Question The CCTV/Surveillance Expert

Oct. 27, 2008
Video Systems Certification

Q: I understand the Video Security Systems Certification Program has reached an important milestone. Can you explain?

A: Yes, the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) has just released three new exams in the Video Security Systems (VSS) suite. CCTV Technicians and Designers who work on Types A and B systems can now demonstrate their qualifications with a NICET certification.
NICET’s system types (A, B, and C) were defined by a group of subject matter experts as a way of relating each level of certification to a type of CCTV system. This matching of qualifications to system type will bring value to integrators and to buyers, and will allow experienced VSS designers and technicians to advance their careers with nationally recognized credentials.

VSS designers can now apply for Level I, and VSS technicians can now apply for Levels I through III. NICET’s career track philosophy provides a valuable credential for the entry-level person to the most experienced designers and technicians in the VSS industry.

Certification at particular levels is achieved by demonstrating knowledge and experience working with video security systems classified as type A, B, or C. VSS Designer I designs types A and B, and Designer II designs all three. A VSS Technician I is in training and assists on projects. A VSS Technician II installs Type A, Technician III installs Types A and B, and Technician IV installs all three. (The Type C certifications, Designer II and Technician IV, are now in beta and will be available in soon.)
Type A Systems are basic systems with standard components, low bandwidth transmission, and menu-driven set-up:

• 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).
Type B Systems can include specialized components, programmable controls, and high bandwidth transmission:
• PTZ.
• 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.
Type C Systems can include PCs, serial communication, and wireless transmission:
• Integrated systems/serial communications/GUIs.
• LANs/WANs.
• Remote systems.
• Microwave and IR transmission.
• Digital video recorders with remote interface.

The Security Industry Association (SIA) requested NICET create this new credential due to the security industry’s need for a skilled and knowledgeable workforce. NICET worked hand-in-hand with leading organizations such as SIA, National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA), and PSA Security Network; and companies such as Pelco, Bosch Security Systems, Tyco Fire & Security, Panasonic System Solutions Company, Dedicated Micros, and many more. This coalition of subject matter experts identified industry needs and designed a certification program that promotes technical knowledge and skills. The resulting program lays out career paths for VSS technicians and designers and helps supply industries and employers with a credentialed workforce.