JA Relaunches Bench Certification Program
It offers three levels of certification.
The nationally recognized program was established in 1997 to promote the professionalism of jewelers and store owners but has been on hiatus for the past five years.
The reworked program establishes national standards and administers tests to rate the talents and proficiency of bench jewelers at three levels.
The levels are:
JA Certified Beginner Bench Jeweler (CBBJ), which reflects skills and knowledge generally expected of a trained entry-level bench jeweler generalist performing jewelry repair with about one year’s experience;
JA Certified Bench Jeweler (CBJ), which reflects skills and knowledge generally expected of a bench jeweler generalist performing most jewelry repairs with two or more years of experience; and
JA Certified Master Bench Jeweler (CMBJ), the highest level of JA Bench Professional Certification that demonstrates mastery at all skill levels.
“We are thrilled to bring back our popular Bench Professional Certification Program at this important time,” said JA President and CEO David Bonaparte.
“With bench jewelers’ demand at a high and a new generation of jewelry professionals entering the industry, we have an opportunity to better serve our jewelers by providing certification opportunities that demonstrate competencies while serving as a platform to improve consumer confidence.”
Candidates must pass an “open book” online written exam and a series of practical tests to become JA certified.
Completion of the written exam is a pre-requisite for the practical bench tests, which require the candidate to perform tasks set to national standards, utilizing the tools and technology available to complete the projects.
It may be taken at the candidate’s own bench using his or her own tools and equipment or at another location of choice.
JA said grading criteria is like that used in a shop. Completed practical tests are anonymously sent to approved graders who use a comprehensive grading system consistent with quality standards for jewelry repair and manufacturing.
Graders may decide if a test with errors in workmanship will need to be reworked or retaken.
Upon certification, individuals receive a Bench Professional Certification certificate, a JA Bench Professional Certification lapel pin, use of a JA Bench Professional Certification logo, and a press release template.
JA members also receive a Bench Professional Jeweler Certification decal for display in the window or door of a store, shop, or other place of business and a special designation in the Find a Jeweler Directory on Jewelers.org.
Scholarships are available for the JA Bench Professional Certification program, according to JA’s website.
For more information or to register for certification, visit JA’s website, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact JA’s Member Services at (800) 223-0673.
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