IPC Interconnect Designer Certification – is it worth it?

IPC Interconnect Designer Certification (CID) is the definitive training course for PCB designers and electronic design professionals, but as budgets tighten and time is at a premium, is the investment of both time, effort and finance worth it?

We decided we wanted to understand why electronic engineers, PCB designers and other product design professionals are taking the course and what they feel they and their employer gain as a result of the training.

IPC CID Training

As the need for electronics to become smaller, more complicated and more resilient, the more essential efficient and effective circuit board design has become. Impedance, thermal challenges and dense layouts are regular issues for PCB design which can create further issues when the boards come to be manufactured and assembled.

IPC Designer Certification or CID (Certified Interconnect Designer) and CID+ are the industry’s only premier professional development programmes targeted toward those working in the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design industry. The CID professional development programme ensures delegates are familiar with the foundations of design decision-making and ensures that IPC standards are embedded into their work from the start to avoid complications later in the process.

We spoke to three recent delegates to find out their reasons for completing the course and what they learned as a result of attending the training.

David Roseman from Swiftsure Design spoke about the importance of IPC CID certification for his business.

“My experience and knowledge is crucial to the job I do as a freelance/contract PCB designer. I need my clients to know that I have the skills, experience and knowledge to ensure their designs can be completed quickly, efficiently and within budget.

Taking my IPC CID will allow me not only to build on my 17 years of industry experience but also improve the professional profile of my business.” 



On the same course as David was Caroline Finch. Caroline has worked for Malvern Instruments for 3 years as a manufacturing engineer.

“I was keen to do my CID+ qualification but needed to complete my CID first. The main objective of taking my IPC CID qualification was to further increase my effectiveness and deliver a quicker and more effective relationship with colleagues, suppliers and customers.”

She went on to say

“I think it is crucial in this industry to continue to learn and improve and I think more electronic professionals should take this qualification, especially non-electronic professionals who would benefit from a wider overview of the design process.”


Samer Kilani, an electronic engineer from University College London, also highlighted the importance of improved internal and external business interactions.


Initially I decided to complete my IPC CID qualification as I thought it would be useful and helpful for my career. However, the information gained has not only taught me about good manufacturing processes but will also help aid communications with fabricators and manufacturing.”


IPC CID courses run throughout the year at Quadra solutions and there are dates now available. Click here for more information.


Another delegate successfully passes our IPC CID Professional Development Programme

Krzysztof Rudzki from Nexperia is the latest successful delegate to have taken his IPC Certified Interconnect Designer Training qualification.

Krzysztof is a Product Measurement Group Leader for the company that is a dedicated global leader in Discretes, Logic and MOSFETs devices.

Krzysztof contacted Quadra Solutions earlier this year to find out more about the qualification.

 “I was very interested in the qualification, not only because it is the industry’s only premier professional development programme targeted toward those working in the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design industry, but also because I felt my company and myself would be able to establish more efficient communication with PCB manufacturers.”

The 3-day course in Lancashire provided the delegates with the foundations of design decision-making and an understanding of the practical applications of IPC standards in the design and manufacture of PCBs

“The training taught me how to improve my PCB designs so that they can be easily manufactured, assembled and tested. It gave me a greater understanding of the information required by manufacturers, which is now helping us to reduce the time from design to manufacture”

“The course was well worth attending and the comprehensive programme will really help us develop best practice and improve efficiency within the company.”

For many PCB Design Professionals, CID accreditation provides an assurance that their skills and knowledge are fit-for-purpose, whereas, for some, it enhances and adds to their skill level, ensuring design work is of higher quality and more effective.

For the PCB Design Professional, it is becoming more frequent for organisations to ask for CID qualifications when tendering for work, during job applications and when outsourcing design work. CID Accreditation ensures that:

If you feel you or anyone else in your organisation could benefit from this course please contact Quadra at hello@quadrasol.co.uk

Meet Bob – Quadra’s IPC CID Trainer

This month we speak to Bob Sadowski, Quadra’s IPC CID Trainer and Applications Consultant for CADSTAR PCB Design Software.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Well, I originally hail from a small town called Bishops Cleeve near Cheltenham but I now live in beautiful Ross on Wye, Herefordshire. I have been with Quadra for over 8 years and in that time, I have spent the majority of my time working as an Applications Consultant for CADSTAR PCB design software, with a specific focus on technical web content and application support and training.

So where did your interest in electronics come from?

My father worked as an Electronics Technician so I grew up around components and electronics from a young age. I was fascinated by how things worked and have always had a keen interest in the technical side of things. I then gained an ONC in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, my CID, CID+, and CIT and entered the electronics industry, migrating swiftly from hardware to software and applications.

Has your job/industry changed much since you started?

Since I started in the industry it has undergone some huge changes. Miniaturisation is now a huge part of electronic design and this is driven both by demand from the end-user and the highly competitive and dynamic nature of the industry.

