to train only their own employees; this license fee is $1500 for a single site or $5000 for multiple sites. The fee for the general license, which is for unrestricted training, is $5000 for a single site and $10,000 for multiple sites. "We have had many applications for licenses already," says Jones.

Additional costs include tuition at $5000 per trainer for two weeks of training, and student workbooks at $50 each.

Bicsi is also developing on-the-job training (OJT) booklets, which are given to installers after they pass the examinations. For more information on bicsi`s Installation Training and Registration Program, or licensing, call (800) 242-7405 or fax (813) 971-4311.

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