KENNEBUNK, ME — The National Council for Skill Standards in Graphic Communications (NC) has announced the latest of its high-tech skill certification examinations, with the Digital Imaging Certification Examination (DICE) series. The NC DICE examinations are based on the Council Imaging Skill Standards, developed by the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF) under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The DICE exams will be available on-line at participating Printing Industries of America (PIA) affiliates and other industry association locations throughout the U.S., to be announced in November.
Edmond L. Kelley, NC board chairman and corporate manager, Employee Services for Quad/Graphics, Inc., has announced DICE sponsor donations from Anderson Lithograph; Fuji Photo Film, Inc.; Heidelberg USA, Inc.; the Microsoft Corporation; PIA/Northern and PIA/Southern California R.A.I.S.E Foundation; and Vertis-TC Advertising, Inc. Kelley also welcomed the endorsement of the International Prepress Association, GATF, and PIA.
Kelley further stated that "certification for digital imaging experts is all-important in today’s cost-conscious environment. Customers dealing with printers and publishers with National Council DICE-certified technicians will know what they are getting in terms of an imaging operator’s current state-of-the-art knowledge and skills in digital imaging software systems."
The DICE series, comprised of individual assessments covering Composition, Job Engineering, Image Capture, and Digital Output, challenges high-tech operators in the printing, publishing, and advertising industries. Expert Digital Imaging Technician (EDIT) certification will be awarded upon successful completion of each of the four exams in the series, and Master Digital Imaging Technician (MDIT) certification awarded with successful completion of all four exams.
Certificates will be awarded with successful completion of each of the exams, with an attractive MDIT lapel pin with successful completion of all four exams. MDIT certification is effective for a three-year period, at which time the technician must sit for a re-certification examination to extend Council recognition.
The NC has officially endorsed the GATF Digital Imaging Certification Review Program as the study guide, now in preparation with StaffingTools.com, a division of Digital Media, Inc. (DMI), Michael Budd, President. Following is a listing of the specific operator skill functions examined in the NC DICE series, and covered in the GATF Review Program:
* Composition: Orientation to DTP / Design and typography / Color specification / Image editing software / Illustration software / Page layout software / Graphic arts workflow / Imaging file formats / Font management / Proofing and quality control / Basics of press, binding and finishing
* Job Engineering: Orientation to DTP / Graphic arts workflow / Client analysis / Imaging file formats / Font management / Digital file transport / Preflighting / Proofing and quality control / Basics of press, binding and finishing / Digital prepress workflow
* Image Capture: Orientation to DTP / Color appreciation / Color reproduction / Digital image basics / Image capture hardware and software / Introduction to color management / Basics of press, binding and finishing / File servers, OPI, and networks / Advanced proofing
* Digital Output: Orientation to DTP / Font management / Proofing and quality control / Basics of press, binding and finishing / Digital prepress workflow / File servers, OPI, and networks / Advanced PostScript and RIPs / Advanced proofing / Imagesetters and platesetters / Digital trapping / Digital imposition
The NC has also engaged the services of Hal Hinderliter, Hinderliter Consulting & Creative Services (www.halhinderliter.com), in collaboration with DMI in the design and development of the DICE exam series. Hal’s background includes a stint as GATF’s Center for Imaging Excellence. He was heavily involved in the design and development of the new GATF Imaging Skills Training Program Curriculum. Hal is an internationally known author, lecturer, and consultant on electronic imaging and digital workflow.
Skill certification is fast becoming a vital part of the overall training and development of technical professionals across American industry. According to a Gartner Group/Dataquest, Inc. Perspective report, managers value certification because it increases quality and productivity of work, results in less turnover, and is considered to be a competitive differentiator. Another study says that certification makes workers more productive. Research by International Data Corporation (IDC) found that in the IT field, certified professionals handled 40 percent more support calls per person, per day than uncertified people. Companies that advocated certification reported 49 percent 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.
The National Council is a nonprofit organization governed by a board of directors, established to maintain and improve the competitiveness of the graphic communications industry through the development and maintenance of skill standards; the promotion and dissemination of skill standards; and the voluntary testing and certification of technical professionals in industry. For additional information contact: Managing Director, National Council for Skill Standards, 408 Lafayette Center, Kennebunk, Maine 04043. Phone: 207-985-9898; Fax: 207-985-6347. Email: [email protected]
Web site: www.ncssgc.org.