December 7, 2011
The Transportation Professional Certification Board (TPCB), affiliated with the Institute of Transportation Engineers, has the responsibility of overseeing certification programs to include Professional Traffic Operations Engineer® (PTOE), Professional Transportation Planner® (PTP), Traffic Signal Operations Specialist® (TSOS), and Traffic Operations Transportation Specialist® (TOPS). TSOS was initiated in response to requests for additional credentialing in the area of traffic operations. The program is just over five years old.
Although every effort has been made to attract applicants to the TSOS program, the response has been low. The TPCB initiated additional research and marketing efforts towards the TOPS program. From the data gathered, it has been determined that the need for the certification and available applicants to the TSOS program is limited.
At the October 2011 TPCB board meeting, the board voted to no longer accept new applicants nor offer the exam for the TSOS certification program. This decision was made after completion of a comprehensive review of the five-year history of the program. Regrettably, TSOS has failed to meet reasonable expectations in terms of the number of applicants or certificants that were originally projected. In the process of reaching this decision the TPCB conducted surveys and used other techniques to better understand how both individuals and employers view the TSOS program and have determined that the prospect for a change in the adoption of the program is limited.
The expense to administer a certification program is extensive. It requires continual updating of the exams and significant administrative fees. For a program to be successful two factors are paramount. There must be a significant number of certificants for the program to be recognized by the profession. Secondly, there is a threshold of certificants that must be reached for the program to be financially viable. The board does not believe that either of these goals can be reached.
The TPCB appreciates those who applied and attained the designation of TSOS. We believe the current certified individuals have shown a mastery of the subject areas and have set themselves apart as highly qualified individuals. We will continue to provide recognition and support to those who have achieved the TSOS designation. The board will continue to furnish descriptive material concerning the body of knowledge represented in the TSOS exam and the criteria that has been met for certification and recertification.
For those that have achieved the designation, TSOS will remain in place, although no new designations will be granted. The board encourages you to retain your certification through fulfilling the requirements for renewal. The TPCB Board has approved waiving all future recertification fees for current TSOS certificants.
We appreciate the level of achievement you have exhibited. We will continue to support your professional recognition in this program and appreciate your support of the certification programs.
If you should have questions, please feel free to contact Thomas Brahms at TPCB headquarters at 202-785-0060 ext. 111 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Steven D. Hofener, P.E., PTOE
Chair, Transportation Professional Certification Board Inc.