14 AUGUST 2009 

Cleanroom related industries are strategically important in Ireland with the emphasis on medical devices, biomedicalengineering and pharmaceuticals and semiconductors.

The accurate validation of cleanrooms is essential to ensuring their continued design performance and the quality assurance of the products which are manufactured in them..
Over the last 6 years the Irish Cleanroom Society (ICS) has participated in a training programme with the Clearoom Testing and Certification Board (CTCB) to improve the training and certification of the testing personnel who carry out this vitally essential function. 
A further development has been the collaboration between worldwide national cleanroom societies to establish an International Cleanroom Educational Board (ICEB) to oversee different training courses in numerous countries to ensure that training standards are maintained worldwide. The ICEB now issues accreditation for nationally derived courses following peer acceptance of the courses.
The Irish Cleanroom Society has been closely involved with this international dimension since its inception and had courses internationally accredited in Cleanroom Testing and Technology several years ago.
As a result of this experience, it was realised that a specific advanced course in monitoring the particle counts in cleanrooms was required by cleanroom testing and supervisory personnel. (The monitoring of particle counts is the key parameter of establishing cleanroom performance and occupies a central place in the ISO 14644 range of cleanroom standards.)
Eighteen months ago the Society commenced a joint venture with DOP Solutions in the UK, whose Technical Director, Neil Stephenson sits on the UK group currently rewriting the ISO standards, to devise an examined course concerned solely with particle counting. As far as could be determined this was the only course of its kind worldwide.
The inaugural course was held in Dublin earlier this year and the course has now been internationally accredited by the ICEB in Switzerland.
It is hoped that this course will be adopted by other national cleanroom societies as a benchmark course in improving the quality of particle counting.
More information at www.Cleanrooms-Ireland.ie or from the Secretary at emat@iol.ie
Keywords: Cleanrooms; Semiconductor; biomedical; pharmaceutical; ISO 14644; Irish Cleanroom Society; Particle counts: training.