ACE Accreditation

Will You be Next in Your Company to "ACE" It?


Advance Your Career and Your Company's Reputation with ACE Accreditation
There's a lot of competition in the card manufacturing and personalization/fulfillment industry, but the ACE-M, ACE-P and ACE-A designations will set you apart. It's awarded to people with a broad and detailed knowledge of the industry who successfully complete a rigorous exam. As the demand for experts grows, continual training and expertise are crucial for individuals – and companies – to stay ahead of the pack.

Contents of this page: 
About the ACE Program ACE Accreditation Levels (-M, -P, -A)
ACE Training Seminars Private Group Training/Exams
ACE-M, ACE-P and ACE-A Accredited Members ACE Fees
ACE – How To Qualify / Get Started Next ACE Exam/Training Dates

About the ACE Program

Be Recognized for Your Achievements

ACE Accreditation for individuals acknowledges:

  • Expertise
  • Competence
  • Dedication
  • Commitment

For companies:
ACE Accreditation validates expertise and distinguishes your employees as motivated experts in the card manufacturing industry. It also increases customer confidence in your business.

Gateway to Opportunity
ACE – the one card you really need to make your mark in the industry. People with ACE Accreditation can:

  • Use the ACE designation after their name
  • Proudly display their ACE certificate
  • Put the ACE logo on their business cards
  • Enable their company to tout its accomplished staff

ACE Accreditation Levels

Currently ICMA offers three designations, ACE-M, ACE-P and ACE-A. Each designation is developed as a stand-alone certification and does not build upon, nor require, the other designation as a precedent certification. Consequently, the card professional can build upon their ACE-M certification with the ACE-P certification as well as the ACE-A certification or alternatively, for those that specialize in personalization and fulfillment segments of the industry, can seek ACE-P certification separately. 

The ACE-M designation evaluates the skills and knowledge of card manufacturing professionals and is comprised of eight key sections: PVC/Plastics, Inks, Adhesives, Printing, Collation, Lamination, Die-cutting and Standards/Testing.

The ACE-P designation evaluates the skills and knowledge of card personalization and fulfillment professionals in eight major categories: Printing and Barcodes, Magnetic Stripe Encoding, Embossing, Laser Engraving, Smart Card Encoding, Financial Transaction Card Data, Fulfillment, Standards/Testing.

The ACE-A designation evaluates the skills and knowledge of advanced card technologies in advanced materials and card construction, card technologies, security technologies, and environmental initiatives.

Private Group Training/Exams

Companies may elect to host a private training and exam with a minimum of 10 participants. Contact ICMA for details.


ACE Fees

  • Application Fee: $50.00 USD
  • Exam Fee: $249.00 USD
  • Optional Training Seminar Fee: $249.00 USD
  • Retest Exam Fee: $50.00 USD

ACE Training Seminars Available

ICMA Standards Representative, David Tushie, guides you through your questions about the ACE exams and the manuals they are based upon. ACE enrollees have the opportunity to participate in an interactive session to learn the best way to prepare and feel ready for the exam. David will go into details of the manual to ensure you are familiar with the wide variety of subject matters covered. Whether you plan to take the exam at the EXPO, CardTREX North America or CardTREX Europe, you'll get the chance to receive instant feedback on your questions.To sign up for this seminar, the cost is $249, please click the link below and apply for the ACE program. Once your ACE application is approved, you can register for an exam, then the training seminar through the exam registration. Companies with a minimum of 10 registrants may also arrange a dedicated training session.

How to Achieve the ACE designation in Four Steps

1. Qualifying / Apply to take the Exam

The ACE designation is for card manufacturing professionals who have demonstrated abilities and knowledge in technologies and processes in specific card manufacturing or personalization/fulfillment areas. Applicants must be working for an ICMA member and have a minimum of two years experience working in the card industry in any of the following areas.

  • Card Manufacturing
  • Personalization or service bureau
  • Supplier to the card industry

If you or your employee have 2+ years of experience in the card manufacturing or personalization industry, and a broad and detailed knowledge of manufacturing, then click the link below to apply for the Exam. Once we have approved the application, we will notify applicants of their acceptance. There is a non-refundable application fee of $50 per applicant. All applicants must be a current employee of an ICMA member company. 

Applications are due 30 days prior to testing date.

The next testing and training dates are:

Testing Dates

CardTREX North America June 14, 2017
ACE-M Exam

CardTREX North America June 15, 2017
ACE-P Exam

CardTREX North America June 16, 2017
ACE-A Exam

Training Dates

CardTREX North America June 12, 2017
ACE-M Training

CardTREX North America June 14, 2017
ACE-P Training

CardTREX North America June 15, 2017
ACE-A Training

2. Register for an Exam / Study Guide

Testing is conducted at ICMA events, including the EXPO, CardTREX events and other major industry shows. Once you are notified that you have been approved to sit for an exam, you must register for an Exam date through the My ICMA log-in. You will receive an email from ICMA confirming your approval and letting you  know you can register for an exam. There is an Exam fee of $249 per person. Confirmed exam registrants will receive a comprehensive study guide, outlining general areas of knowledge required for the exam. The guide will not include all the questions and answers because applicants are expected to have gleaned much of their knowledge from hands-on experience in the industry. Once registered for the exam, applicants are eligible to sign up for an in-person training session.

You must register for the exam 14 days prior to the Exam date.

3. Prepare

The study guide is not meant to be an all-inclusive resource for the questions on the Exam, it is just a guide as to the type of material that will be represented.

We recommend the training seminar and it is usually best to take it at the same event as you are taking the exam. You can sign up for the training as part of the exam registration process.

  4. Take the Exam

Arrive at the Exam on time, and bring Photo ID. You will have 3 hours to complete the test which will be proctored. There is a pool of questions to ensure that the exact same questions will not show up on consecutive exams. Exam results will be announced 30 days following the exam date. If someone fails the Exam, they can re-test, following the same deadlines, with a $50 re-test fee.


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