CEDIA’s IST Certification Earns Worldwide ANSI/ISO Accreditation
The Integrated Systems Technician (IST) certification from CEDIA has earned third-party accreditation certification in accordance with the global ISO/IEC 17024:2012, General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons. The IST certification joins the Cabling and Infrastructure Technician (CIT) as CEDIA’s second ISO/IEC 17024-accredited standard. Together, these two certifications represent a globally recognized career path for residential technology integrators.
CEDIA’s ISO/IEC 17024 accredited certifications demonstrate to other trades, customers, and lawmakers that the custom integration industry is a clearly defined profession with rigorous, widely accepted criteria for competency. The conformance process was overseen by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB), a wholly owned subsidiary of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
“Certification is where CEDIA’s advocacy and workforce development efforts meet,” said David Whitney, sr. director of certification at CEDIA. “As these globally accredited certifications gain adoption and recognition, we strengthen the position of the whole smart home industry.”
CEDIA created the IST certification to be both rigorous and accessible. Industry veterans who hold CEDIA’s earlier ESC-T certification will have a pathway to transition to the accredited IST certification without retesting. CEDIA also provides a wide range of preparation resources for new certification candidates.
CEDIA Says the IST is the New Gold Standard
The IST recognizes experienced integration technicians who can perform the full scope of pre-wire (first fix) and trim-out (second fix), including system testing and troubleshooting. IST-certified individuals possess a broad range of essential technical skills, up-to-date knowledge of standards and recommended practices, and strong conceptual foundations. This certification builds on the foundational knowledge encompassed by the CIT exam, and serves as the basis for CEDIA’s advanced certifications and curriculum. Holding an IST certification indicates that an individual is experienced, competent, and committed to professional development and ethics.
“The value of IST certification is in the height of the bar set by the Certification Commission and the IST working groups. You really have to know your stuff to pass this exam,” said Pete Trauth, CIT, IST-SME, founder of Nirvana Home Entertainment. “There are thousands of residential systems integrators out there. Only a handful of us are IST certified. This certification gives homeowners a tangible metric to use when comparing integrators.”
“As our business grows and we add employees, it is important that we have everyone starting with a solid and consistent foundation of knowledge,” added Amanda Wildman, CIT-SME, IST-SME, Owner of TruMedia. “IST Certification offers that to my team. It allows us to seamlessly move through the various stages of our jobs regardless of which team member works on each piece. It is that foundation that gives us the confidence to deploy a robust, easy-to-use system to our clients that will truly enhance their lives.”
Pathways to Certification
All current IST certifications are now ISO/IEC 17024 accredited. Holders of the previous-generation technician certification, the ESC-T, can transition to the IST during their next renewal period. Current ESC-T holders must earn 30 Continuing Education Units, submit a renewal application, and signed code of conduct agreement to transition to the IST. Renewal application fees will be waived for those transitioning from the ESC-T.
Those who don’t yet hold an IST or ESC-T must complete two prerequisites before challenging the IST exam: they must have at least one year of industry experience, and they must hold a CIT or equivalent certification. CEDIA offers a wide range of study resources for both the CIT and IST, including textbooks, online self-paced courses, in-person and hybrid Technician School, and practice tests. Certification hopefuls can also enroll in online study sessions and take either test onsite at the upcoming CEDIA Expo in Dallas.