National Council Imaging Certification to Debut Online in 2001
Thursday, January 18, 2001
Kennebunk, ME, Skill certification continues to grow as a vital part of the overall training and development of technical professionals across U.S. industry. The perceived value of certification covers a wide array of strengths, from increased quality of work , higher productivity, and decreased turnover to its use as a competitive differentiator in the workplace. Research by International Data Corporation (IDC) found companies that advocated certification reported 49% less downtime than those that did not. The savings from increased effectiveness paid for certification in less than nine months for a majority of companies surveyed. In light of this trend, the National Council for Skill Standards in Graphic Communications (NC) will continue expanding its repertoire of national certification examinations. The Digital Imaging Operator's Multicolor Certification Examination is the latest, and is expected to be available early in 2001. The examination reflects the increasingly digital nature of graphic arts workflow, based on the NC Imaging Skill Standards. According to Edmond L. Kelley, NC board chairman and corporate manager, Employee Services for Quad/Graphics, Inc., assistance for this latest certification project, has come from a variety of avenues. Sponsor donationscame from Anderson Lithograph; Fuji Photo Film, Inc.; Heidelberg USA, Inc.; Microsoft Corporation; PIA/Northern and PIA/Southern California R.A.I.S.E. Foundation; and Treasure Chest Advertising, Inc. Additional support came in the form of the endorsement of the International Prepress Association and the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, as well as a long-term operations assistance loan from the Printing Industries of America, Inc. This assistance demonstrates support of the mission and goals of the NC and its efforts toward the development of standards and certification for industry technical professionals. On the other hand, it also points toward an even more important trend—the willingness of organizations and businesses to work in a multi-partisan manner to develop a highly qualified workforce for the industry. Reflecting the increasing use of digital modes of communication and trends toward using online learning, the task of compiling the test materials is being accomplished through online communication and discussion with subject matter experts from Anderson Lithograph; Appalachian State University; CreoScitex, Inc.; Fuji Photo Film USA/Graphic Systems; Graphic Arts Technical Foundation; Green Printing Company; Heidelberg USA; Rochester Institute of Technology; Valassis Communiocations, Inc.; Williams Printing Co.; and the Xerox Corporation. Funding from sponsors enabled these subject matter experts from prepress imaging fields across the United States to contribute the program’s content from their areas of expertise.