IPC certification training for application specialists, otherwise known as IPC-A-610 certification course applicants, is the PCB inspection certification program in the electronics industry. This class will teach you about how to use and apply the IPC-A-610 standard. While it does not include any hand soldering or inspection skills, there are some add-on sections offered by most of the IPC certification training centers that touch on hands-on inspection skills.
The IPC certification for IPC-A-610 application specialists consists of several modules. These are enumerated below:
Module 1 Introduction/IPC, Professional Policies and Procedures
Module 2 Foreword, Applicable, Documents, & Handling
Module 3 Hardware Installation
Module 4 Soldering (Including High Voltage)
Module 5 Terminal Connections (Requires Modules 4 & 8 prior to taking this module)
Module 6 Through-Hole Technology (Including TH Jumper Wires) (Requires Modules 4 & 8 prior to taking this module)
Module 7 Surface Mount Assemblies (Including SMT Jumper Wires) (Requires Modules 4 & 8 prior to taking this module)
Module 8 Component Damage and Printed Circuit Boards and Assemblies
Module 9 Solderless Wire Wrap
This class is a modularized class meaning that the company personnel being instructed can “pick and choose” the applicable modules to their business. Modules 1 and 2 are mandatory whereas the others are optional. This IPC certification program can consume anywhere from 1 to 3 days in the training room.
Once credentialed the CIS application specialist retains their IPC certification for a 2 year period of time. These credentials are portable meaning that the person retains the cert. The IPC training portal keeps tracks of the testing results and the validation of the training program credentials.
In terms of getting some hands on training in using the standard each of the companies have different approaches. In some cases the student is placed under the guidance of a senior inspector for a while who explains strategies and double-checks the work. In other cases new inspectors may be involved in first checking simple assemblies followed by more complex tasks. In some cases they may have their own solder inspection and training program. Finally the option exists for the trainees to sit on a hands-on class developed by the local IPC certification training center in hands-on PCB inspection.