Overview of IPC Certification and Re-Certification Policies & Procedures for Application Specialist (previously called Operator / Worker Proficiency)

The IPC Training & Certification programs are used worldwide and are developed by and through industry consensus, including but not limited to the members of IPC and many other representatives from academia, government agencies, and OEMs, etc.

The goals of the IPC Professional Training & Certification Programs are to:

A.  Present a standardized set of industry developed, recognized, approved, and traceable training programs to enhance understanding and appropriate application of criteria in the standard.

B.  Provide an understanding of accept/reject criteria to enhance an individual’s motivation and ability to consistently and correctly apply the technical discrimination criteria.

C.  Instruct methods and processes to improve an individual’s skills and ability to achieve acceptable workmanship.

D.  Train an individual how to use, navigate, locate, and apply the criteria contained in a document to the appropriate class or classes of production.

The “Certified IPC Application Specialist (CIS)” training programs will train, test, and certify in the correct application of the criteria for all product classes. Certification is granted by a Certified IPC Trainer.   Application Specialist training is appropriate for managers, supervisors, quality inspectors, quality program administrators, operators, and any other individuals (such as technology students) who will benefit by having a consistent understanding of the criteria in a standard.

Certification is a personal credential—it is granted to the individual who successfully completes the training (not to the employing company).  Certification conferred upon an individual is the property of that certified person and is retained with him/her even with change in employment.

The period of certification for Certified IPC Application Specialist (CIS) expires after two (2) years. The certification is valid through the last day of the month, regardless of the day of the month the certification was granted.  Re-certification of Certified IPC Specialists (CIS) may be accomplished by attending the initial certification training (original training class) or the re-certification training class, or through challenge testing.

If personal scheduling problems will delay timely re-certification, the Certified IPC Trainers are authorized to grant, at their discretion and in accordance with ISO or other documented quality certification program guidelines and restrictions that may be in place at a company, a single extension of up to ninety (90) days to the Certified IPC Application Specialist (CIS).  Such extensions should be documented in writing for reference record.  Please note that the validity of the CIS extensions is ultimately determined by the employer (it is company-specific).  Some companies have documented quality programs that do not permit application level extensions.

Re-certification that is accomplished in a 90-day window BEFORE OR AFTER the existing certification expiration date will be granted a new certification expiration date that is exactly 2 years from the existing expiration date. That is, early re-certification of up to 90 days will not incur a penalty on the 2-year cycle, nor will re-certification within the 90-day (maximum) extension of certification unfairly add on to the 2-year cycle. 

If the re-certification is going to occur MORE THAN 90 days AFTER the existing expiration, it is at the discretion / judgment of the Certified IPC Trainer (based on the Trainer's assessment of the Application Specialist's current working experience and knowledge of the appropriate standard) to determine if the Certified IPC Application Specialist (CIS) will need to retake the initial complete certification course or to simply take the re-certification course. 

When re-certification is accomplished MORE THAN 90 days BEFORE or AFTER the existing expiration, a NEW 2-year expiration will be established from the ACTUAL month of the re-certification class.   If special exceptions are requested, one may consult directly with the IPC Director of Certification, for assistance.

All rights and permissions afforded to Certified IPC Application Specialist (CIS) are canceled when the individual no longer fulfills the necessary certification requirements (expiration or administratively canceled).


Skolnik Technical is also an active member of the ESD Association.