Biometrics Professionals Can Now Get Certified

IEEE has developed the IEEE Certified Biometrics Professional program

8 January 2010

A need for better security—online and at airports, national borders, and other public places—has heightened interest in biometrics, a technology for authenticating people’s identity.

To help engineers establish their credibility in this growing field, as well as give would-be employers a yardstick for assessing qualifications, IEEE has developed the IEEE Certified Biometrics Professional (CBP) program. The certification is aimed at biometrics professionals, practitioners, and engineers and consists of two parts: a training program and an exam. There are no education or experience prerequisites.

Biometrics seeks to automatically recognize someone based on their unique physiological and behavioral features and traits. A number of measurable characteristics can be used, including the face, an iris, fingerprints, vein patterns, hand geometry, gait, keystroke dynamics, and signature. The technology is being applied in a number of areas that include national security, law enforcement, banking, and healthcare.

“Certification is of vital importance to the biometrics community because it can help organizations meet the increasing demand for skilled professionals who can incorporate biometrics into a wide range of applications,” says IEEE Fellow Vincenzo Piuri, chair of the IEEE CBP Certification Committee, which directed development of the program. Piuri, professor of information technology at the University of Milan in Crema, Italy, adds that the certification can benefit those working in national security, facilities management, IT security, even the travel industry, and any number of other fields.

The first part of the CBP program consists of the optional CBP Learning System, made up of print and online resources meant for self-study. Six printed modules cover each of the CBP exam areas and provide the framework for preparing for the exam. The modules cover how to choose the right biometric technology based on its application and how to design a biometric system, test it, and keep it secure. The materials also provide an overview of biometrics standards and how to apply them, and discuss associated social, cultural, and legal issues.

Online, there are quizzes based on the modules, practice tests, progress reports that track test scores, terminology flash cards, and a resource center with links to other references.

A passing score on the CBP exam is required to earn the credential. The exam covers all areas of biometrics, from basic components to the selection, system design, and implementation of various biometric modalities, or types of biometric systems. Three hours long, the exam is composed of 150 multiple-choice questions. It is being offered at test centers in more than 65 countries during two time periods—one running from late April through May and another from late November through December. Registration opens 11 January for the April to May exams.

Discounts are available for IEEE members who want to pursue the CBP program. The IEEE CBP Candidate Bulletin, on the CBP site, offers further details, including registration fees and how to schedule an appointment for an exam at a local testing center.

IEEE membership offers a wide range of benefits and opportunities for those who share a common interest in technology. If you are not already a member, consider joining IEEE and becoming part of a worldwide network of more than 400,000 students and professionals.

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