“Think locally, act globally.”
- Rene Jules Dubos (1980)
I am proud to be a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP). The certification is offered by the certifying organization of the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRPCO), which is a subsidiary of the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP).
SMRP is committed to practitioners in the field of equipment maintenance and reliability. It was originally chartered in 1992 and incorporated in Illinois in 1993 as a not-for-profit corporation. SMRP was formed to facilitate the exchange of information; support maintenance and reliability as an integral part of business management; present a collective voice on maintenance and reliability issues and advance innovative maintenance and reliability practices; and promote and support maintenance and reliability education, which includes certification.
Efforts to begin a certification program began in 1997. In 1998, a team of volunteers gathered to begin scoping the objectives, activities and deliverables of the certification process, which led to the development of a “body of capabilities for a high-performing maintenance and reliability leader.” This body of capabilities was validated by nearly 400 maintenance and reliability professionals who participated in a Web-based survey. Encouraged by the feedback from participants, the committee elected to proceed with the development of the CMRP designation. After a pilot examination at the 2000 SMRP Annual Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, and some further beta testing, the first official examination was administered to 59 maintenance and reliability professionals at the 2001 SMRP Annual Conference. I was among those test takers, and am pleased to report that I passed.
So what does the CMRP designation have to do with machinery lubrication? A great deal, really. The condensed subject matter outline for the CMRP includes business and management, manufacturing process reliability, equipment reliability, people and work management. We lubrication professionals modify or maintain lubrication practices for the purpose of optimizing or managing equipment and process reliability with the ultimate goal of maximizing profit or in some other way enhancing the organization’s likelihood of achieving its mission. We must manage work processes and people to achieve our goals for machinery lubrication.
The phrase “think globally, act locally,” certainly applies here.1 Any machinery lubrication professional who is involved with equipment maintenance and reliability (which is most of us) should consider earning the CMRP designation. Only when we truly understand equipment maintenance and reliability and its relationship to the overall mission of the organization can we effectively develop and implement an optimized lubrication and oil analysis strategy. The CMRP confirms that you have the skills and knowledge to bridge the gap between technical lubrication skills and strategic maintenance and reliability know-how.
No formal education or experience is required to attempt the CMRP examination. SMPRCO does say, however, that the “candidate should have significant applied experience and education in maintenance and reliability technical fundamentals.” It further says that “work management and reliability engineering skills are key areas.” A “capabilities inventory outline” is available on SMRP’s Web site. The closed-book examination is 110 multiple-choice questions (subject to change) for which the candidate is allowed two hours to complete.
SMRP’s Web site2 is packed with useful information, including a Web-based audio/ visual tutorial on the capabilities of a CMRP, several free documents in pdf format, and the Reference Guide for the Certification in Maintenance Management, which was developed to assist people preparing for the CMRP examination. There is also information about becoming a sustaining member of SMRPCO to show your commitment to excellence in maintenance and reliability. Noria Corporation, the publisher of Machinery Lubrication magazine, is proud to be a sustaining member of SMRPCO, and we encourage you to join us in our support of the effort.
Membership in SMRP is not required to sit for the CMRP examination. However, if you are not already a member of SMRP, you should become one. It is a great organization. The SMRP annual conference, usually held in the fall, is a great place to learn and network. I hope to see you at the conference in Indianapolis, IN, November 2-5, 2003.
You can access more information about SMRP, SMRPCO and the CMRP designation at the SMRP Web site: www.smrp.org
Machinery lubrication is a technical subset of maintenance and reliability. To effectively “act locally” while “thinking globally” I encourage practitioners in our community to amend their technical certifications in lubrication and oil analysis certifications offered by the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) with appropriate collateral credentials like SMRP’s CMRP designation. That is my viewpoint. As always, I am interested in yours.