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Increasingly, managers are looking to third-party organizations to verify that their staff members are competent and ready to perform in the roles to which they are assigned. This is largely due to narrow margins that demand mistake-free production and to cutbacks that have spread managers thin. Their increased span of control makes it difficult for these managers to obtain and maintain technical expertise in all the fields over which they are responsible. Third-party certification offers a means by which they may assure that those who report to them are competent. For some managers, it may also serve as the mechanism by which pay levels are determined.
Certification by the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) is a peer-review process whereby individuals may prove their skills. It is not a licensing process like that for physicians or attorneys, which is required by state law to practice in a field. To become certified by ICML, individuals must first apply for candidacy. Candidacy requires a combination of experience and formal training in an approved course of study.
Once accepted into candidacy, an individual must achieve a satisfactory score on a multiple-choice examination covering the body of knowledge as defined by ICML. If successful, the individual will be certified by ICML, receive a wall certificate and a wallet card providing proof of certification. Certified individuals may also identify themselves by their certification in correspondence (i.e., John Q. Doe, Level II MLT).
Failing candidates will be sent a failing notice highlighting their areas of deficiency to help them better prepare for a retake. ICML policies allow for unlimited retakes of the exam, but in compliance with ISO standards for certification of condition monitoring personnel, there is a one-month waiting period between examinations. Certification is good for a period of three years, at which time candidates will need to recertify to maintain their certified status.
Earning an ICML certification acknowledges your expertise in machinery lubrication and/or oil analysis to troubleshoot and ensure reliability of lubricated equipment. The lubrication and oil analysis community, your employer, clients and peers will recognize your ICML credential as a symbol of the skills and knowledge you’ve gained through experience. ICML certification shows that you are a professional with the ability to successfully utilize machinery lubrication and/or oil analysis for your organization or client. As an ICML-certified professional, you also will receive logos and certificates to enable you to identify your ICML-certified status to colleagues or clients.
Through certification, organizations can maximize their return on investment in oil analysis. ICML certification delivers a standardized method of determining training needs and measuring results; a reliable benchmark for hiring, promoting and career planning; employee recognition and rewards that validate their expertise; improved employee ability to ensure machine reliability; and quality assurance for outsourced oil analysis and lubrication services.
Certification brings much-needed credentials to the lubrication and oil analysis community along with benefits such as respect for the oil analysis and lubrication professions and an increase in professionalism within the community.
Certification is the mark of a professional. It helps to ensure that individuals who practice a craft, be it lubricant analysis or medicine, have a defined measure of skills. For the field of machinery lubrication, certification creates a formal framework of knowledge, raises the profile of those working in the industry and provides managers with assurance of skills.
The International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) recently announced its newest board of directors. The new board is comprised of ICML founding member (and Noria CEO) Jim C. Fitch, along with Hugh Blake Edmondson, director of reliability integration and plant systems for Tamko Building Products; Bryan M. Johnson, predictive maintenance and lubrication engineer at Arizona Public Service (Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station); David E. Lange, deputy executive director for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists; and Richard N. Wurzbach, president of MRG Laboratories. These distinguished professionals bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to guide ICML into a most promising future. ICML would also like to acknowledge and thank its technical advisory council, which has served as an ad-hoc board. Its continued participation and support of ICML has been instrumental in the organization’s growth and success. The complete advisory council roster can be viewed at www.lubecouncil.org/volunteers.aspx.