involved in testing cleanrooms.
examination on cleanroom testing. The Professional candidates will additionally have to pass a two-hour practical examination to assess their practical skills in leak testing filters and
measuring air velocities and volumes.
On passing both the written and practical examinations,
candidates receive a certificate, and are entered onto the list
of successful candidates that is held on the ICS and CTCB-I
websites. This registration applies to the person who passes the
examination, not their company. A professionally certified person will remain registered for five years, after which time they
must be re-certified.
Harmonizing to a high standard
Around 2005, and following the success of the course in Scotland,
Ireland, and Scandinavia, several cleanroom societies affiliated to the International Confederation of Contamination
Control Societies (ICCCS) looked at the possibility of setting
up an international education board to accredit cleanroom
courses worldwide. Subsequently, at the ICCCS Council of
Delegates meeting held in Beijing in September 2006, it was
agreed to set up an International Cleanroom Education Board
(ICEB) to promote the preparation and accreditation of inter-nationally-recognized educational courses for people who
design, test, operate, and work as operators in cleanrooms. It
was agreed that member societies should develop courses of a
high standard, and this should be achieved through an accreditation process. Each course would be accredited through a
submission to the ICEB that would provide information about
the course and demonstrate that it conforms to a set of accreditation guidelines. Currently, 13 of the 17 ICCCS members are
ICEB members, consisting of cleanroom societies in Austria,
Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Nordic
Countries, Romania, Russia, and The Netherlands. Several
other countries, whilst not members (principally the USA and
Germany), have observer status.
The goal of the ICEB is harmonizing and sharing cleanroom courses. The ICEB promotes the preparation and
accreditation of internationally recognized educational courses
for people who design and test and monitor, operate, and
work as operators in cleanrooms.
The ICEB accredits cleanroom and contamination courses
that treat subjects according to the relevant ISO standards.
Courses are accredited within guidelines set by the ICEB.
People attending courses are certified by examination and each
successful candidate is awarded a certificate with the ICEB
logo, and has their name placed on the website. A quality
assurance system has been established to ensure a high stan-
dard of courses, and includes such requirements as:
• suitable course content
• relevant and up-to-date notes or textbooks
• expert lecturers
• the setting of clear and unambiguous examination questions
• suitable examination marking practices
• board to audit the course and examinations
• public traceability of a person’s certificate
The ICEB member society is responsible for ensuring
the quality standard they described in the submission of an
accredited course. At the moment there are five basic and 17
advanced courses accredited from Italy, France, China, Ireland,
Korea, and The Netherlands.
Within Europe, the CTCB—renamed as CTCB-I to reflect
its international dimension—maintains and administers courses
in validation and cleanroom technology. In the early days of
running the validation course, the success rate for professional
validation engineers was around 65% of all candidates (i.e. three
or four out of ten candidates failed the practical examination).
In more recent years, the failure rate has dropped to less than
10% which we believe is due to a more professional attitude and
practice amongst validation engineers.
In Ireland and the U.K., we regularly have candidates from
all five continents and continually receive requests to consider
running the course in other areas, principally North America,
the Middle East, and South Africa. We know that a lot of
validation engineers out there have no formal training or certification—on the plus side, however, end users are becoming
much more aware of the CTCB-I and ICEB accreditation processes and this in turn is leading to more validation companies
seeking certification for their engineers.
It’s still a work in progress but we’ll continue to watch the
watchmen and watchwomen.
Peter Fernie is a Natural Sciences graduate of Oxford
University and is the Managing Director of Fernie Technical
Services, which supplies contamination control materials and
training services to the Irish cleanroom industry. Since 1982,
he has worked in many aspects of cleanroom related activities
including sales distribution for a number of companies in the
semiconductor and electronics industry in Ireland, and supplying materials, floor coverings, and production equipment. He
is a founder member of Irish Cleanroom Society and has been
Secretary since its inception. In 2003, he established CTCB courses in Ireland in collaboration with S2C2, and has coordinated
them since then. He is currently Education & Training Convenor
of the ICS and Secretary of CTCB-I.
Cleanroom Training Courses