IPC Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) Program Management
Training and Certification Program

Earn Your CEPM (Certified in EMS Program Management) Certification Credential TODAY!  


Who Should Attend

The EMS training and certification program is for anyone who must possess an understanding of the many business operations and management issues specific to an EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services) or ECM (Electronic Contract Manufacturing) company. Past participants have included:

Senior Project Engineers
Industrial Engineers
Manufacturing Engineers
Quality Managers
Marketing Managers
Global Account Managers
Materials Managers
Business Development Managers
Business Unit Managers
Technology Development Managers
Customer Operations Managers
Engineering Managers
Quoting Managers

Operations Directors
Directors of Quality
Directors of Engineering
Directors of Product Realization
VPs of Business Development
VPs of Sales
Senior VPs
Executive VPs

IPC EMS Program Management Training

The IPC EMS Program Management Training and Certification Program is a three-part, multi-focused educational program for all levels of EMS/ECM management that culminates with the valuable CEPM certification credential upon successful completion of the exam.

  • Basic Business Skills (Self-study/online. Can be taken any time prior to exam, not required prior to Part II or III)
  • Essentials of EMS Program Management
  • EMS Leadership Training 

Developed with input from the IPC EMS Management Council, the training program specifically tailors topics such as: operations, finance, contracts, time management and leadership for individuals whose jobs depend on having an understanding of all aspects of the EMS/ECM business.

Participants gain a broadened perspective and appreciation of the many responsibilities of an EMS/ECM management executive.

PART I — Basic Business Skills

This on-line learning segment allows participants to study at their own pace and convenience. Students are introduced to fundamental business concepts through a series of online courses. Topics covered include subjects such as contracts, finance, budgets and inventory management. Upon completing this segment, students will have basic knowledge in fundamental business concepts and understand how to apply them to specific EMS/ECM industry situations.

Topics Covered in Part I are:

  1. Operations and Supply Chain Management       
  2. Planning Project Procurement Management      
  3. Performing Risk Analysis
  4. Planning Project Costs
  5. Plan Quality Management
  6. Project Management Essentials
  7. Building and Leading Teams
  8. Analyzing Financial Statements for Non-financial Professionals

PART II — Essentials of EMS Program Management

Students will spend three valuable days participating in group discussions, interactive lectures, and exercises with other students learning how to apply concepts specific to EMS/ECM situations. After completing this segment, participants have a well-rounded understanding of the industry and will be prepared for the real situations they will face every day on the job.

Topics Covered in Part II are:

  1. EMS Program Management Overview
  2. Account Acquisition & Program Launch
  3. Account Cultivation & Expectation Setting
  4. Manufacturing Process Overview
  5. EMS Best Practices
  6. Case Studies
  7. Continuous Improvement
  8. Operations Management 
  9. Special Financial Issues in the EMS/ECM Industry
  10. Special Contract Issues in the EMS/ECM Industry

PART III — EMS/ECM Leadership Training

The EMS Leadership Training was co-developed by IPC and Corporate Learning at Penn State University. Leadership is often referred to as the most important quality of any successful supervisor, manager or executive. Through facilitation and small group work, participants will learn competencies focused on:

  1. Leadership Essentials
  2. Power, Influence, Trust
  3. Effective Communication
  4. Resolving Conflict

This one-day program is taught by Penn State Corporate Learning instructors with real world experience and advanced degrees. The participant will receive a certificate of completion from Penn State Corporate Learning reflecting "IPC EMS Leadership Training" with their name that can be added to their personal portfolio. The program will also reflect continuing education units (CEUs).

Certification Exam

At the conclusion of EMS Leadership Training, candidates are tested (closed book exam) to demonstrate understanding and knowledge about program management in the EMS/ECM industry. Questions are drawn from all three segments of training. A score of 73 percent or better is required to pass the exam.

Requirements for CEPM Certification

Full certification as a CEPM will be conveyed to candidates who successfully complete the exam and possess a minimum level of work experience.

For candidates with a 4-year degree or higher, having worked in the last 5 years.

Work Experience Considerations:    

  • 24 months in program management at an EMS company or
  • a total of 36 months in production control, planning, materials management, engineering, or senior position at an EMS company, or
  • Worked 36 months at an OEM dealing directly with EMS partners, but currently working at an EMS company.

For Candidates without a 4-year degree, having worked in the last 5 years:

  • 36 months in program management at an EMS company or
  • a total of 48 months in production control, planning, materials management, engineering or senior position at an EMS company, or
  • Worked 48 months at an OEM dealing directly with EMS partners, but currently working at an EMS company

Applying for Full CEPM Certification

Candidates who have passed the exam and meet the above requirements must submit documentation showing applicable work experience, with references in order to receive full CEPM certification in IPC EMS Program Management Training.

CEPM Re-Certification

The CEPM credential expires after four years. To be recertified, CEPMs must submit a resume, with references and authorization to verify, documenting continued industry experience and education. To qualify for re-certification, applicants must have either a total of 24 months experience in the electronics manufacturing industry since receiving full certification or successfully complete the IPC EMS Program Management Certification exam.

Cancellation and Substitutions

Registrant must cancel at least 14 business days prior to the start of the segment for which he/she has registered in order to receive a full refund. Registrant failing to cancel will forfeit his/her registration fee. A registration may be transferred to another individual at any time without penalty. Registrant must complete all segments within a 12-month time frame or he/she will be charged an additional $500 per segment he/she needs to complete. An additional exam fee will apply if retesting is required.


"I now have a renewed and reinvigorated desire to push the issues a little harder and keep my company 'whole' in a variety of contractual and financial functions." – Todd Braun, CEPM, Phoenix International

"I truly enjoyed IPC's EMS Program Manager Training. It was not only very informative but a great opportunity to spend time with peers from around the country. The information provided in the course is directly relevant to my day to day responsibilities. I enthusiastically recommend the course to all EMS Program Managers." – Mike Hoak, Program Manager CEMSI

"The IPC certification program was of great value to me. It focused on many of the primary areas I deal with regularly, including operations, financial issues, contracts, decision making and leadership. I left the program with a well-rounded education regarding program management in the EMS industry." – Bob Vetter, Program Manager, Phoenix International — A John Deere Company

"The EMS Program Manager Training and Certification Program is definitely not just for program managers.  I took the course to see if we should send our program managers.  I was surprised at how much I learned.  My focus is on sales, and it really helped me to see how operations, legal, accounting, and customer service all come together to support our customers.  As a result, I have a much clearer understanding of how I can better assist my team members and coordinate resources in support of our customers goals." – Paul Forker, Vice President of Sales, Quality Production LTD.


Contact Nancy Feaster by e-mail NancyFeaster@ipc.org or +1 847-597-2813.


TechNetFacebookYouTubeLinkedInTwitterFlickrGoogle+IPC BlogRSS Feeds