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Certification of the Company or the Employee

From time to time the question arises that sounds like the following: Is my company certified to IPC “insert your favorite standard here”? Or the statement we hear is, “Our company is certified to IPC such and such.

What we need is a little clarification. The IPC does not certify companies, only the instructors (CITs) and then they can certify the operators (CISs), to the requirements of the particular specifications, be it either IPC-A-610, WHMA/IPC-A-620, IPC/J-STD-001, IPC-A-600, or IPC-7711/7721.

Some plants have been certified to the requirements of IPC specifications, but they do not receive an IPC certificate, but a certificate from the company doing the audit. We’ve done a couple of these to make sure the total manufacturing system is following the requirement of the specifications. Again this is not an IPC certification and the IPC is not involved with this effort.

What your customers should be concerned with is one of the most important paragraph of J-STD-001, paragraph 1.10 Personnel Proficiency, which defines that, “…all instructors, operators and inspection personnel shall be proficient in the tasks to be performed…”, the document does not state all the people have to be certified, it states they have to be proficient. The only one who can mandate certification of the operators is the customer in the contractual agreements.