CEDIA, CEA, NCSA Ally on Certification
A week after InfoComm criticized CEDIA over its legislative efforts regarding its Electronic Systems Technician (EST) certification, CEDIA has founded a significant alliance to further bolster its program.
Last week, the Electronic Systems Professional Alliance (ESPA) was formed by CEDIA, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA). The goal, said the alliance in a statement, is to “offer vision for a unified industry with a qualified workforce.”
ESPA is interested in offering “credible certification that is universally recognized as the path to an electronic systems career.” It says ESTs currently “are represented by numerous independent associations nationwide, many of which have competing education and certification programs,” creating what it calls a “confusing” situation.
“There is strength in numbers,” said Chuck Wilson, chairman of ESPA and executive director of NSCA. “By coming together and offering a single entry-level education and certification platform for any and all industry organizations, ESPA will be universally recognized as the gateway to a career in electronic systems contracting.”
ESPA hopes to supply “the electronic systems industry workforce pipeline with job-ready new professionals who have mastered the basics and carry credible certification.” It will provide a set of fundamental best practices that it says are common among all industry organizations. “After achieving ESPA certification, the foundation of every electronic systems contracting career, technicians will then have the option to pursue advanced careers through existing specialized programs offered by the independent trade groups,” said the alliance.
EPSA said it will also lobby legislators on behalf of the EST profession. “With the added ‘strength in numbers’ offered by ESPA, electronics systems contractors may soon be considered the official ‘fourth trade’ along with electricians, plumbers and HVAC professionals,” said the alliance.
ESPA’s education/certification programs are slated to debut in “the third or fourth quarter of 2007,” said the alliance.