by Donna Pollander, ACA, IFPS Executive Director
There are some really exciting things going on at IFPS…updates to our flagship certifications, development of a NEW certification, a new logo, and a brand-new website!
Several years ago, the Board of Directors made the decision to review and update each certification program every five years. Historically this has been a “clean-up” process, reviewing the current Study Manual and certification tests to make sure all outcomes are clear and concise, and that the test questions are objectively written and properly representative of the material covered.
During the most recent revisions of the Hydraulic Specialist (HS) and Pneumatic Specialist (PS) certifications, we decided to perform what we called a “mini-DACUM” (DACUM is an acronym for Developing A Curriculum). Developing a curriculum for industry certifications is a process that incorporates the use of a focus group, in a facilitated story-boarding process, to capture the major duties and related tasks included in an occupation, as well as the necessary knowledge, skills, and traits.
We felt we had the crux of information for each certification but wanted to–not start from scratch, per se, but–review all material covered for relevance and to look at new, emerging technologies and trends to ensure our certifications are as well-rounded as possible. It was important that we reviewed the order of outcomes in the Study Manuals, as we wanted the test-taker to review the Study Manual in a logical order. We’ve completely revised the formulas for both certifications, making complicated equations simpler to solve. All equations are now listed in both metric and imperial units. In fact, all units in both certifications are listed in metric and imperial, and each certification test reflects a mix of questions in metric and imperial. Along with the features listed, we added a Safety and Energy Tips section throughout the manuals.
Another exciting project we’re developing is interactive Study Manuals, or online certification review training modules. This “at your own pace” training takes each Study Manual outcome and uses animation and video to aid the test-taker in preparation for the certification test. The Hydraulic Specialist interactive manual will be released in September and the Pneumatic Specialist version shortly thereafter.
Work has begun on the development of the Electronic Controls Technician certification. IFPS defines an Electronic Controls Technician as an individual responsible to work either under supervision or independently on industrial or mobile fluid power and automation systems. Technicians are not responsible for designing control systems; however, they are required to be capable of properly installing, troubleshooting, testing, repairing, and modifying electronic control systems and have the knowledge necessary to support and maintain these systems. A three-hour written exam, as well as a three-hour Job Performance Test or practical exam are slated to be released in 2018.
And be on the look-out for a brand-new, updated logo for the IFPS. We’re proud of our new look, and I’m sure you will be as impressed with it as we are. You will see the new logo and read more about the development process here.
We are also working on a brand-new website with hopes to roll it out in the first quarter of 2018. The new website will not only have an exciting new look, but will have more enhancements and robust capabilities.
None of these exciting changes would be possible without the tireless efforts of our many volunteers and our dedicated staff. It’s truly a humbling experience to work with each of them!