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CompTIA to Launch Certification Exam

The Computing Technology Industry Association will officially debut the CompTIA RFID+ exam on Mar. 28.
By Andrew Price
Mar 23, 2006The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has announced it will officially launch the CompTIA RFID+ examination on Mar. 28. Until the end of December 2005, CompTIA had been offering a beta version of the exam. One of the first opportunities to take the test will be at RFID Journal LIVE!, to be held May 1-3 in Las Vegas.

CompTIA is a nonprofit organization providing certifications for technology professionals. It has worked for the past 18 months to create a certification test that addresses the needs of RFID hardware and software manufacturers, value-added resellers, training developers and end users. The certification was developed in consultation with a foundation committee composed of representatives from more than 20 organizations with leadership positions in the global RFID industry. (In the interest of full disclosure: RFID Journal was a member of that committee.)

CompTIA says there will soon be an acute need for certified implementers of RFID technology. In 2005, it released the results of a survey of more than 500 organizations in North America. The survey, commissioned by CompTIA, found that slightly more than half of the companies surveyed have either completed RFID implementations or plan to do so within the next 12 months. The most aggressive adoption of RFID is planned in the automotive industry, where 59 percent of companies surveyed said they would deploy the technology within that timeframe. This was followed by both the consumer goods industry and the transportation-and-logistics sectors, at 58 percent each.

According to CompTIA, these companies will soon face a shortage of people with the skills necessary to deploy RFID systems. Three-quarters of the technology firms participating in a separate CompTIA survey said they do not believe there is a sufficient "pool of talent" in RFID technology from which to hire. Among those that believe there is a talent shortage, 80 percent said the lack of individuals skilled in RFID will impact adoption of the technology.

CompTIA RFID+ certification is intended to help address the skills shortage. The foundation committee identified the broad areas the test should cover. Subject matter experts from companies on the committee then identified specific skills implementers would need, and CompTIA experts created questions to indicate whether someone taking the test had the relevant skills. Beta exams were offered, and the test was revised to ensure the accuracy and fairness of the results.

Among the skills the certification exam will test are installation, configuration and maintenance of RFID hardware and device software; site surveys and site analysis; and tag selection, placement and testing. The certification is intended for technology professionals with a minimum of six to 24 months of experience in RFID or related data-collection technologies.

RFID Journal has partnered with RFID4U, a training company focused on providing courses aimed at preparing individuals for the certification test. At RFID Journal LIVE! in Las Vegas, RFID4U will provide a full day of fast-track training on May 1. Attendees taking the course can sit for the certification exam on either May 2 or May 3. Those who pass will leave the conference fully certified. For more information, visit RFID Journal LIVE!
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