June 18, 2012 - Over the course of three years, Flexographic Technical Association’s (FTA) FIRST Operator Certification program has quickly grown to become the flexo industry’s leading educational and training platform dedicated to advancing flexographic organizations and the skillsets of the individuals they employ.
To date, the program boasts an impressive roster of more than 300 individuals who have attained FIRST Operator certifications. Broken down, they represent:
“We are extremely pleased with the program’s success, and our users are pleased with the results they are seeing. We know the training is effective when we hear our members comment how their employees are more technically sound, how they understand the need to follow the processes, and how their businesses have seen marked improvement in consistency and repeatability.” Said Joe Tuccitto, FTA education director. He added, “We’ve seen great success, but the key is to always stay ahead of the curve. Our staff remains laser-focused and dedicated to making sure the content is always relevant, and the e-learning technology is intuitive and robust.”
The program, operating under the umbrella of FTA’s Technical Education Services Team (TEST) business unit, is administered online via the TEST Virtual Campus and offers three tracks for individuals: Press Operator, Prepress Operator, and Implementation Specialist. Professionals who undergo the training must successfully pass the examination given at the end of each level in order to move forward to the next. The “students” receive their official FIRST Operator certification once they have passed the Level III examination. A fourth track, the FIRST Company Certification, was added last year to recognize the companies that are applying FIRST methodology and have attained compliance with the specifications and tolerances related to Communication and Implementation, Design, Prepress and Press as detailed in the most current Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances (FIRST) document.
Tuccitto summed it up like this, “Your customers must have faith in the process. Internal, on-the-job-training is important, but a proven success strategy is to grow past your own self-education, and take ownership of the process. That’s where the FIRST Operator Certification program shines and that’s when you start seeing real results.”
About FTA/FFTA: Flexographic Technical Association (FTA), chartered in 1958, is a professional society dedicated to bringing all members of the flexographic printing community—printers, suppliers, consumer product companies, institutions, prepress houses and others--together by providing opportunities for the free exchange of technical ideas and discussion of mutual concerns. It is a proponent of maintaining and advancing quality standards and includes 1,650 member sites that represent more than 1,400 companies and 60,000 individuals. Foundation of FTA, founded in 1974, is the educational arm of FTA and is dedicated to supporting and advancing the flexographic printing industry.