Representatives from major voice, data, video (VDV) associations attending BICSI’s Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla., had a chance to discuss the proposed revisions to CSI’s MasterFormat at a panel discussion entitled “The World Non-Competing Telecommunications Associations.” CSI is presently attempting to break out electrical, life safety, data telecommunications, and several other divisions to allow for the eventual growth and expansion across the industry.

“We as electrical contractors embrace the basic philosophy of what CSI is attempting to do with the introduction of the 45 new divisions,” says Jim Thurman of Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC). Because IEC recognizes that over 40% of its members are currently doing communications work, we understand the need for better clarity in CSI’s MasterFormat of divisions.”

Approval of the revised MasterFormat could spell changes in the way contractors do their job. Should data telecommunications contractors be recognized as belonging to a separate division according to CSI, the likelihood for more specific training will increase, according to those in attendance at the panel discussion.

“Communications work is a different trade than electrical work and it should be treated as such,” said Mark Tibs, CEO of Tibs Group. “Electricians who are properly trained in communications work need to be doing communications work.”