Nearly everything electronic depends on the printed circuit board (PCB). For many years, the IPC-A-600 Acceptability of Printed Boards and IPC-6012 Qualification and Performance Specification for Rigid Printed Boards documents have set the standard for PCB workmanship quality, giving comprehensive acceptance criteria with full color illustrations and photographs showing all types of printed board surface and internal conditions. Because of its importance to both the PCB manufacturer and assembler, the IPC-A-600 has become one of the most widely used and accepted documents.

The IPC-A-600 Training and Certification Program helps all segments of the electronics interconnection industry improve their understanding of printed board quality issues, greatly enhances communication between PCB manufacturers, their suppliers and their customers and provides a valuable portable credential to industry professionals as well as recognition for their companies.

Who Needs Training on the IPC-A-600?

Printed Board Manufacturers Knowledge of acceptance criteria is essential in tracing nonconforming conditions to their origins in the manufacturing process. The IPC-A-600 Training and Certification Program establishes the important relationship between the IPC-A-600 and the IPC-6012. This program also makes a powerful statement to users of printed boards that a company is serious about continuous quality improvement. Industry-recognized, technically accurate training for anyone involved in PCB fabrication did not exist until now.

Electronics Assembly Companies No one wants to put dozens of expensive components on a defective PCB. IPC-A-600 Training and Certification gives the assembler the information to do a better job at incoming inspection. Knowing acceptable conditions means that PCBs are not needlessly scrapped; knowing nonconforming conditions saves the assembler from an expensive component mounting operation. Certified IPC Trainers working in electronics assembly can forge a more productive relationship with their PCB suppliers.

OEMs and Material/Equipment Suppliers Anyone involved in purchasing or specifying printed boards needs to understand the criteria of IPC-A-600 and IPC-6012. OEMs, like assemblers, perform incoming board inspection and have a huge investment in PCBs. Designers will learn the baseline requirements for board quality for all classes of product. Material and equipment suppliers along with OEMs will sharpen their ability to recognize nonconforming conditions.

How Does the IPC-A-600 Training and Certification Program Work?

The program is built on a train-the-trainer model. Companies involved in fabrication, assembly, or original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) enroll a representative in a three day training course conducted by an IPC Training Center. The training program provides a detailed review of the IPC-A-600 criteria and concludes with a qualifying examination. Those who pass the exam are recognized as "IPC-A-600 Certified IPC Trainers" and receive instructional materials to use in "Certified IPC Application Specialist" (CIS) training. The Application Specialist (CIS) training is modular and allows for any or all sections of the document to be taught.

Benefits of Certification

Those interested in company-wide quality assurance initiatives have an industry developed and approved, IPC-sponsored program to support their commitment to continuous operations and product improvement. IPC recognition sends a strong message to customers that your company is serious about implementing IPC-A-600.

All IPC-A-600 Certified IPC Trainers receive the instructional materials for teaching the Application Specialist training course, including:

  • Course file with more than 250 full color visuals covering all aspects of the standard and training course, student handbook files for printing, and all reports and forms required for conducting CIS Specialist training.
  • An instructor guide (electronic format) for teaching the CIS training course
  • Soft copies of IPC-A-600 Acceptability of Printed Boards and the IPC-6012 Qualification and Performance Specification for Rigid Printed Boards
  • Open and Closed Book Examinations for IPC-A-600 Application Specialist training are now conducted online via the IPC Portal
  • IPC certificate of course completion

Application Specialist training materials may be purchased from IPC only by Certified IPC Trainers. Certified IPC Trainers may teach the course at any location and set a training fee, if applicable. The term for an IPC-A-600 Certified IPC Trainer is two years. Re-certification training is conducted by IPC Licensed Training Centers.

Certified IPC Application Specialist (CIS): The CIS program will assist your employees to identify non-conforming board conditions. It will benefit all those involved in bare board inspection whether it is outwards or inwards goods. It can help avoid expensive and wasteful assembly attempts on non conforming boards. Companies utilizing the CIS program demonstrate that they are serious about process control and continuous quality control improvement.

Topics Covered in the IPC-A-600 Course:

  • Printed board product classifications and acceptance criteria
  • Base material surface and subsurface conditions such as measling/crazing
  • Solder resist coverage over conductors and registration to lands
  • Conductor width and spacing and annular ring requirements
  • Dielectric material criteria for etchback, voids, and resin recession
  • Plated-through hole requirements for copper plating thickness, voids, nodules and cracks
  • Acceptance criteria for flexible, rigid-flex and metal core printed boards
  • Skills for teaching the lesson plan effectively (for CIT candidates)


Fee includes tuition, all course materials, lunches and refreshments each day.
AU$1150 excl GST ($150 discount for SMCBA members)

The CIS fee does NOT include a copy of the A-600 standard - it is assumed that students will have access to the standard at their place of work.  The standard can be purchased separately - please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange.