The Computing Technology Industry Association has launched a survey asking radio frequency identification experts to identify the knowledge, skills and abilities one would have to have to be proficient in the installation, operation and diagnosis of RFID systems.

Some 60,000 businesses are facing RFID usage mandates from their trading partners in the next three to five years, according to industry estimates. But survey of CompTIA members earlier this year found that 80 percent of companies do not believe there is a sufficient number of professionals skilled in RFID to hire today. In addition, 53 percent of companies said this lack of talent will have a negative impact on the adoption of RFID technology in the next two to three years.

The current survey is the next phase in the association's initiative to develop a certification exam for professionals who work closely with RFID. The CompTIA RFID+ Blueprint Survey builds on the work earlier this month of a committee of RFID subject matter experts who are helping CompTIA develop the content of the certification exam. The CompTIA RFID+ certification will validate an RFID technologist's knowledge and skills in the areas of installation, maintenance, repair, and upkeep of hardware and software functionality of RFID products.

"The survey is the next vital next step in the certification development process," said David Sommer, vice president, electronic commerce, CompTIA. "It will allow even more professionals with RFID expertise to help us identify and validate the knowledge and skills standards individuals should have to be proficient in RFID technology."

To participate in the RFID skills survey, individuals must have experience in RFID technology, such as installing and implementing RFID systems.

CompTIA also is inviting other RFID subject matter experts to participate in the certification exam item writing and review process scheduled for August 17-21.

The CompTIA RFID+ certification is expected to be available in late 2005 or early 2006.