IPC is a networking organization, advocacy arm and not for profit repository of electronics industry standards. It provides a variety of networking events where industry leaders, technocrats and business people involved in the electronics industry can meet, learn and share ideas. In addition, the organization gathers and organizes industry standards with respect to materials, processes and inspection having to do with the assembly, testing and sourcing for the electronics industry. It is in this last area where industry consensus has driven training programs for recognizing and demonstrating skills and knowledge of these standards in an industry-wide effort for the formalization of training programs. These IPC certification programs are important to maintaining the integrity and consistency of the build quality of electronic assemblies across a variety of industries and applications. In the area of PCB assembly, there are a variety of formalized IPC certification programs. They are enumerated and given an overview below:
IPC-A-600- The IPC-A-600 Acceptability of Printed Boards documents 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.
IPC-A-610- The Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies is the standard published by the IPC for assembled PCB inspection criteria. It is the source for end product acceptance criteria for consumer and high reliability printed wiring assemblies.
IPC-A-620- The Requirements and Acceptance for Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies, is the industry consensus standard for cable and wire harness fabrication and installation. Classes of products are defined and include criteria for Defect, Process Indicator, Acceptable and Target conditions to support the collection of visual quality acceptability requirements for each class.
IPC J-STD-001- The IPC J-STD-001 Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic is the specification for electronics manufacturing. The standard describes both methods and materials for producing quality soldered interconnections. The standard emphasizes process control and sets industry-consensus requirements for a broad range of electronic products.
IPC 7711- The rework training and certification program offers your company the money-saving alternative: fix it yourself!
IPC 7721- This program revolves around the physical repair of printed circuit boards that is the pad, trace, laminate and through hole repair.
Others are being developed in the areas of box builds and fiber optic connectivity amongst others.
The IPC certification program appears as a multi-tiered program with the highest level are the master instructors, employed by independent training centers. These master instructors are the backbone of the IPC certification training program.