PrintED Questions

What are the benefits of achieving PrintED accreditation?

To the student, PrintED provides a career pathway to enter the workplace with verifiable credentials or to pursue further education with college credit already in hand. (College credit applies for those schools that have established articulation agreements with institutions of higher learning.)

To the educator, PrintED ensures an instructional program that is current and relevant, consistent across the nation, and aligned with industry standards.

To the employer, PrintED graduates promise a knowledgeable, trained, and skilled workforce.

How does a program achieve PrintED accreditation?

After completing an application, an experienced PrintED instructor is assigned to serve as a mentor to the candidate program. The mentor maintains monthly contact with the instructor, and visits the facility on two separate occasions. A team comprised of industry professionals conducts a final evaluation to determine if the program has met accreditation requirements.

Does PrintED have defined skill standards?

PrintED has identified six standards that encompass the elements of a solid training program. In order for a program to receive accreditation, it must meet these standards in at least two areas of accreditation.

What areas of accreditation are offered?

  • Introduction to Graphic Communications
  • Digital File Preparation and Output
  • Digital Production Printing
  • Graphic Design
  • Offset Press Operations / Bindery & Finishing
  • Screen Printing Technology

Accreditation in the introductory course, as well as in one other area, is required. Institutions may choose to be accredited in additional areas based on their programs.

What are the PrintED competencies?

Competencies have been identified for each area of accreditation in order to determine if the PrintED standards have been met. These competencies, developed by educators and industry personnel, form the basis for instruction.

Does PrintED provide assessments?

To provide students with a credential that validates their master of the PrintED competencies, GAERF and SkillsUSA have established a partnership to offer online PrintED/SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Assessments. These examinations test technical skills and knowledge with interactive questions enriched by animations, videos, drawings and photographs. The five assessments include:

  • Advertising and Design (to be discontinued May 2018)
  • Graphic Design (replaces Advertising Design)
  • Introduction to Graphic Communications
  • Digital File Preparation/Digital File Output
  • Digital Production Printing
  • Offset Press Operations/Binding and Finishing
  • Screen Printing

A student who achieves a passing score on one of the above assessments will receive a Student Certification valid for two years.

Does PrintED provide a curriculum?

Although PrintED does not provide its own course of study, there are curriculums available that are aligned with the PrintED competencies.

How long does it take to achieve PrintED accreditation?

An applicant program is granted 12 months to complete the accreditation process. Accreditation is awarded for five years with an Annual Report due at the end of each academic school year.

How many programs are PrintED accredited?

As accreditations are awarded on a continual basis, the most up-to-date information can be found at

What is the fee for accreditation?

The accreditation fee of $1800 includes a CD containing the PrintED competencies, two onsite visits by an experienced PrintED instructor, an accreditation plaque, and copies of any materials updated during the five year accreditation. There are no annual fees incurred by the accredited program.