About NIMS

NIMS sets industry skills standards, certifies individual skills against the standards, accredits training programs that meet NIMS quality requirements, and promotes innovative solutions, such as competency-based apprenticeship, to connect credentialed and work-ready individuals with employers.

Our mission is to provide world-class, industry-developed and validated, competency-based skill standards, credentials, and training frameworks that enable collaboration between educators, manufacturers, policy makers, and community-based organizations in a joint effort to increase the skills of the manufacturing workforce.

The vision of NIMS is to empower organizations and individuals through workforce skills standards and credentials to build a thriving and globally competitive manufacturing industry.


Industry-Defined Skills Standards

NIMS conducts a rigorous and disciplined process to develop industry skills standards. These standards are updated regularly to reflect advanced technology and changes in the workforce. Learn more about NIMS standards.

Industry-Recognized Credentials

Over 60 portable credentials in specific technical areas certify individuals’ skills against the industry standards. Over 155,000 credentials have been issued in precision metalworking and industrial maintenance disciplines. Learn more about NIMS credentials.

Employers, Schools, and Training Providers

Structured training programs use NIMS standards as a baseline for developing curriculum, then utilize NIMS credentials as a national, industry-recognized validation of training competencies. Read about the benefits of NIMS credentials.

Students and Employees Earn National, Portable, Industry-Recognized Credentials

Most NIMS credentials validate individuals’ knowledge, skills, and abilities through a two-step validation process that begins with a performance assessment and finishes with a theory assessment. Learn more about the credentialing process.

NIMS History

NIMS was formed in 1995 to develop and maintain a globally competitive American workforce. Today, NIMS is the industry standard for training and skill validation within precision manufacturing. NIMS has a stakeholder base of over 6,000 metalworking companies in partnership with five major industry trade associations: The Association for Manufacturing Technology, the National Tooling & Machining Association, the Precision Machine Products Association, the Precision Metalforming Association, and the Technology and Manufacturing Association. These partners have invested over $7.5 million in private funds for the development of the NIMS standards and its credentials. The associations also contribute annually to sustain NIMS operations and are committed to the upgrading and maintenance of the standards.

Technology Upgrades

NIMS intends to continue to be at the forefront of the manufacturing industry and its training needs. As part of this promise, NIMS holds itself to the standard of being a reflection of the industry it represents–one of innovation, efficiency, and sleekness. Currently, the NIMS testing platform is not properly equipped to be the future of the manufacturing industry NIMS and its candidates know.

The testing platform as it is today was developed in 2008 to meet the needs of the then-current credentialing process. Since then, NIMS has experienced enormous growth in the number of users that use its digital services, as well as the expansion of those services themselves. In order to meet the needs of today and tomorrow, NIMS has begun a multi-year project that will consolidate the different channels through which NIMS reaches its audience, as well as restructure the site in a way that allows for continuous improvement in the future.

NIMS' leadership has made a commitment to raising nearly $450,000 to overhaul the website and its applications in order to be equipped with the infrastructure and tools needed to evolve as the industry does. Early funders in this project include the Gene Haas Foundation and the Arconic Foundation.

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