ICMA is a non-profit organization for the international plastic card manufacturing industry, which includes over 200 companies involved in manufacturing and personalizing identification and financial transaction cards. The industry produces more than 14 billion cards annually, including magnetic stripe, contactless and smart cards.
As the complexity of card manufacturing has increased, so have the standards, production, quality, security and environmental issues involving cards. There was a need for a standardized industry-wide accreditation program to recognize knowledge, experience and dedication among industry employees.
CMA Association Management (CMA) and ICMA created a three-level accreditation program called Advanced Card Education (ACE) covering specific card manufacturing areas including laminating, inks, die cutting, mag stripes, printing, radio frequency identification (RFID) and personalization. Establishing an Industry-Wide Accreditation Program The new program generated strong interest from the moment it was announced. In order to receive the designations of ACE-M (Manufacturing), ACE-A (Advanced Card Technology) and ACE-P (Personalization Topics), candidates must pass rigorous exams at ICMA events and other industry shows.
Promoted under the tagline, “Stand out from the Crowd,” the ACE Accreditation Program provides many benefits to individuals and the companies they work for as well as ICMA.
In addition to expanding ICMA’s industry leadership, the program is a membership driver since employees who apply for accreditation must work for ICMA member companies. The process also generates revenue for the organization because applicants pay to take the exams.
Candidates who become accredited can use the appropriate ACE designation after their names and imprint the official ACE logo on their business cards. Because ACE Accreditation is recognized throughout the industry, it gives those who earn the designations an advantage in a very competitive marketplace. People who become accredited also receive certificates which they can proudly display at their places of work.
ACE Accreditation enables a company to tout its accomplished staff, which also increases customer confidence in the business.
In partnership with CMA Association Management, ICMA has steadily increased its membership while expanding its importance as a global leadership voice in the card manufacturing community. Today, ICMA enjoys a growing membership in more than 30 countries, conducting business in every region in the world.