Cleanroom Testing & Certification

It is necessary when a cleanroom has just been built, and during its life, to test it to ensure that it is working correctly. The amount and quality of air supplied, the air movement between and within cleanrooms, and the particle and microbiological counts in the cleanroom should be shown to be correct.

The testing of a cleanroom requires skill, and the following certification courses are provided to ensure this. Teaching, and certification is carried out by the CTCB-I , a non profit making board set up originally by the Scottish Society for Contamination Control (S2C2) as an education and training initiative to help fulfil the objectives of S2C2. The Irish Cleanroom Society joined CTCB in 2003 followed by R3Nordic in Scandinavia and more recently VCCN in the Netherlands. The organisation was renamed CTCB-I in 2009 to reflect its increasingly international dimension.

Registration

Candidates can register for either of two levels of certification. These are:

Professional certification: For people whose profession is cleanroom testing, and routinely test all aspects of cleanroom testing. At the time of their final exam they should have a minimum of 2 years’ experience. If you apply for, and have suitable qualifications, you will be required to:

    • study the self study course notes that will be sent to you, attend a lecture course, and then pass a written examination on Cleanroom Testing
    • show a high level of competence in (a) filter integrity testing and (b) measuring air velocities and volumes, by passing a practical exam
    • attend a one day course on practical aspects of filter integrity and air volume and velocity testing

Associate certification: For people who are either:

    • familiar with some aspects of cleanroom testing, and wish to gain knowledge about the subject, or
    • have been working less than two years as a cleanroom tester, but wish to use the certification course as a basis of training and working towards professional status

If you apply for the associate course, and have suitable qualifications, you will be required to:

    • study the issued course notes, attend a lecture course, and then pass a written examination on Cleanroom Testing
    • attend a one day course on practical aspects of filter integrity, and air and velocity measurement

The written exams are identical in both qualifications. We expect that Professional candidates will have 2 years experience and show a high level of practical competence. In the associate qualification, the practical aspects will be taught, but no practical examination is expected. Students who have obtained the associate qualification may convert to a professional certificate once they have a minimum of two year experience, and are able to pass the practical exam.

Please fill in the application form for either professional or associate certification, so that we are able to assess your suitability. If you are accepted we will send you an invoice for registration. When you apply to attend the course and exams we will send you another invoice.

On registration the candidate will receive self-study course notes, information on how the practical exam is run, and notification of the date of the next examination. On satisfactory completion of the course candidates receive a CTCB certificate, and those who receive professional certification will be entered onto the ICS and CTCB 'List of Registered Cleanroom Testers'. This registration applies to the person who passes the exam, and not their firm. The certified person will remain on the list for 5 years, at which time they must be re-certified. The course is accredited internationally by the ICEB. 

The Course Notes and SyllabusText Box:

The candidate will receive course notes about testing cleanrooms. Also issued are a set of questions (and answers) for each topic in the notes, so that the candidate can assess their knowledge. The syllabus of the course is as follows:

  • introduction to cleanroom testing
  • how a cleanroom air conditioning works
  • high efficiency air filters
  • standards for classification and certification
  • air supply and extract volumes
  • differential pressures
  • Containment, visualisation and recovery tests
  • air filter integrity tests
  • particle measuring methods according to ISO 14644-1
  • microbiological measurements
  • cleanroom conduct

Revision Lectures, Practical Training and Examination

Candidates for the both the Professional and Associate  certificates must attend a two day course and examinations.

First day: Practical training
Second morning: Revision lecture course
Second afternoon: Revision tutorial
Theory written exam
Third day: Practical exams – Professional candidates only

 

(Note that the timetables may differ in various locations – consult the local Societies)

The days will be organised as follows:


Practical training: This course will cover:

    • Filter integrity testing. Information will be given on a smoke generator and photometer, and how these are used to test filter integrity. The technique will be demonstrated and students will be shown how to use the method.
    • Air velocity and volume flow measurement. Information will be given on how to carry out testing using a anemometer, hood capture method, veloprobe and Pitot-static tube. The techniques will be demonstrated and there will be an opportunity for the student to use the methods.

Theory exam: This will examine the candidate’s knowledge of the course notes. The questions will be short and of the type that can be answered by no more than 10 words ; no essays are required. The questions will be similar, or identical, to those given in the course notes.

Practical exam: (Professional only) The candidate will be required to show their ability to carry out the following important tests:

    • Determine the average air velocity and uniformity as well as the volume of air passing through a HEPA fan/filter unit by use of an anemometer. The use of the hood capture method must also be demonstrated.
    • Demonstrate that they can operate a smoke generator and photometer to find leaks in a filter and filter gasket.

The candidate will be required to write up reports on the two tests. Candidates are expected to carry out the above tests competently, and accurately measure the airflow and find filter leaks.

Associate candidates will receive a certificate on passing the written examination. Professional  exams will be marked in two parts i.e. practical and theoretical, so that it is possible to pass none, one, or both exams. It is necessary to pass both exams to be certified. It is anticipated that about 80% of the professional candidates will pass both exams in the first attempt. Anyone failing an exam can re-sit it at the next examination.