Institute Offers Study and Test Taking for RFID Pros

By Claire Swedberg

 

  • The RFID Professional Institute has released an 80-page study guide and updated exam for those seeking RFID certification and training, remotely.
  • The institute is releasing a RFID Application Requirements document to help those planning their RFID deployment.

With a goal of educating RFID experts anywhere in the world, the RFID Professional Institute (RPI) has created an 80-page study guide for its Associate Certification exam that test a user’s fundamental knowledge of RFID. It has also released a new version of its Associate Certification Exam for basic RFID knowledge on topics such as systems components, standards and applications.

The study guide and updated exam are aimed at providing education and certification, even without a classroom. The RPI already has offered two exams: the Associate and Professional Certificate versions, while the recent changes to the Associate Certificate Exam serves as the first exam update since 2019.

Additionally, the institute has created an RFID Application Requirements Template that companies can use to write their own requirements document, in preparation for a new RFID deployment. The template will enable them to better understand the current challenges that require RFID-based solutions, their company’s existing business processes and describe the solution required. If done correctly, it is intended to serve as a guide for an RFID project.

Bringing Study and Testing to the Student

Once the exam is taken and passed, the institute issues a Blockchain-secured certification, said Mark Roberti, RFID Professional Institute president.

Roberti wrote the study guide to meet what he saw as a need for global access to current RFID knowledge. He said he is frequently contacted by companies or individuals around the world asking how they can gain certified knowledge for RFID work without traveling to other locations for classwork, or testing.

With the release of the new study guide, people will be able to access the material they need to learn the fundamentals of RFID, study for the exam and then take the test online. The guide can simply serve as an introduction to different types of RFID technology—and their applications—for those that want to learn more but don’t need to be certified.

More than a Decade of Training

The RFID institute was launched in 2011 by a group of RFID professionals including Ian Robertson, supply chain executive at Hewlett Packard; Josef Preishuber-Pflügl, CTO of CISC Semiconductors; Sanjiv Dua, RFID4U CEO; Diane Hage, RFID Global Solution CEO; and Roberti, founder and former editor of RFID Journal.

The group established a nonprofit to manage the certification and training program modeled after CompTIA’s IT certification offerings. The first RPI certification program was released in 2015; in 2018, the second level was released to serve a higher level of knowledge known as the Professional Certification Exam.

The institute’s board voted in 2022 to disband the nonprofit and transfer all assets to Roberti, as the founders no longer could devote their time to that effort. Since then, Roberti has taken charge of the institute and transferred it into a private enterprise. Training has been offered at RFID Journal LIVE!, including this year in Las Vegas, led by RFID4U.

Training a New Generation of RFID Users and Providers

In the past year or so, at a time when RFID technology use is growing and expanding to new industries, Roberti said he felt the testing and study information was ready to be updated, as well as being more available, to a wider audience.

The resulting 80-page study guide includes “basically everything that anyone would need to know about the different types of RFID,” including passive LF, HF, UHF, battery-assisted passive RFID, and active technologies, he explained.

The associate level exam is updated to provide knowledge of the most current principles of RFID systems, common terms and their meaning. The exam covers the basics around RFID terminology, including how RFID systems perform based on differences in frequencies, as well as the different standards, the components and testing tools, such as anechoic chambers.

The existing professional exam goes beyond that, to cover the test taker’s knowledge of deploying the systems, including developing the business case, choosing the right system for the problem, and preparing for installation, system design and troubleshooting.  It is intended for individuals who already have several years of experience in RFID and have already passed the Associate Certification exam.

Meeting Associate and Professional Level Training Needs

The new study guide addresses associate level exam topics. “If you download this document and read it you will have a broad understanding of the fundamentals of RFID systems, the roles of different types of companies—such as integrators and tag manufacturers—and the different applications of those systems,” Roberti said.

The study guide is available for $349 and the exam voucher is $150. For $399, users can acquire the study guide and access to the test as a bundle. Once certified, the graduate can take that knowledge and the proof of certification to their employer, or potential future employers, to demonstrate that they have a broad knowledge of RFID.

The completion of certification can be made immutable on the Blockchain through the institute’s partnership with VerifyEd. Individuals can secure a digital certification that is not alterable and can be accessed by authorized parties only.

The system allows users to scan a QR code and go to the verifyED website to confirm a legitimate certification.

Leaving Room for In-Person Training and Testing

The study guide does not take the place of classroom training, Roberti commented. “The study guide is for people who can't do the in-person training,” due to their location or travel constraints.

In the future RPI may also offer a video program as an alternative to the written study guide, Roberti added.

“The RFID industry is growing at a healthy clip with lots of deployment,” Roberti said. “So the industry needs more professionals—we need more people who know how to sell systems, we need people who can deploy systems, work for systems integrators and be able to talk intelligently to customers…End users need to have some knowledge of RFID to manage a project in a way that leads to success.”

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