CSI Institute Report

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Linda Stansen, CSI, CCS, RA, SCIP

West Region Director


I attended the CSI Institute Board of Directors winter meeting was held January 21sth to 23rd in Tuscon, Arizona, just after the completion of the Master Specifier’s Retreat.  It was a concentrated series of meetings addressing services and programs being refreshed and made more readily accessible to our membership. 

Everyone at Institute is working very hard to respond to concerns from the Regions and Chapters about communications and service.  There is a strong commitment by all at the Institute to do as much as possible to support the organization at all levels.  And I can’t stress enough how important it is to me as the representative from West Region to hear of any concerns any Chapter or the Region has to convey to Institute.  I need to hear from you!  We all will benefit from keeping our lines of communications open.  With that in mind, the following are the primary points that came out of our meetings.


Member services:  Are now available 8:00am to 8:00pm Eastern time.



Plans are under way to develop and reimagine CSI’s learning programs over the coming 12-18 months.  Initiatives under consideration include a refresh of web-reach program, developing content or curricula to be syndicated to regions/chapters, reimagining the Academies, and developing an e-learning platform. It should be emphasized that CSI has yet to commit to any specific program, as staff ability to develop and support education is being completely rebuilt.  Members are more than welcome to chime in on content and direction they would find valuable for this effort to address.



Certification work is currently focused is on the CDT. Work to refresh the CDT Body of Knowledge Analysis (BOKA) will start in early February and will continue through 2017. The intention is to convert the CDT from a certificate of education to Credential which will be a renewable credential that tests knowledge and capabilities against an existing body of knowledge.

Last fall, CSI received a National Science Foundation Grant to develop curriculum for community college construction management and architectural assistant programs.  Activity to develop this curriculum, which will be based on the redesigned CDT BOKA will begin in late spring 2017 and continue through summer 2017. 

Improvements to not just the CDT but all the Certifications are ongoing and include:

  • Develop code of ethics and standards of professional conduct. The purpose is to provide publicly available documented standards of behavior for CSI certification holders.  Governs both the behavior of those being certified and policy documents for the impartial administration of the certification program.
  • Establish appeals and complaint process. Two independent processes must be put in place to help provide independent hearings for any examinees who have problems with their certification testing experience, as well as to provide a venue for complaints about the behavior of certification holders.
  • Auditable management parameters. Additional guidelines enacted to improve the already good documentation and support of CSI’s certification programs, ensuring both their value and longevity.
  • Improved test policies. Ensure test scoring process is based on the knowledge needed to effectively perform at the professional level defined by the certification. Test forms are to be assembled so that their content and difficulty is balanced each year, allowing for better measurement of outcomes and identification of problematic items, thus making the tests more effective and fair.

Information Technology:

Chapter microsite beta testing was to begin last quarter of 2016, but the target was missed.  An update on status will be provided by February 22, 2017 to all chapters and regions.

Hosting migration: As some of you know the Institute has a new website:  www.csiresources.org.  This has replaced the old website, www.csinet.org.  Your individual information such as your chapter membership information, including all chapters you are a member of, certification credentials, fellow status, and corporate partner status are all being moved from csinet.org to csiresources.org and should be searchable. 

Csiresources.org has had 99.98% uptime during the past month (9 total outages, and that includes the 7 hours the site was down for migration). This is a very significant improvement over a year ago.

The online communities are a great place to have a conversation about construction issues and CSI resources that are available or that are wanted. 

Your log in remains the same as for the old website and is changeable at the new site to whatever you want. I urge everyone to log into your account at www.csiresources.org and check the content of not only your own profile but the new layout and content available there.


Membership Initiatives:

A survey of membership was conducted last November to gauge CSI services and product delivery. Chapter events and newsletters rank highest in members minds as what is most important to them.

Respondents indicate attributes important to them in association with CSI include: 

  • Visionary
  • Innovative
  • Diverse
  • Thought leading. 

However, CSI scores lower with these attributes even though they are important. Attributes more strongly associated with CSI include:

  • Reliable
  • Professional
  • Practical

Yet these are viewed as less important.  The result is CSI’s brand experience doesn’t connect what CSI does well to what the respondent views as important. This feedback provides guidance for building a strong brand which is being developed now.  Short term priorities include:

  • Development of a content communication strategy
  • Further developing online communities
  • Clearly defining the value proposition for member/customer audiences
  • Exploring opportunities to syndicate content to local components (chapters and regions)
  • Deeper dive into underlying reasons behind the quantitative results

Feedback from Chapter and Region Leaders:

The task assigned to each Board member is to look for input from the Region and Chapters on the following questions:

  • What engages people most effectively at the region and chapter level; what are the incentives and disincentives to participation?
  • What should the members experience look and feel like, as one considers the chapter/region/institute in total? 
  • What are the barriers to entry into CSI, and how might they be overcome?

I welcome answers to the three questions above, any comments, feedback, questions on anything reported here or any other issue of importance to you. (An excellent opportunity for you to express your comments and concerns in person will be the CSI Northwest & West Bi-Region Conference being held in Seattle on May 19th - 22nd.)  These reports and requests for feedback are often met with the sound of crickets, but I truly welcome a conversation with anyone in our Region about any topic reported here or any topic related to CSI that is important to you.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me:  stanspecs@comcast.net

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