ISA does a really smart thing-- twice in two days!

Yesterday, at PCSF, ISA's new Certification Institute folks met with the core group that has been working on the Control Systems Security Certification Compliance Organization (pronounced "Costco")-- my god, folks, can't we think up better names for stuff!!!???--and it is pretty clear that there WILL be such an organization, and it will be under the ISA umbrella. You can't believe how good this makes me feel, because I have been pressing ISA to do such activities for 10 years (Ian Verhappen and I were chased out of an Executive Board meeting with sticks for suggesting that ISA get into the business of Y2K compliance testing for automation systems) AND (breaking arm to pat self on back) it was my idea to get ISA involved in this Security activity. But now for the second whammy. Chip Lee and I were talking this morning, and he told me about this: ISA Launches CAP Associate Program for Future Automation Professionals Research Triangle Park, NC (12 March 2007) - ISA has launched a CAP Associate recognition program for students interested in working in the automation field. The CAP Associate program provides recognition of the student's interest and knowledge of automation. ISA will offer a CAP Associate exam, and students who pass the exam will receive one year of "work experience" credit toward ISA's Certified Automation Professional (CAP) certification program requirements. CAP applicants who have a four year technical degree must document five years of experience in automation. ISA's CAP certification program offers qualified automation professionals a chance to prove their knowledge and skills through a comprehensive examination focused around the key areas of automation. "By giving students the opportunity to get ahead of the game by taking an exam like this, we're encouraging them to pursue a career in automation and receive a respected recognition for their education up to that point," said Vernon Trevathan, Vice President of ISA's Professional Development Department. "In today's job market, certification is a powerful tool, and they'll be one step closer to earning the CAP designation." The CAP Associate exam has 75 multiple choice test questions, featuring the same technical categories as the CAP certification exam. Technical categories include: basic continuous control; basic, discrete, sequencing, and manufacturing control; advanced control; reliability, safety, and electrical; integration and software; deployment and maintenance; and work structure. In order to apply for the program, students must be enrolled in a four year academic degree program in automation or a related engineering or technology area. Related areas include instrumentation, measurement and control, chemical, electrical, electronics, or mechanical engineering or technology. Computer programming courses related to practical engineering applications also qualify. The student must also be eligible to graduate from the four year degree program within three months of taking the CAP Associate exam. "Although the CAP Associate program is not a certification program, it provides an additional credential for the graduating student, expands their resume, and demonstrates their career commitment to future employers," said Greg Lehmann of Washington Group International. "This program will be a great stepping stone for anyone interested in our profession." In order to apply, students must have a sponsoring professor at their university who agrees to hold a CAP Associate exam onsite for eligible students. ISA requires official transcripts as proof of eligibility for the program. Applicants have a six month window of eligibility to take the exam that spans three months before or after the applicant's graduation date from the four year degree program. For more information about the CAP Associate program, or the CAP certification program, visit or call (919) 549-8411.