The Fieldbus Foundation (www.fieldbus.org) introduced the FOUNDATION Certified Training Program (FCTP), an effort to establish uniform standards for fieldbus training curriculum and define acceptable levels of learning for students of the technology.

The initiative is designed to allow end-users to gain access to highly skilled employees possessing a strong knowledge of FOUNDATION technology principles; a consistent understanding of fieldbus fundamentals, regardless of geographical location; and a proven ability to implement fieldbus-based control systems. Students will be able to identify colleges, universities, and other educational facilities offering a certified FOUNDATION training curriculum. After graduating, they will be able to market themselves as having an FCTP certificate to potential employers. Educational institutions will gain recognition as Fieldbus Foundation-certified training sites providing FCTP certification and will be listed on the foundation’s Web site.

For educational institutions, achieving Fieldbus Foundation certification will be a multi-stage process involving rigorous procedures for gaining certified training site status and for certifying course instructors and curriculum. Certified training centers will be required to maintain multiple hosts and devices onsite in order to demonstrate competence with fieldbus technology. They will also be audited to ensure their course material adheres to set instructional standards covering fieldbus segment limits; device replacements; commands, icons, menus, and screen designs of different software packages; and communication, scheduling, and function-block assignments enabling configuration.

Certified instructors will be audited to see if they have achieved specified Fieldbus Foundation training goals. Instructors must demonstrate expertise in areas such as Human-Machine Interface (HMI) tools, fieldbus troubleshooting, simple device configuration, and device deployment and functionality across a fieldbus network.