The IPC certification is a credential that is sought after in the electronics assembly industry for several reasons. One of the main drivers for having certified personnel provide assembly and rework/repair on printed circuit boards is it is a contractual requirement. In addition, the acceptance standards that the assemblies are inspected to include the IPC-A-600, IPC-A-610 and IPC-A-620 contractually require trained and certified inspection personnel for the bare boards, assemblies and cable and wire harnesses. Another driver of IPC certification is that the quality system adopted by many electronics assemblers, suppliers and service providers calls for a 3rd party verified (ANSI) training program. An IPC certification meets that training standard.
In addition, IPC certification in the assembly and quality areas of a company signals to potential customers that your company takes continuous improvement seriously. Finally, IPC certification points the customer to the desire on part of the assembler to understand the latest in electronics by successfully demonstrating knowledge and application of these standards.
IPC certification is valid for a two year period of time. At the end of this time recertification is required. The latest IPC policies and procedures
IPC Policies and Procedures for Certification training dictate the expiration, extension and renewal of the IPC certification. As an example from one of the programs, the J-STD-001 applications specialist program, the IPC recertification policy states the following:
“Certification renewals completed within a 90-day window prior to the expiration of the existing certification shall be granted a new certification expiration date that is exactly two years following the existing expiration date. A single extension of 90 days beyond the two-year certification term may be requested and granted by the IPC Certification Office. Beginning on January 1, 2020 certification renewals shall occur within six calendar months prior to the expiration of an existing certification. When certificants renew their certification within 6 months of the certification expiration date, the renewed certification will be valid for an additional 2 years from the expiration date of their currently held certification.”
There are a variety of ways, depending upon the credential and the IPC certification level, in which someone can get re-certified:
1. Challenge test for IPC certification renewal. This option is employed by candidates who have a high degree of familiarity with standard or continuously practice the skills as part of their normal work flow. In this case the student engages with the trainer or the training center in order to sit for the re-certification exam. There is no instruction-just proctoring of the exam. The testing can be either a standards comprehension test for the discrimination standards (A-600, A-610, A-620, 6012) or a skills-based and comprehension test for the kills-based standards (J-STD-001, IPC 7711/21). This IPC certification renewal method can take place at your facility, through the internet or at a training center.
2. Sit for an IPC re-certification class. This option is well-suited for those who generally do not use the standard every day or if there has been significant changes due to a change in the revision of the standard. In this IPC certification renewal class there is a high level review of the entire required material. At the end of the class the testing once again confirms skill levels and knowledge of applying the standard.
Call BEST to understand your options for your IPC certification renewal.