Wrap Printer and Installer Certifications
Certifications are a factor for consideration when choosing a wrap shop, company or organization or individual for printing and /or installation of the vehicle wrap. The various certifications are listed with the wrap companies when choosing a wrap shop in your area and will make it easier for you to make an educated choice. The following are the main certifications available in the vehicle wrap industry and graphic vinyl applications in general:
3M Commercial Graphics
3M, in conjunction with other providers, offers professional graphics training to improve the skills and prepare for testing for Certified, Preferred or Endorsed installation training. Typical training consists of a three day program taught by 3M Preferred Graphics installers, mainly held at the 3M Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Lowen Company in Hutchinson, KS or at Wrap Experts in Dallas, TX. The training contents covers hands on training in vehicle wraps, discussions and demonstrations for fleet graphics, boat wraps and wall graphics as well as floor graphics and other printed vinyl applications. Upon completion of the training or based on the applicant’s previous experience in the industry, the participant can then enroll in a testing program during which they can achieve the 3M certification status of 3M Certified Graphics Installation Company or 3M Preferred Graphics Installer.
PDAA (Professional Decal Application Alliance)
The PDAA organization is the official industry authority in best practices and standards, offers a training and certification program for vinyl graphics installers by objective installers not tied to any specific product line or company. The organization promises proof that the certified company can do any installation job with confidence. There are two levels of certification; Basic PDAA Certified or Master PDAA Certified. To achieve either of these certifications, the participant must pass a written test as well as demonstrate flat and compound vinyl (wrap or other) installation. PDAA certification is open only to PDAA members and require a yearly fee for membership or level of certification.
UASG (United Applications Standards Group)
The UASG organization offers a membership and certification program in conjunction with 3M Commercial Graphics. The application of the membership and certification program is a process of a series of written tests, interviews by the organization and hands-on tests and once the applicant has passed the hands-on and written tests, the scores are reviewed by the UASG and 3M. When both agree, the company is then considered a 3M Certified Graphics Installation Company. Some of the prerequisites of becoming a UASG certified member are documentation of proof of being in business for 3 years, proof of liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance and on a yearly basis, the certified company must submit a compliance form showing the continued employment of the tested installer as well as new insurance certification form. Here’s a great example PDAA certified partner for vehicle wraps and fleet graphics services: VMS.
Avery Dennison’s Certified Wrap Installers rank among the highest level professionals in the industry according to the company. Avery Car Wrap Certified (CWF) means that they have gone through extensive training on the proper methods to prepare, size, cut and apply graphics to vehicles. In addition, they must pass a written and hands on exam that confirms their learning. Avery Dennison claims that the customer will get a professional experience and wrap installation on their vehicle that will perform well and provide that look or message compliant with the branding of the customer. The certified converters installers are located throughout North America and can assist you with all your vehicle wrap needs.
FELLERS is a large supplier and distributor of vinyl and wrap materials, tools, printers, inks and more. They claim to be the largest wrap provider in the industry and have a certification program. To become FELLERS certified, the wrap company must provide a) a minimum of 4 photographs and references of vehicle wraps that that the company has sold, b) provide a testimonial from one of the four references, c) be in good credit standing with FELLERS, d) purchase all wrap materials from FELLERS, e) have access to a 54″ or larger printer and laminator and e) maintain good standing with their wrap customers.