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CompTIA, the IT industry group, announced this week the first industry-wide certification for RFID that is designed to draw standards for the technology’s deployment that has been driven thus far without a driver.

“RFID is a complex and still-evolving technology, and expertise is absolutely required for its usage to be successful,” said David Sommer, CompTIA’s vice president of electronic commerce, said in a prepared statement.

“While the fundamentals remain the same, each deployment is unique because of differences in products, processes and physical environment.”

A standard certification ensures the foundation-level credentials and skills that will prepare RFID professionals to overcome such obstacles, he said.

“The industry has been starving for a standard,” said Mike Beedles, CEO of Fibregrations LLC, of Gallatin, Tenn., an RFID and ERP solution provider.

“There is a big hole out there, of people starving for a standard of ‘How do I implement this; how do I make the pieces fit.’”

Solution providers, such as Fibregrations, are often hardware-agnostic and find themselves working with technology that doesn’t necessarily integrate the same way, Beedles said.

Fibregrations solved the problem with its own driver that talks to the various hardware pieces.

The industry is further complicated, he said, by vendors who sell RFID solutions under their own banner, then outsource the installation to VARs and integrators and “the standards we would adhere to may not have been the standards sold to the end user.”

CompTIA is working with several VARs, solution providers and industry organizations to develop a certification standard based on installation, configuration and maintenance of hardware and software, interrogation zone basics, testing and troubleshooting, standards and regulations, tag knowledge, design selection, installation, site analysis, RF physics, and RFID peripherals.

CompTIA will administer a Beta version of the test through Dec. 31 and hopes to deliver a final certification program in early 2006, the organization said in a release.