I agree with ANON, as slow and sometimes inconsistent as NICET may appear, it is the only nationwide certification in the alarm and sprinkler arena. One of my selling points to my employees is: We promote this certification to you as an employee not only for us as employers but for your personal and professional growth.  I tell them, they can take this certification with them wherever they may move in the future. I have personally spoken with P S and have not found him to be rude. I am convinced he is overworked and that the NICET organization has gone through a huge growth period without being able to staff up sufficiently. All small business operators have been there. This is not a government operation with unlimited $$ to work with. Maybe they need to increase their certification fees, I don’t know. But, if we lose this measure of employee and organization proficiency then any trunk slammer can come into our jurisdictions and claim to be able to do the work for half $$.
Keith in Colorado NICET III
    In regards to Nicet certification as much as it seems unfair we need it. I worked for a large Fire Alarm company whose primary client was the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and whatever else they owned. I was a project manager and hired alarm professionals in all 50 states to install fire alarms for us. I worked from design to finish and we had installs going in and passing all state inspections. I have recently learned that while applying for NICET certification I cannot use work history towards my experience because its to many years back!!!!!It was 1999. I may never get Levels 3 and 4. Whatever happened to real world experience? I believe that the powers that be want to control the fire alarm business. I was installing fire alarms in 1984 before it was required like it is now. Many guys like myself have a wealth of experience yet someone who decides that it doesn’t count may have no actual experience or license at all!!! We as an industry have allowed this to happen. I continue to apply for NICET anyway, but we are the ones to blame. No one tries to approach their elected officials to complain about it and no one sticks together to try to change this. If you want change then maybe its time we form an organization of real professionals to work towards this goal. Anyone interested??
Rob Leto
RNR systems Integrators
New York
    Thank you for providing this excellent newsletter forum. And for your excellent contracts and industry advice – we are a happy client.
    With respect to NICET certification, as the NFPA evolves their NFPA 3 “Commissioning and Integrated Testing” (see the 2012 edition) into a form which can be adopted into law in the near future, the job of “Commissioner” or “Commissioning Agent” will fully enter into the construction equation. Commissioners will work side by side with all parties through new construction from cradle to grave just as the architect does. As each states legislative body adopts new versions of the NFPA and ICC codes and standards, it is becoming more difficult for owners, architects, building officials, fire marshals, builders, and contractors to comply with their growing complexities. The vast nature of modern life safety and construction codes has become a great challenge to all concerned. While NICET certification, is hard earned and represents a solid body of knowledge, the full measure of an expert in this field will always be an engineering degree in Fire Protection Systems. On the east coast, schools like the University of Maryland, The University of New Haven, and Wooster Polytechnic offer Bachelor of Science, and Master’s degrees in Fire Protection Engineering. This degree encompasses the full spectrum of all codes and standards, the engineering skills needed for all types of fire suppression systems, and the engineering skills needed for all types of fire detection and mass notification systems. This is the new and much needed NICET replacement.
Felix Giannini, President, FPE, CPP 
Lexco, Inc