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FIRST Prepress Operator Certification creates experts in the field of flexographic prepress (graphics) operations.

Who Is FIRST Prepress Operator Certification Designed for?

Graphic Artists

Prepress Technicians

Desktop Operators

Who Does a Prepress Operator Communicate with on a Daily Basis?

Press Operators

Plate Makers




Plate Mounters


Customer Service

As a FIRST Certified Prepress Operator, You Will…

Demonstrate effective leadership skills in leading a prepress team.
Identify FIRST asset generation points throughout the workflow.
Use FIRST data verification practices in the prepress department.
Adhere to FIRST practices to solve prepress problems.
Evaluate press conditions to achieve optimal print results.
Perform FIRST job assembly functions.
Work collaboratively with the press department to identify near neutral density standards.

What Do People Think About FIRST Prepress Operator Certification?

“Since we now are able to rely on the color accuracy of a printed contract proof, we are able to show the customer a predictable representation of what their finished product will look like.”

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“We do a better job of handling process jobs because we understand what we need to control and the variables the ink tech and press operators need to control.”

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“This certification is very valuable for prepress operators because they fill a specific and important role in the whole process but are not regularly exposed to the flexo print production environments on a day-to-day basis.”

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“We can talk more intelligently about the approval process and are able to speak more confidently with the customer. We can better communicate openly with our customers on the steps involved.”

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The Road to FIRST Prepress Operator Certification



Six Weeks

Whether you’ve been on the job for two days or 27 years, Level I teaches the foundational building blocks crucial for every flexographer. You will study the package printing industry, understand the flexographic process and learn standard trade terminology.



12 Weeks

Every job has its own function. Level II becomes more specific to the user’s specific roles, applications and equipment. This level also enhances the individual’s basic color theory knowledge and the essentials of consistent color reproduction.



12 Weeks

Level III demonstrates how to apply the science of FIRST methodology by running to the numbers to control the process. It ensures every learner has the right tools to consistently and effectively communicate FIRST throughout the entire workflow.

Get Your FIRST Prepress Operator Certification

Sign up and begin your online training today.

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About FIRST Methodology

Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances (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.