The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) was formed in 1995 by the metalworking trade associations to develop and maintain a globally competitive American workforce. NIMS sets skills standards for the industry, certifies individual skills against the standards and accredits training programs that meet NIMS quality requirements.
NIMS operates under rigorous and highly disciplined processes as the only developer of American National Standards for the nation’s metalworking industry accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
NIMS has a stakeholder base of over 6,000 metalworking companies. The major trade associations in the industry- the Association for Manufacturing Technology, the National Tooling & Machining Association, the Precision Machine Products Association, the Precision Metalforming Association, and the Tooling and Manufacturing Association have invested over $7.5 million in private funds for the development of the NIMS standards and its credentials. The associations also contribute annually to sustain NIMS operations and are committed to the upgrading and maintenance of the standards.
NIMS Skill Standards
NIMS has developed skills standards in 24 operational areas covering the breadth of metalworking operations including metalforming (Stamping, Press Brake, Roll Forming, Laser Cutting) and machining ( Machining, Tool and Die Making, Mold Making, Screw Machining, Machine Building and Machine Maintenance, Service and Repair). The Standards range from entry (Level I) to a master level (Level III). All NIMS standards are industry-written and industry-validated, and are subject to regular, periodic reviews under the procedures accredited and audited by ANSI.
NIMS certifies individual skills against the national standards. The NIMS credentialing program requires that the candidate meet both performance and theory requirements. Both the performance and knowledge examinations are industry-designed and industry-piloted. There are 52 distinct NIMS skill certifications.
Industry uses the credentials to recruit, hire, place and promote individual workers. Training programs use the credentials as performance measures of attainment, often incorporating the credentials as completion requirements. The credentials are often the basis for articulation among training programs.
NIMS Program Accreditation
NIMS accredits training programs that meet its quality requirements. The NIMS accreditation requirements include an on-site audit and evaluation by a NIMS industry team that reviews and conducts on-site inspections of all aspects of the training programs, including administrative support, curriculum, plant, equipment and tooling, student and trainee progress, industry involvement, instructor qualifications and safety.
Oficials governing NIMS accredited programs report annually on progress and are subject to accreditation renewal on a five year cycle. As of January 1, 2013 there were over 120 NIMS-accredited programs in operation. Another 130 institutions and firms were in working towards completion of the accreditation process.
NIMS Competency-Based Apprenticeship System
NIMS has launched a new Competency-Based Apprenticeship System for the nation's metalworking industry. The NIMS system represents a dramatic departure from the time-based system an dintegrates the NIMS national standards and skill certifications in defining and measuring required competencies.
Developed in partnership with the United States Department of Labor, the new system is the result of two years of work. Over 300 companies participated in the deliberations and design.
The new National Guideline Standards for NIMS Competency-based Apprenticeship have been approved by the Department of Labor. NIMS has trained Department of Labor apprenticeship staff at the national and state level in the new system.
NIMS is governed by a 26-person Board of Directors, the majority of whom are metalworking company executives. The Board also has representatives from training institutions, education, state government and organized labor.
NIMS financial operations are audited and reported annually in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133 and the provisions of the Single Audit Act.
View the By-Laws of the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, Inc.
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