NOTICE ON RECERTIFICATION
The Certified Lubrication Specialist® Certification Committee Changes Experience Requirements for Certification (as published in Sept., 2000 issue of Lubrication Engineering)
The STLE Certified Lubrication Specialist, (C.L.S.®) certification committee continues its work creating new questions and grading examinations. But additionally, the committee also continually reviews its policies and procedures to improve the administration of this valued program.
For those not familiar with the certification program: A Certified Lubrication Specialist is an individual who might be designated a "Lubrication Engineer" by his or her employer. This is an individual who evaluates and selects the proper lubricants to use. He assists in the purchasing and specifying of these products. He conducts lube surveys, trains lubrication personnel and establishes lube frequencies on all equipment, designs and modifies lube dispensing equipment, develops quality assurance and used lubricant analysis programs, oversees waste control, and of course troubleshoots lubrication problems on the shop floor. The certification examination tests experience and knowledge in sixteen subject areas: Lubrication fundamentals, Fluid conditioning, Lubrication programs, Storage, handling and application of lubricants, Monitoring and reduction of consumption of lubricants, Gears, Bearings, Seals, Lubricant manufacturing, Pneumatics, Fluid Power, Metalworking, Solvents and cleaners, Problem solving, Lubricant analysis and Transportation of lubricants.
It is important also to discuss the interrelationship between certification, education and experience. Many people attend STLE's education courses and the courses presented by others. STLE usually provides the course taker with a certificate. This signifies that the participant attended the course, and hopefully, left with improved factual knowledge of the subject taught and developed important networking relationships with both the instructors and fellow students. This certificate is not a certification, even if an examination were given at the end.
Experience is a key factor in STLE's certification programs. From experience, comes judgment of when, where and how to utilize the factual information learned thru education, training and on-the-job experience. Certification programs, whether STLE's or, for that matter, programs such as a CPA, seek to measure proficiency and judgment against an industry standard and to recognize the certified individual for that achievement. In our trademark with the U.S. Patent Office, we define Certified Lubrication Specialists as those individuals providing the identified services have met minimum standards of experience, knowledge and written examination requirements as established by the certifier in the field of lubrication to provide technical consultation in the field. Thus, a certified individual may not necessarily know all the plant specific nuances of lubrication practices in a nuclear power plant, steel mill, or aerospace assembly plant, but he or she will know the right questions to ask, he will know what the key issues should be for that type of operation, he will know how to find out the specific information that he might not know or remember, and most importantly he will know what he doesn't know, rather than forge ahead with potentially disastrous results. This is the essence of judgment. This is an individual with a cognizant perspective of the field. This is the individual we seek to recognize as a Certified Lubrication Specialist.
More and more it appears that exam failures appear to be due to a lack this experience. Because of the criticality of experience in the background of a C.L.S., the Committee, at its meeting at the STLE Annual Meeting approved a change in the requirements of a C.L.S. The Committee will require that all applicants to take the exam attest to three years minimum experience in the field of lubrication. Further, the committee will also require a one-year waiting period before retaking the examination in the event of a failure.
For more information consult this magazine and the STLE Website to learn more about these STLE education courses, the STLE certification programs, and to register for the Annual Meeting education courses, certification examinations and other activities within the Society