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International RFID Institute Prepares Certification Program

The nonprofit group intends to develop tests focused on the fundamental information necessary for all RFID professionals, while also supporting education and research for members of the industry.
By Claire Swedberg
Mar 21, 2013

A group of RFID industry members have formed a nonprofit organization with the goals of providing certification and education, as well as supporting applied research to further professional achievement and increase public understanding regarding radio frequency identification technology development and deployments. The International RFID Institute, founded in Fairfax, Va., in August 2012, plans to develop RFID certification credentials and examinations that address the fundamental information that all RFID professionals (both end users and solution providers) should master. The institute also plans to encourage and support the development of a curriculum aimed at individuals seeking to obtain certification.

The 10 founding members include Sylvanus Bent, the CEO of Bent Systems, who serves as the institute's chairman and president, and Mark Roberti, RFID Journal's founder and editor, who is the institute's vice-chairman. The organization is now seeking individuals and companies to join the group, either as members or as subject-matter experts (SMEs), to help drive the creation of certification content. SMEs will not receive any compensation for their participation, but will be entitled to a discounted fee for annual membership. Suitable candidates for SME status will typically be individuals who have achieved recognition within the industry for their professional expertise or academic excellence in the field of RFID. Such individuals are invited to submit an application online to participate. SME qualification guidelines are also available on the organization's Web site.

Sylvanus Bent

In the future, Bent says, the group also hopes to support education programs and research via partnerships, grants or direct participation as needed, in order to improve the understanding of RFID technology and "advance the state of the art in RFID." The group is dedicated to being technology- and vendor-neutral in its efforts.

According to Bent, the International RFID Institute was conceived by one of the organization's other founders, Sanjiv Dua, the CEO of RFID4U, together with Roberti, to fill a gap in RFID certification that resulted from the retirement of an RFID+ certification program previously offered by IT trade association Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) in 2011 (see Why the RFID Industry Needs a Certification Program). The first unofficial meeting to gauge interest in such an organization was held at RFID Journal LIVE! 2012. Most of the founders attended that meeting, and throughout last summer, the group began developing a strategy for certification, and for establishing an organization. "The group soon realized that certification was part of a larger mission of supporting RFID technology education, practice and science more generally," he says.

Bent attended the first meeting and contributed to developing a blueprint for the foundation's certification and vision. He also helped to write the bylaws, registered and set up the formal RFID Institute nonprofit corporation, and was elected by the other founders as the inaugural chairman and president.

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