Dropping RCDD - Conference Cost And No Attendance Credits Cited

Thinking about getting an RCDD? You may want to rethink it.

One security professional published a blog post describing why he is letting his lapse, pointing out that the cost simply cannot be justified for security work:

"Way back in 2006 when I took the exam, I was working with bid specifications that required the credential. It was a good decision to get it. I got a job that I wouldn't have been considered for because I had it. The first reason I decided not to renew my credential came down to career relevance. I'm simply not involved in the Structured Cabling Industry anymore."

He goes on to mention justifying the cost of the mandatory conference, and the lack of education focus in attending is a problem:

"On more than one occasion, I never went to one educational session at the conference, but still was awarded 15 hours of credit. One conference, I flew in and out on the same day just to check in. This isn't serving a purpose to me other than forcing attendance."

Considering all costs, he figures "it's a minimum of $2000 every three years to keep it active, and that doesn't consider the time and effort to get CECs."

I thought the post was insightful to read, but not surprising. Almost every RCDD in security comments about how little it addresses for their current jobs.

What do you think?

It comes down to if it is relevant for your current profession or not. If you work for an EE and design structured cabling systems it is most likely necessary, working for a security integrator it may not be necessary. Regardless of what you use it for it is not good to hear that you can maintain your credential by signing an attendance sheet. FYI I am speaking as an outsider and I do not have an RCDD.

"It is not good to hear that you can maintain your credential by signing an attendance sheet."

That is similar to ASIS where you can get credits just by registering for an ASIS vendor webinar, etc...

I have this credential for about 15 years now (i think :-) ) and i'm strugling with the same question. Allhough i am still active in structured cabling as well.

However, i'm based in Belgium - Mainland Europe and BICSI just doesn't have any recognition over here. At it's top there were 4 RCDD's in Belgium, now two or maybe three, not sure.

I kept renewing over the years because it was hard to get and didn't want to loose it but as is pointed out in the post, and if i'm honest to myself, i can't justify the cost. The ROI is near zero for me.

In the past some customers did find me because of the credential. mainly companys that had their IT strategy worked out at th main office overseas but that hasn't happened anymore in the past 5 years or so.

As with so many things, it is what you make of it.

BICSI isn't perfect, in many ways it started just as a retirement plan for displaced AT&T folks. But saying that you are in the security industry, but not "involved" in the Structured Cabling Industry anymore is almost a joke. But it does explain why, we don't allow "Security" contractors to do their own cabling.

Currently our prefered national vendors are all multi-discipline shops. Each of them have several RCCD's on staff. They are all required to be certified by the manufacture of multiple cabling systems, multiple NVR systems, and multiple Access Control systems. Relative to the cost of maintaining those certifications, my guess is that the cost of maintaining their RCDD's isn't even noticed.

Without "involvement" in the Structured Cabling Industry, how will you know when the ever increasing use of PoE, at higher and higher power levels, will require you to modify your cabling practices to avoid excessive temperature rise in cable bundles, which in turn can affect performance. I'd also guess that your unaware that UL is proposing new labeling for Category rated cables that reflect their ability to carry power without dissipating excessive heat. Would it surprise you to know that UL has a standardised testing methodology for this?

Don't get me wrong, I have my share of "that was stupid" stories. Like the time I went to the exhibit floor on a vendor's free pass, and later found that I had been awarded full credit for that conference. But that seems to be changing. Four or five years ago, there seemed to be a complete lack of technical information at the conference. Every session just seemed to be a variation on the theme of "We are BICSI, We are Cool". But this last September, I was glad to have one of my coworkers there, because there were so many tracks I found interesting.

This last year, I noticed that they have started scanning badges as folks go into the various sessions. If I recall, the registration packet warned us to have our badges scanned at least once a day. Each day of attendance is worth 5 CEC's. I'm sure you can still "game" the system, but you, your company, and ultimately your customers are the ones that lose out.

As for the required CEC training credits, ANY bonafide training relevant to YOUR sector of the market is eligible for credits. You just need to take the extra step of submitting the relevant information about the training to BICSI. Granted, it's much easier just to take the pre-approved classes, but if you choose to do that, don't whine about the lack of relevance.

With just a little bit of effort, you can find FREE, online, training to more than satisfy the requirements. But if you want relevance to our sector of the industry, each of the IPVM courses should be good for 12 CEC's.