Computing performance, interconnected products and portable electronics have also made a huge difference to the industry and have in turn meant that the technology needs to be quicker, harder wearing and cost effective, especially considering the quick turnaround times the market and industry expects.

The big industry developments such as platform standardisation, integration of applications (CAE/CAD/CAM/MRP) etc. are also having a major impact on electronics and PCB design. This necessitates the use of SI and PI analysis and planning tools, which can be complex tools to utilise.

So onto IPC CID, why was it so important for you to gain your CID, CID+ and Trainers qualification?

IPC CID and IPC CID+ are the only industry-recognised qualifications for the PCB design, layout and manufacturing industry and are underpinned by the global trade association, the IPC. These courses enable designers to identify, develop and utilise best practices when designing PCBs. The course seeks to provide designers and the wider professions involved in electronic design, with the fundamental principles of good design, layout and effective manufacture of PCBs.

What skills do people and business gain by completing this course?

Once the course has been completed, delegates are better equipped to question, develop and improve existing working methods, whilst improving their productivity. And businesses, can reap the benefits of improved staff productivity, less re-work and errors and hopefully an improved relationship with vendors and suppliers.

Upcoming Training Courses

We have availability with Bob on upcoming IPC CID and IPC CID + training courses. Please email hello@quadrasol.co.uk for more information.

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Electronic Design Training Crucial to Industry Growth

The European electronics industry is in growth and the demand for consumer electronics is growing year on year driven by demand for TVs, headphones and high-definition sound systems. Within commercial and industrial industries, the requirement for smarter, more efficient electronics is also driving strong growth. Electronic Design Training is crucial.

In the UK alone, the electronics industry contributes over 80 billion to the economy, equates to 5.4% of the UK GDP and employs over 8 thousand people.

There is however growing industry concern around labour shortages within the electronics industry and worries over appropriate workforce skill levels. A recent study found that 72 per cent of manufacturers believe there is a labour shortage of electronics professionals and two-thirds found difficulty recruiting production and design engineers in the past two years. One of the most adversely hit industries is PCB fabricators, designers and manufacturers, a sector of which 95% are SMEs.

As these companies look to cut costs and drive efficiencies to stay competitive, many larger organisations have considered moving manufacturing functions to other countries to take advantage of cheaper labour costs. This unfortunately only further compounds the reported skill shortages within the UK.

Electronic Design Training

And across the water, the story is no different, with American SMEs under similar pressure to recruit and train the most appropriate staff to undertake PCB design work. In a study done by the IPC, the association representing the global electronics industry, there are a number of reasons for these concerning issues.

Demand for talent in electronics manufacturing has grown faster than supply, due in part to an ageing workforce. Issues such as poor public perception, gaps in skill levels and employee retention and development have also been cited as contributing factors to the problems faced by the industry.

There has however within the past few years been a greater focus on encouraging young people into manufacturing and electronic industries, with the resurgence of apprenticeships and a greater push for organisations to work in unison with local authorities, business networks and local education providers.

There are many examples of where these activities have been successful. Initiatives such as the one led by the UK Electronic Skills Foundation are a great example of where bridging the gap between employer and education providers has helped to promote the industry. Electronics organisations from the Cambridge area held competitions for school students, in order to stimulate interest and raise awareness of the electronics industry and its career opportunities. It is hoped that projects like these will gain momentum and be championed across other parts of the UK.


The shifting focus of schools towards engineering and manufacturing subjects has seen a rise in demand for engineering and technology degree courses through UCAS. However, this does not seem to have had the same effect on applications to electronic engineering degrees. Nor does it seem to have increased the number of people entering apprenticeships within the industry.

One of the areas that have been highlighted as a concern for the industry, is the lack of opportunities once in electronics-based employment. Many of these careers require a degree and have an entry-level starting salary of £18,000; £8,000 below the average starting salary for a graduate. It is also perceived that once in an electronics-based career, the opportunities for growth and continuous development are more limited than in other industries.

Quadra Solutions and the IPC are looking to change this.

IPC CID Training

The Certified Interconnect Designer (CID) qualification seeks to enhance and improve the skills of individuals in the electronics industry. The qualification, accredited by the IPC, is to be delivered by Quadra’s highly skilled and experienced trainers at their specialist training facility in Lancashire. This world-leading training programme seeks to enhance and improve the skills of individuals operating within the electronic design industry.

More and more companies expect electronic engineers to be trained to this level and the qualification ensures a level of efficiency and effectiveness is maintained during design work. The challenge comes however that whilst many of these companies expect that level of design work quality, it is less likely for them to invest in their staff in this way.

In a recent survey of electronic design professionals, they said they felt there were insufficient opportunities for growth and development and that given the opportunity to undertake further training, would be keen to do so.

For more information about the IPC CID Training course and how it could benefit you and your organisation, contact us at hello@quadrasol.co.uk

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