NICET's Newest Certification--In-Building Public Communications Systems--is Complete and Available

  • By Chip Hollis
  • Published on September 14, 2022

The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET), in cooperation with the Safer Buildings Coalition (SBC), developed a professional certification for engineering technicians engaged in the detailing and layout, installation, and maintenance, and/or designing of In-Building Public Safety Communication Systems (referred to in codes and standards as Emergency Responder Communications Enhancement Systems – or ERCES).

These systems are critical to providing coverage inside buildings, and due to their connection with public safety communications networks must be designed and installed correctly and in accordance with set standards to ensure clear communication and avoid interference. The technical areas covered include knowledge of radio frequency theory, equipment installation requirements, delivered audio quality, understanding and use of project specifications and documents, site survey data and design tools, and interpretation and evaluation of surveys. The program has a progressive three-level Technician track and a one-level Design track. Candidates may pursue the tracks independently or together to establish minimum qualifications for appropriate roles.

Hundreds of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and practitioners, many of whom are Safer Buildings Coalition members, volunteered time and expertise to define the practice for each track, identify competencies, set certification requirements, select relevant reference material, write and review exam questions, and complete the passing score studies. NICET staff guided the groups through the process culminating in exam publishing and its computer-based testing (CBT) administration.

The NICET website contains application information, exam content outlines, reference lists, certification requirements and other information on the development process, as well as recognition of the volunteers.

“We are so pleased to be able to partner with NICET in developing this essential credentialing program that finally establishes true qualifications for personnel involved in the design and installation of emergency responder communication enhancement systems. said Chief Alan Perdue, Safer Buildings Coalition's Executive Director. “AHJs, Frequency License Holders, building owners, and the industry as a whole have long sought evidence of competency that goes beyond the FCC General Radiotelephone Operators License (GROL).

Launching this new program is due to the efforts of dedicated industry practitioners, subject matter experts, SBC, other stakeholders, and NICET staff,” explained NICET Senior Director, Chip Hollis, “It is their effort and flexibility during these challenging times that made it happen. I am honored that NICET can be part of the solution to ensure communications coverage for emergency responders.”

Additional information about NICET and its certification programs is available at www.nicet.org.

About NICET

The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET), a division of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), provides an independent and rigorous evaluation of knowledge and experience among individuals in the fields of engineering technology. Founded in 1961, NICET serves as a respected personnel certification authority in many technical fields; and has certified more than 155,000 technicians and technologists. For more information, please visit www.nicet.org.

About Safer Buildings Coalition

The Safer Buildings Coalition (SBC) is the only advocacy group and resource for everything related to solving for In-Building “Wireless Dead Zones”. From our inception before the FCC in February 2012, SBC has been at the forefront advancing ideas, codes, standards, policies, and best practices to make buildings safer for Public Safety personnel and the public they serve. Our members include Industry, Public Safety, Frequency License Holders, Wireless Carriers, Trade Associations, Building Operators, and other End Users. SBC is an independent, 501(c)4 non-profit organization. For more information, please visit www.saferbuildings.org.