The Value of Certification

By Christian Thornton, iNARTE Business Manager

For several years now I have spoken about the value of certification within the engineering community. This value comes from not only an individual perspective and the ability to demonstrate and prove your knowledge and experience, but also from the corporate and industry perspective in demonstrating that your company can provide a high level of expertise and quality. In this way, you can impact quality and standards throughout the industry. The need for demonstrated quality is evidenced today by the shortage of semiconductor chips.

A chip shortage that started during the pandemic due to increased demand for personal computers and other electronics for work or school from home has now reached a level in which other industries, such as auto manufacturing, are also threatened on a global scale. As a result of this shortage the demand for proven, reliable, and trustworthy suppliers has increased. At the same time, it has driven the prevalence of counterfeit or low-quality products.

So, the question remains, how do you ensure as much as possible that the supplies received are of good value and that the organizations you work with are equally reputable? One answer is education and certification. I realize that technically that is two answers, but they are not dissimilar. Education and certification bridge the gap between the supplier and the manufacturer by ensuring that both the individuals making the components and those receiving it each have a common understanding of a particular subject. It also helps to then identify which organizations hold their staff to high standards. Companies that require their employees to achieve and hold a third-party certification, it can be assumed, hold quality and reputation in high regard. It can therefore be further assumed that their products would be of good quality. Education plays a role in helping to know not only what to look for but how to look for it.

Now the question becomes, how do we support certification? This is a very good question and one that “starts at home,” so to speak. The demand for certification can start in several ways. Two main pathways are for companies to require certification for their own teams and for them to require it from their suppliers. Both are easily achievable and play an important role. Companies can be confident that their own teams maintain a high standard and they can also be confident that the products and supplies they are receiving are of sufficient quality.

This is a topic of ongoing importance and it is one which iNARTE will speak about at the upcoming virtual EMC symposium. Another topic of conversation will be the new platform launched at the beginning of this year by our parent company, Exemplar Global. Aptly named Exemplar LINK, this is a tool designed to help with collaboration, discussion, credentialing, and much more.