CompTIA unveils print technician qualification

CompTIA unveils print technician qualification

The PDI+ certificate is an entry-level exam that will instill industry-approved standards

VARs are being urged to capitalise on the launch of the first independent certification for printing technicians and support staff next year.

Developed by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), the Printing and Document Imaging + (PDI+) certification will ensure that resellers servicing or fixing printing and document imaging devices are trained to a generic, industry-approved level.

Richard Rysiewicz, vice president for services at CompTIA and responsible for designing PDI+, said: “PDI+ came about as a result of the major printer vendors identifying a skills gap now that printers sit on networks and are multifunctional. They felt there was a need for a base exam.”

Printer vendors Canon, HP, Konica-Minolta Business Solutions, Ricoh, Sharp Electronics and Xerox have all been involved in developing the certification over the past year.

From January 2008, PDI+ will be available through multiple UK training providers.

“The manufacturers will be rolling out the certification both internally and to their channel partners,” said Rysiewicz. “We expect between 4,000 and 5,000 candidates will sit the exam worldwide during the first 12 months.”

Although PDI+ is predominantly an entry-level exam aimed at individuals with up to six months’ experience of working with printers, Rysiewicz feels that it will also benefit the vast numbers of people working with printers who have never had any formal training.

Ricoh and its sister company NRG have already put some employees through the beta exam released in September and intend to roll out the programme to their combined field service workforce of 400 engineers over the next three years.

Chas Moloney, associate director of marketing, at Ricoh, said: “From the channel perspective, there has never been a formal qualification, so it has always been a problem for resellers when recruiting new staff. PDI+ should take out the risk of recruiting by enabling resellers to hire trained, qualified staff.”

James Kight, managing director of VAR Printerland, welcomed the qualification. “We’re beginning to offer more services, so this will help tremendously in training our staff. It will also provide us with more credibility in the eyes of the customer."