IPC 7711/21 CSE Subject Matter Expert

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IPC 7711/21 Certification For CSE's

The IPC 7711/21 CSE instruction by BEST is in accordance with the latest IPC 7711/21 standards for the rework and repair of printed circuit boards and is designed for those who want to be be certified as a subject matter expert in PCB rework and repair but do not need/want to instruct others. Certification can be granted through the proper testing on a challenge basis or by instruction by a master instructor.  The 7711/21 document is a worldwide PCB rework and repair set of procedures published by the IPC.  

The IPC-7711/21 includes the industry-approved techniques on throughhole and surface mount rework, land, conductor and laminate repair. The IPC-7711/7721 Rework of Electronic Assemblies/Repair and Modification of Printed Boards and Electronic Assemblies is the set of rework and repair procedures for printed wiring boards.

The “industry or general knowledge” part of the IPC 7711/21 CSE standard certification testing is a closed-book test with multiple-choice questions. The examination is time-limited and candidates must answer the questions within a one hour time slot (speed PLUS accuracy count!). Topics include but not limited to the following topical areas:

Terms and definition

  • Flow down requirements
  • Acceptance requirements
  • Classification of electron assemblies
  • Component ID
  • Assembly requirements
  • Appendix in the standard

The second exam consists of testing some of the advanced concepts specific to the IPC 7711/21 document.

The IPC 7711/21 certification program has multiple levels including Master Instructors, Certified Instructors, applications specialists as well as the CSE and Senior IPC 7711/21 CSE designations. IPC 7711/21 CSE and Master CSE for the 7711/21 retains its validity for a 2 year period of time after successful certification. After the two year certification period has lapsed credentialed individuals then must then re-certify . More on the certification program here.

What’s material is taught as part of the IPC 7711/21 CSE certification by BEST? 


  • Common procedures
  • Wire splicing
  • Throughhole procedures for rework
  • Instructor demonstration and skills development on throughhole procedures
  • Chip & MELF removal and replacement


  • SOIC, SOT and Gull Wing procedures
  • J-Lead and QFP procedures
  • Conformal coating removal and replacement
  • PCB circuit repair-repair of physical board damage

Review Materials for the Open book general knowledge

CSE certification exam

Closed Book Examination

Hand soldering rework and PCB repair skills evaluation and testing

How much time should I budget for the CSE certification testing if I am NOT going to challenge test the material? 

2 days

Reasons for Becoming Certified as an IPC 7711/21 CSE

Subject matter experts show customers that your firm is serious about learning and developing your craft at inspecting, building or using electronic assemblies. The 7711/21 CSE program is for those companies who do not require or desire to have an IPC 7711/21 certified trainer on staff.

Who Are Candidates for Becoming an IPC  7711/21 CSE?

In most cases, someone from the QC, operations training or engineering staff will become the IPC 7711/21 CSE or Master CSE.  These are people associated with the PCB rework and repair instructor training as are personnel associated with process troubleshooting, process development, program management or other various engineering disciplines.

After training many specialists as well as trainers BEST has come up with a list of practical filters for choosing who should become the 7711/21 CSE or subject matter expert in your company:

  • Someone who can relate well to people and who has very solid communication skills and is not shy about standing in front of people to teach
  • Someone who has at least 3 years of experience in electronics manufacturing so that they can illustrate concepts through “real world experiences”
  • Speak, read and write in the English language (unless the class is being held in another language using non-English material such as Spanish or Mandarin) at least to the 5th-grade level
  • Someone who is authorized to travel to IPC meetings in order to improve the standard through the IPC committee standards development process.

What do you have to achieve to pass the IPC 7711/21 CSE certification?

  • At least one time passing the EPP or the material which demonstrates the proficiency you have in knowing the IPC Policies and Procedures for the IPC CSE program.
  • At least one time in passing an open exam on general electronics industry knowledge
  • Passing to a satisfaction of 80% or greater an open book test on general and advanced concepts in the IPC-7711/21
  • Satisfactorily demonstrate skills in PCB rework and repair of assembled board

Further requirements on the CSE program can be found here.