IPC Certifications Deliver Consistency in Manufacturing
IPC certification plays a key role in bringing value to the electronics industry. These certification programs, built around IPC standards, developed and approved by industry, are delivered in a classroom setting by IPC certified trainers. Upon successful completion of the training and testing the student is issued an industry traceable certification in one of the following IPC standards; J-STD-001, A-610, A-620, A-600, 7711/21, and 6012. Even though the training is conducted in the classroom the certification testing is delivered through the online IPC certification portal. IPC also provides formal classroom training and certification programs for Certified IPC Designers.
Choosing the Right IPC Certification Level for You and Your Company
What certification level do you want to achieve working in the electronics industry? IPC currently provides three levels of certification to the IPC Standards for individuals working in the electronics industry. Depending on your experience within the industry, you can become certified as a Certified Standards Expert (CSE), a Certified IPC Trainer (CIT), or as a Certified IPC Specialist (CIS).
Choosing the right level of certification for you is important. Becoming certified allows individuals to provide keen insight to your company on IPC standards and how they are applied within manufacturing. The certification provides industry recognition not only to yourself but also to your company. Speaking the same language is critical to the success of companies within the electronics industry.
CIS training and certification is appropriate for any individual that will benefit by having a consistent understanding of the criteria in a standard. Line operators, engineers, quality engineers will find this training and certification beneficial for their knowledge in the electronics industry.
Separate CIS credentials are required for each certification Program. The Programs will train, test and certify in the correct application of the criteria for all acceptance classes. CIS certification may be granted by either a CIT or MIT for that Program.
CIS training is modular. The Technical Training Committee for each Program will define the course module(s) that are mandatory or optional for that Program. Upon successful completion of the mandatory modules, optional modules maybe selected as appropriate to support various technology segments.
Training to an addendum to any IPC standard is revision specific. In order to be certified to an addendum the candidate must be certified to the same revision document that is modified by the addendum (e.g. to become certified to J-STD-001G Space, the candidate must first be certified to J-STD-001G).
The CIS certificates include endorsement blocks for each module of instruction. The completion dates for each module will be automatically populated by the online test system. The certification expiration date established by the mandatory module(s) will be applicable to all optional modules, regardless of when the optional module training and certification was granted.
The Certified Standards Expert (CSE) is a subject matter professional with a high level of knowledge and understanding of a specific IPC standard or group of standards. The role of the Certified Standards Expert may vary by organization, but the CSE will be able to:
- Act as a subject matter expert for their organization, answering standard related questions, providing support to various levels of the organization, and, interpreting the standard for their organization.
- Judge organizational conflicts in opinion of a viewed condition.
- Act as the intermediary between the organization and IPC staff and/or industry experts on standards questions.
- Update the organization on the latest standards and best practices from industry.
- Provide feedback to standards committees on updates to the process for inclusion in the standards.
- Interface with designers and process engineers to develop assembly processes.
The Certified Standards Expert (CSE) program is divided into two levels:
- Certified Standards Expert (CSE)
- Senior Standards Expert (SCSE)
CITs may be employees of companies that train only within their parent company. Faculty members of education and training institutions, such as technical schools or community colleges that train a variety of current and future workers. Members of a Licensed Training Center when that individual has not yet met the criteria for being an MIT. Independent consultants who work with a variety of companies. Conductors of CIS or CID training for any organization that desires such training and in accordance with the Policies and Procedures defined by IPC.
CITs are authorized to deliver and administer CIS or CID / CID+ training and certification examinations to individuals who wish to gain IPC Certification. Certification will be granted by IPC to any individual who successfully completes the required Program and/or passes the minimum skills measurement criteria set by each Program’s Technical Training Committee. This will include, as a minimum, passing all required examination(s) and, as defined in the Program, may require acceptable completion of specific workmanship demonstrations. All examination(s) are required to be delivered and administered through the Online Certification Portal.
CITs whose certifications have expired are not authorized by IPC to conduct CIS or CID / CID+ training, grant CIS or CID / CID+ certification or purchase CIS or CID / CID+ training materials until they have recertified.
Any CITs may be periodically observed during class instruction by IPC staff or MITs to ensure that quality of instruction is maintained.
The Master IPC Trainer (MIT) is an optional designation that may be obtained by a Certified IPC Trainer (CIT). The Master IPC Trainer (MIT) is not an independent certification. A Licensed Training Center seeking to add the Master IPC Trainer (MIT) designation to a CIT. The Master IPC Trainer (MIT) designation shall only be granted to CITs actively employed by, or contracted to, an IPC Licensed Training Center.
IPC's policies and procedures provide an extensive outline of the certification programs. From the definition of term, to prerequisites, to outlines of the certification exam, you can find it all in the policies and procedures. Anyone seeking to earn or renew IPC certifications should review the policies and procedures. You can find the policies and procedures for your certification level here.
Each Endorsement description below provides additional information and includes links to a listing of Authorized Certification Centers.
IPC J-STD-001, Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies, has emerged as the preeminent authority for electronics assembly manufacturing worldwide. The standard describes materials, methods and verification criteria for producing high-quality soldered leaded and lead-free interconnections. It emphasizes process control and establishes industry consensus requirements for a broad range of electronic connections. Learn more.
IPC-A-600, Acceptability of Printed Boards has set the standard for PCB workmanship quality with its comprehensive acceptance criteria for target, acceptable and nonconforming conditions on bare printed boards. PCB manufacturers and assemblers alike rely on this internationally recognized document to improve their understanding of printed board quality issues as well as help enhance communication with their suppliers and customers. This makes IPC-A-600 one of the most widely used standards ever published by IPC, and a natural choice for certification. Learn More.
With its comprehensive criteria for printed circuit board assemblies, IPC-A-610 is the most widely used inspection standard in the electronics industry — and has earned an international reputation as the source for end-product acceptance criteria for consumer and high reliability printed circuit assemblies. Now updated to lead-free, and available in many languages, IPC-A-610 has been embraced by original equipment manufacturers and electronics manufacturing services companies worldwide. Learn More.
IPC/WHMA-A-620, Requirements and Acceptance for Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies enjoyed immediate international acceptance since its first release in 2002 and quickly became the most important process, materials and inspection standard for the cable and wire harness industry. Developed with the support of the Wire Harness Manufacturer’s Association, the document and training programs have been published in several languages and the standard has earned an international reputation as the source for end-product acceptance. Now updated to lead-free for terminal soldering criteria, IPC/WHMA-A-620 has been embraced by original equipment manufacturers and electronics manufacturing services companies worldwide. Learn More.
Manufacturers and assemblers that want to realize dramatic cost savings by repairing and reworking electronic assemblies and printed circuit boards agree on the benefits of IPC-7711/7721, Rework, Modification and Repair of Electronic Assemblies. This widely used standard offers a wealth of industry-approved techniques on through-hole and surface-mount rework as well as land, conductor and laminate repair. It covers procedural requirements, tools, materials and methods for removing and replacing conformal coatings, surface mount and through-hole components. The standard also includes procedures for repairing and modifying boards and assemblies. In addition, it is now updated with additional support for lead-free, BGAs and flex-print repairs. Learn More.
The industry-standard program for the performance and quality assurance of unpopulated rigid printed boards based on the IPC-6012 qualification and performance specification. It includes coverage of performance criteria, requirements for testing of structural integrity, and frequency of end production inspection. Learn More.