The Coordinate Metrology Society is launching the first level-one certification for portable 3D metrology. CMS members are users of coordinate measuring machines, laser trackers, laser radar, photogrammetry and videogrammetry systems, scanners, indoor GPS and laser projection systems.

The first exam will be held at CMS's annual conference on July 22-26 in San Diego. Applicants for the test must meet eligibility requirements, sign a code of ethics and pass peer review.

Joseph Romano, a principal at Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Elmwood Park, N.J., and vice president for survey and mapping, wrote in a recent opinion piece for that the business of 3D laser scanning and BIM for existing conditions "is adrift in a sea of uncertainty, where the deliverable of one honest service provider may be quite different from the deliverable of another—and neither serve the client's needs because there are no standards and best practices to apply." Romano says CMS' certification "is a step in the right direction," although he adds that CMS' members typically work in small-scale, precision work, rather than construction-scale activities.

A group that focuses on construction, the U.S. Institute of Building Documentation—which Romano helped found—is pursuing standards and certifications for construction. Romano says USIBD will reach out to CMS to see how their efforts might be coordinated.

The CMS certification consists of two assessments. The level-one exam is a proctored, online assessment of about 200 multiple-choice questions covering foundational theory and practice common to most portable 3D metrology devices. A level-two, practical exam is in development and will be piloted at the conference.