NICET Moves Forward with New Video Certifications

The Video Security Systems (VSS) suite of certification from the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) has been expanded, the organization reported today.

NICET has worked with a number of subject matter experts to create a list of system types (A, B, and C) that define what type of video system has been designed, and what are its attributes. NICET has also created exams to test designers and installers' knowledge within these three type areas, which spread from simple to complex technologies.

The new Type A system has been defined by NICET as "basic systems with standard components, low bandwidth transmission, and menu-driven set-up." NICET is listing the following attributes as characteristic of Type A systems:
- Multiplexer/VCR
- Quad/VCR
- Digital video recorders with time/date, play/record, and anti-tamper functions
- Sequential switch
- Single keyboard
- Indoor/outdoor
- Standard cable runs not requiring repeaters or amplifiers (less than 800 ft. for coaxial; less than 1500 ft. for twisted pair)

The Type B system adds more complexity, and is defined as those that include "specialized components, programmable controls, and high bandwidth transmission". Common attributes for Type B systems include:
- Multiple keyboards
- Matrix interfaced with alarms, A/C, or intercom (GPI or dry contact)
- Digital video recorders with programmable, alarm-based resolution and frame rate
- Fiber transmission systems
- Low light
- Long cable runs
- Covert or portable systems
- RF modulators

The Type C systems reflect greater specialization that steps into the world of remote video and networked communications. Core elements are defined as including "PCs, serial communication, and wireless transmission", and other attributes listed are:
- Integrated systems/serial communications/GUIs
- Remote systems
- Microwave and IR transmission
- Digital video recorders with remote interface

NICET is applying the new system types to its "levels" format. For systems designers, NICET lists two levels. VSS Design Level I designs Type A and Type B systems, while Level II designers will be proficient in designing all three types of systems.

For video technicians, the scale is quite straightforward. VSS Technician I is an "in-training" technician who assists on video projects. Level II technicians are able to install Type A projects. Level III expands that skill level to Type B in addition to Type A, and Level IV video techs are skilled at Types A, B and C.

According to NICET, the Type C designations (Designer Level II and VSS Technician Level IV) are still in their beta stages, but will be released in 2007.

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