Mission Statement
SGA / RFP Policies

About NIMS

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) was formed in 1994 by the metalworking trade associations to develop and maintain a globally competitive workforce. NIMS sets skills standards for the industry, certifies individual skills against the standards and accredits training programs that meet NIMS quality requirements. Subscribe to the NIMS email list.

NIMS Stakeholders

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 Technology 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 multiple operational areas covering the breadth of metalworking operations including metalforming, machining, and industrial maintenance. The Standards range from entry- to master-level. All NIMS standards are industry-written and industry-validated.

NIMS Credentials

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.

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.

Officials governing NIMS accredited programs report annually on progress and are subject to accreditation renewal on a five year cycle. As of July 1, 2017, over 400 training programs are NIMS currently accredited or 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.

NIMS Logo Use

The NIMS logo is available only to organizations that are currently accredited by NIMS.  All other organizations must have written consent from the NIMS office before being permitted to use the NIMS logo of NIMS Testing Location logo in print materials, electronic documents, and/or websites.  Go to the Logo Usage Request Form.