Skills in the metalworking industry are certified through the earning of NIMS credentials. The credentials are awarded on satisfactory completion of both performance tests and related theory exams.
The assessments are standards based; i.e., they are drawn from the NIMS national metalworking standards. Both performance and theory assessments are developed by the industry and piloted in the industry.
Performance + Knowledge Examinations
NIMS certifications require both performance and theory exams. The performance will be the manufacturing of a part, the set-up and operation of a machine or the writing of a program that will manufacture a specific part.
The national NIMS standards are modular, thus permitting credentials based on specific metalworking processes and levels of competency. For example, there are eleven distinct credentials in Machining Level I. Overall, there are 52 NIMS credentials. The credentials enable the employer to assess candidates in those skills most applicable to the firm's needs and enable training institutions to measure program performance tailored to industry's needs.
Advantages to Companies
Metalworking companies use the credentials as a basis for recruiting, hiring, placement and promotion. The guesswork is removed from the human resource process. Companies can advertise for specific NIMS credentialed skills, preferring or requiring certain credentials. For example, a North Carolina company requires two NIMS Level I machining programs from all candidates. A Missouri company bases raises on NIMS credentials.
Basis for Apprenticeship Training
The NIMS credentials serve as the performance assessments in the industry's exciting, new National Competency-Based Apprenticeship System. The credentials demonstrate the earned competencies being required in the new system.
Advantages to Education and Training Programs
Educational institutions use the NIMS credentials as performance measures and as the basis for articulation. For example, Pennsylvania requires all machining students to test for NIMS. U.S. Army machinist trainees earn NIMS credentials. The Robert C. Byrd Institute requires NIMS credential for the earning of the Associate Degree in Manufacturing Technology. An ever-growing number of colleges and universities award credits to high school students and to company employees for NIMS credentials.
Advantages to the Workers, Trainees and Students
With NIMS performance measures, the candidates know clearly what is expected of them whether it is for graduation, hiring or advancement. The NIMS credential clearly demonstrates that the credential holder met the industry benchmark for that competency.
Where and How
The company or training institution needs no prior relationship with NIMS for its employees or trainees to earn credentials. The credentials can be earned literally anywhere.