Draft Letter of Intent
Recommended Competencies
US Dept.of Labor: Apprenticeship Training
Office of Apprenticeship's Registered Apprenticeship Community of Practice Website


The NIMS Competency Based Apprenticeship System
The NIMS Competency Based Apprenticeship System brings national standards and third party objective assessments to the nation’s metalworking industry. To become a NIMS Certified Machinist, Toolmaker, CNC Setup Programmer or a Certified Journey Worker at any NIMS occupation, the apprentice must earn NIMS credentials in demonstrating satisfactory performance in a required number of competencies.
The system integrates the NIMS national metalworking standards and credentialing assessments, combining the traditional on the job learning of apprenticeship with the use of NIMS assessments as performance measures.
Learn about our comprehensive training program designed to allow for the development of competency-based apprenticeship programs.

Maximum Flexibility

The NIMS System affords maximum flexibility for trainees and employers alike. The system enables trainees to pursue and advance at their own pace in defined career ladders throughout the metalworking industry.

Using attained competencies in lieu of a rigid set of hours, employers are able to effectively monitor and measure progress and to reward individual initiative.

The project builds on industry demanded credentials and enables employers to apply the NIMS credential as milestones within their apprenticeship training. Employers are able to customize training to meet their own needs while maintaining the national integrity of apprenticeship training.

U.S. Department of Labor Certified
NEW:  Use the US Department of Labor's Quick-Start Toolkit for establishing and registering the apprenticeship program at your company.

The NIMS National Guideline Standards for Apprenticeship have been certified by the United States Department of Labor. The NIMS Certified Machinist Apprenticeship Program includes 28 core, or required, competencies. To become a NIMS Certified Machinist, the apprentice must earn 12 NIMS credentials. The credentials require both performance and theory assessments. The other NIMS occupations are structured in a similar manner, with core competencies as the base. Employers may add their own competencies to meet business requirements critical to their own companies. The Guideline Standards and the Machinist Curriculum Guide are available after you login to the system.

The NIMS stakeholders- the Association for Manufacturing Technology, The American Machine Tool Distributors Association, the National Tooling and Machining Association, The Precision Machined Products Association, the Precision Manufacturing Association the Society of the Plastics Industry, the Society of Plastics Engineers and the Tooling and Manufacturing Association- have invested $7.5 million in the development of the NIMS standards and assessments. The Department of Labor has committed $1.9 million to the NIMS apprenticeship project.

Interested companies and other parties should contact NIMS staff at (703) 352-4971 or at