The Society of Broadcast Engineers, in its continuing effort to advance its Program of Certification, has added a new Specialist Certification to its offerings: The ATSC3 Specialist. The new level of certification was developed by the Society of Broadcast Engineers Certification Committee, chaired by Ralph Hogan, CPBE, DRB, CBNE, with direct assistance from the Advanced Television Systems Committee. The first ATSC3 SBE Certification exams were made available during the February 2021 SBE exam period.
In addition to various certification levels that require a certain time of professional career experience and cover a broad knowledge base, the SBE offers several Specialist Certifications, each one focusing on a specific understanding of a technology. Existing Specialist certifications include the 8-VSB Special-ist (8-VSB), AM Directional Specialist (AMD), and the Digital Radio Broadcast Specialist (DRB). The first SBE Specialist Certification was offered in 2005. To apply for a specialist certification, an individual must currently hold certification on the Broadcast Engineer, Senior Broadcast Engineer, Professional Broad-cast Engineer or Broadcast Networking Engineer Certification level.
The initial idea to create the SBE ATSC3 Specialist Certification began in 2018. The SBE Certification Committee worked closely with key ATSC members for input on suitable information to include in the exam. The Certification Committee also worked with several SBE members with direct experience in-stalling ATSC 3.0 systems. From this, a set of questions was created, beta tests were conducted, the questions were reviewed and adjusted and additional beta testing was held. The final question pool covers a mix of practical application and technology standards.
“The SBE is grateful to the ATSC for its help in assembling the exam question pool,” said SBE Certifica-tion Chair Ralph Hogan. “As is the practice in creating any level of SBE Certification, a group of subject matter experts is consulted.”
“I also extend my thanks to the ATSC members who helped in the exam development process. As the foremost experts on ATSC 3.0, their contributions were invaluable. I was also continually impressed by the SBE’s methodical exam development process, ensuring that the exam would fairly and accurately assess a candidate’s understanding of ATSC 3.0. Individuals who successfully pass the exam will have earned a truly meaningful certificate,” added Madeleine Noland, president of ATSC.
Like all SBE Certifications, the exam questions will continue an ongoing review process to ensure the information being covered is relevant and current. Certifications are valid for five years, and then must be renewed or advanced to a higher level. The SBE launched its program of certification in 1975.
Exams must be completed within three hours and consist of 50 multiple-choice questions (two points each) and one essay question (20 points maximum). Specialist certification examinees are provided one essay question to answer. Exams are pass/fail, and a score of 84 is a passing grade.
The SBE provides a list of suggested references to help prepare for all SBE certification exams. The SBE also offers the SBE CertPreview practice test software. The ATSC3 portion of CertPreview should be available later in 2021.