Due to changes in the information transport systems (ITS) marketplace, Tampa, Fla.-based BICSI is modernizing its credentialing processes with the launch of the BICSI NxtGEN Program. BICSI NxtGEN Program, formerly the Inverted Funnel Project (IFP), will elevate the importance and recognition of existing Registered Communications Distribution Designers (RCDDs); make the RCDD and Specialty programs more available to IT, engineering, and other professionals; and modernize the BICSI credentialing programs to make them more consistent with how professionals are credentialed today.

In 2006, the BICSI Board of Directors asked a number of BICSI members and volunteers to take a look at the many changes that have occurred in the ITS industry since the inception of the RCDD program and make recommendations for enhancements. In June 2007, this committee of members recommended that BICSI take a serious look at what the organization can do to maintain its leadership role in ITS, which resulted in an effort called the NxtGEN Program.

"There is no denying that many changes have occurred in the ITS industry since the inception of the RCDD program," says John Bakowski, RCDD/NTS/OSP/WD specialist and BICSI president. "Shifts in the needs of BICSI members, customers, and other stakeholders have left gaps in the publications, training, and credentialing that we offer."

Although currently still in the research and analysis stages, it is apparent that the BICSI NxtGEN Program will enhance the BICSI credentialing and education programs. Currently, BICSI credentialing has a linear path, where a person can enter the organization as an installer or technician, and then must become an RCDD prior to being able to obtain one of the three specialty programs — Network Transport Systems, Wireless Design, and Outside Plant. BICSI NxtGEN evaluates the path of becoming an RCDD and reconfigures the path to match the needs of today's information transport systems professionals. New credentialing programs that complement BICSI's publications are also possible enhancements.

"The NxtGEN program will drive the BICSI Strategic Plan in building our credentialing and outreach programs," Bakowski says. "The ITS industry will benefit from the availability of our venues on a more open basis, both locally and globally."

The BICSI NxtGEN Program and the Committee's findings will be presented to the BICSI Board of Directors in December and, if approved, presented to the membership in January. Further research and analysis will take place prior to implementation.