A Firm Foundation

What the new CIT means for security/commercial integrators

As more devices move onto network-based infrastructure, the boundaries between technology categories are starting to blur. Security systems, enterprise visual communications networks, conference rooms, and smart home systems all require highly specialized expertise in their design and execution, but behind the drywall, they all rely on very similar low-voltage infrastructure.

CEDIA, the global association for the home technology industry, recently ratified a new foundational certification created in reflection of that reality. The Cabling and Infrastructure Technician (CIT) certification assesses technicians whose primary task is to perform basic infrastructure wiring for low-voltage technology systems in a residential or commercial setting.

The exam is designed to test whether candidates can use proper tools and techniques; follow instructions per project documentation; operate in a safe and professional manner on the jobsite; and understand the basic function of the wiring and termination components being installed.

Global Recognition
CEDIA represents the smart home integration industry, but these are skills required across all low-voltage trades. This exam is intended for entry-level technicians working in various settings and system types – and now, it has been accredited to the standard ISO/IEC 17024:2012, General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons.

In a nutshell, this means that an objective third party, the American National Standards Institute’s accreditation board, has conducted an exhaustive review of the CIT certification – how its scope was defined, how it is administered and managed, who is involved in its design and maintenance, and more – and judged that CEDIA’s program meets the main internationally recognized standard for how a certification program should be created and run.

Around the world, many enterprises and government entities require ISO/IEC 17024 accreditation as a prerequisite to recognizing a certification program’s validity. Accreditation for the CIT is great news for security integrators. It means that they can use the CIT exam as a benchmark for new technicians’ low-voltage infrastructure installation skills – and that once attained, this certification will be globally acknowledged as a legitimate credential.

Benefits to Security Integrators
The CIT will assist security integrators with hiring as well as benchmarking and training. When a firm hires a CIT, they are hiring someone whose baseline knowledge and skills have been independently verified. The new employee is ready to send to job sites to work under supervision and complete initial infrastructure installation activities.

When their own employees train and test for the CIT, the firm gets an objective measure of their readiness – to work, to advance their careers, and to help train others.

The cross-industry nature of the CIT exam also benefits security integrators. This exam is foundational in more ways than one: it assesses entry-level skills, but it also provides an independently-verified, vendor-neutral set of concepts, vocabulary, and best practices. This means that on large projects, when security contractors sit down with AV, automation and control, and other low-voltage professionals, they can have common underlying language and set of expectations based on the CIT Exam blueprint.

Further, the CIT is useful to security integrators interested in expanding their businesses to encompass other low-voltage systems. Its Equipment and Hardware domain, which comprises 23 percent of the overall exam, encompasses audio, video, basic control, and subsystems in addition to security devices.

This not only improves contractors’ ability to collaborate with allied trades, but empowers them to expand their own portfolios. For the individuals who hold CITs, this breadth offers them mobility as they develop their careers, giving them a firm foundation they can use to specialize.

Preparing to Certify
For those interested in attaining the CIT, CEDIA offers many preparation resources. There are no required prerequisites, but there are formal and informal training options, both guided and self-paced.

In order to assess a candidate’s readiness for the exam, the CIT exam blueprint is the best place to start. It tells candidates what’s on the exam and how heavily each section is weighted in the final scoring.

CEDIA also offers an online practice test. Once a candidate has identified what they need to study, CEDIA offers multiple training pathways to help them prepare. There is an online, self-paced CEDIA CIT Learning pathway, an instructor-led CIT School with both hybrid and in-person options, a CIT Textbook, and whitepapers and standards. All these resources, as well as the CIT Exam Candidate Handbook, can be found on the CEDIA website, and many of them are free.

It is one thing to list a skill on a resume. It’s quite another to have a certification proving that the globally-accepted benchmark for competency in that skill has been met. An ISO/IEC accredited certification is a mark of quality that professionals and experts across industries know to trust. It’s also a differentiator contractors can present to potential customers or employers as proof of their reliability and expertise in a crowded marketplace.

This article originally appeared in the April 2022 issue of Security Today.


  • 12 Commercial Crime Sites to Do Your Research

    12 Commercial Crime Sites to Do Your Research

    Understanding crime statistics in your industry and area is crucial for making important decisions about your security budget. With so much information out there, how can you know which statistics to trust? Read Now

  • Boosting Safety and Efficiency

    Boosting Safety and Efficiency

    In alignment with the state of Mississippi’s mission of “Empowering Mississippi citizens to stay connected and engaged with their government,” Salient's CompleteView VMS is being installed throughout more than 150 state boards, commissions and agencies in order to ensure safety for thousands of constituents who access state services daily. Read Now

  • Live From GSX: Post-Show Review

    Live From GSX: Post-Show Review

    This year’s Live From GSX program was a rousing success! Again, we’d like to thank our partners, and IPVideo, for working with us and letting us broadcast their solutions to the industry. You can follow our Live From GSX 2023 page to keep up with post-show developments and announcements. And if you’re interested in working with us in 2024, please don’t hesitate to ask about our Live From programs for ISC West in March or next year’s GSX. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • GSX
  • People Say the Funniest Things

    People Say the Funniest Things

    By all accounts, GSX version 2023 was completely successful. Apparently, there were plenty of mix-ups with the airlines and getting aircraft from the East Coast into Big D. I am all ears when I am in a gathering of people. You never know when a nugget of information might flip out. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • GSX

Featured Cybersecurity


New Products

  • PE80 Series

    PE80 Series by SARGENT / ED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin

    ASSA ABLOY, a global leader in access solutions, has announced the launch of two next generation exit devices from long-standing leaders in the premium exit device market: the PE80 Series by SARGENT and the PED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin. These new exit devices boast industry-first features that are specifically designed to provide enhanced safety, security and convenience, setting new standards for exit solutions. The SARGENT PE80 and Corbin Russwin PED4000/PED5000 Series exit devices are engineered to meet the ever-evolving needs of modern buildings. Featuring the high strength, security and durability that ASSA ABLOY is known for, the new exit devices deliver several innovative, industry-first features in addition to elegant design finishes for every opening. 3

  • Connect ONE’s powerful cloud-hosted management platform provides the means to tailor lockdowns and emergency mass notifications throughout a facility – while simultaneously alerting occupants to hazards or next steps, like evacuation.

    Connect ONE®

    Connect ONE’s powerful cloud-hosted management platform provides the means to tailor lockdowns and emergency mass notifications throughout a facility – while simultaneously alerting occupants to hazards or next steps, like evacuation. 3

  • Camden CV-7600 High Security Card Readers

    Camden CV-7600 High Security Card Readers

    Camden Door Controls has relaunched its CV-7600 card readers in response to growing market demand for a more secure alternative to standard proximity credentials that can be easily cloned. CV-7600 readers support MIFARE DESFire EV1 & EV2 encryption technology credentials, making them virtually clone-proof and highly secure. 3