Implementation Specialist

A certified FIRST Implementation Specialist is an expert in the field of flexographic printing support, consultation and communication.FIRST_implspec_lg

This certification is designed for supervisors, managers and non-production personnel, including suppliers of flexographic products and services. A FIRST Implementation Specialist is proficient in communicating the principles and practices of FIRST in order to apply them effectively across the entire flexographic supply chain.


  • Foster effective communication between customers, printers and suppliers
  • Open collaboration between prepress and press for consistent and repeatable print
  • Employ process control elements and data collection for quality improvement
  • Calibrate and use measurement devices for print production analysis
  • Incorporate proper fingerprinting and analysis to enhance workflow productivity
  • Communicate optimization practices from the plate package to print production
  • Develop print evaluation and documentation procedures
  • Lead implementation of FIRST methodology across the entire workflow
Level I:  6 weeks, self-paced – sign up online
Level II: 12 weeks, self-paced – sign up online
Level III: 12 weeks, self-paced – sign up online


“Our team uses practices learned through the certification process to interact with a higher degree of efficiency internally, along with improved understanding and engagement with our customers.”—Darin Lyon, FIRST Implementation Specialist Certified, Anderson & Vreeland, Inc.


FIRST Methodology

FIRST supports the methodical approach to process control, optimization, fingerprinting, characterization and process improvement as outlined in CGATS TR 012-2003 (Graphic Technology – Color Reproduction and Process Control for Packaging Printing). While each organization may use its own workflow based upon its specific needs, there are certain fundamentals universal to the flexographic printing process. With a firm understanding and application of the FIRST methodology, flexographers can: identify potentially troublesome issues, benchmark press performance, utilize statistical analysis to maintain optimal conditions, perform accurate device calibrations, identify improvement opportunities and preserve stable conditions for repeatable results –all with the end result of satisfactorily reproducing the graphic design.

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