By Scott Sardina, PE, CFPHS, CFPPS, CFPS, CFPAI
I’m a lifer. It seems like every year I find myself enrolled in a new semester course or seminar. Part of it is to achieve those continuing education credits we so dearly need, but ultimately, I just enjoy learning new things and sharing newfound knowledge with others. Teaching is a very gratifying way to educate and advance together.
Four years ago, I was first introduced to IFPS and its certifications by achieving the Hydraulic Specialist (CFPHS) certification. I immediately saw the value of becoming certified for safety and educational purposes. Two years later, IFPS kindly accepted my application to join the Board of Directors. Fluid power education is always a major topic of discussion in our meetings. It is extremely important for us to get the word out and teach the next generation.
IFPS also offers the opportunity to become an Accredited Instructor (CFPAI). This is a very challenging, yet beneficial, certification. Not everyone can pick up a book and then pass a test, nor is every nuance covered in the books. Becoming an IFPS Accredited Instructor allows you to prepare others for IFPS certification exams and proves that you meet the high standards of the organization as an instructor.
Anyone with five years or more of experience in the fluid power industry should consider becoming an Accredited Instructor through IFPS. The application process and requirements are very straightforward on the IFPS website (www.ifps.org). In addition to having at least five years of experience, you must hold at least one IFPS certification and complete the instructor training workshop.
People seem most intimidated by the workshop because you need to present a topic in front of other professionals. After five years in the industry, you will find that you can talk about a technical topic for much longer than you think, even if you don’t give presentations every day. It is important to talk about things that you know, prepare ahead of time, and practice, practice, practice.
My current company, Waterclock Engineering, strongly supports IFPS certification. We offer training courses for individuals and companies wanting to get IFPS certified or who simply want to learn more about fluid power. Becoming an Accredited Instructor has commanded a high level of respect in the industry and increased interest in certification training.
I encourage you to accept the challenge and submit your application. The instructor training workshops are held a couple times a year and scheduled almost a year in advance. Whether you want to achieve a personal goal or your company is pushing for it, becoming an IFPS Accredited Instructor will catapult you into an elite group to increase your marketability and inspire others.