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Simulation Professionals Will Gain Certification.

Lack of standards prompts efforts to develop new industry criteria

Professionals in the modeling and simulation field currently suffer from lack of standards in areas such as computational science, systems engineering and training delivery, said Mark Yerkes, assistant vice president at the University of Central Florida's Office of Research.

"This lack of identity and the associated fragmentation of this evolving industry are an impediment to the necessary development and application of modeling and simulation technologies and practices," he said.

The development and advancement of professionals in this industry is inhibited, because there is no generally accepted set of qualifications or functional competencies that are inherent in modeling and simulation, Yerkes said. "Additionally, there is no specific form of officially certifying professional modeling and simulation practitioners.

The lack of guidelines for determining professional competency makes the establishment and delivery of educational programs difficult, he said. Furthermore, the lack of metrics and standards "makes labor market transactions inefficient for both buyers and sellers of professional services."

For that reason, an implementation program was developed--to establish organizations and processes for professional certification in the modeling and simulation industry.

The Modeling and Simulation Professional Certification Commission (MSPCC) will develop a professional certification program for simulation professionals, recognizing standard levels of knowledge and competency for professionals and the industry.

Participants in the program will include professionals from industry, government (uniform and civilian) and academia.

Seven criteria were used in establishing the initial certification: basic educational level, math knowledge, science knowledge, computer knowledge, psychology/human factors knowledge, project/program management, work experience, continuing education, peer reviewed papers and letters of recommendation. Individuals with exceptional experience may apply for a waiver.

Applicants will be required to meet one of the following combinations of education and experience:

1. Doctorate and three years experience.

2. Masters degree and five years experience.

3. Bachelor degree and six years experience.

4. Associate degree and eight years experience.

As the community/industry matures, the certification and continuing education requirements will also develop to reflect changes in the industry, said Yerkes.

The Modeling and Simulation Professional Certification Commission is comprised of two groups, the Implementation Group and Certification Board. Board membership will last for three years but may continue for up to two terms, six years total.

The Modeling and Simulation Professional Certification Commission has been in its early stages since the summer of 2001, and is still going through a trial period. The National Training and Systems Association (NTSA) is the administrator for the Certification Commission, and several companies also are involved.

The National Training Systems Association identified the need for a certification program in 1999.

Implementation Time Line

November 2001

Implementation Group Review Annual Certification Commission Meeting

June 2002

Implementation Group Mid-year Review

November 2002

Implementation Group Review Annual Certification Commission Meeting Nominations for New Board Members
COPYRIGHT 2001 National Defense Industrial Association
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Foster, Sharon
Publication:National Defense
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2001
Words:466
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