Using the SolidWorks Certification Center to Structure Training

The Certification exams offered by SolidWorks have long been a means to test a users skills, and to gage their ability to understand the SolidWorks software.  Once someone passed they were issued a certificate, they printed it out and hung it on the wall.  Their interaction with the system was over and typically they forgot their log-in credentials for the Certification Center, and never found a need to go back.

This year the SolidWorks Certification Center has turned the corner and is on it's way to becoming an interactive area that will provide a number of tools that users and managers can use to do a variety of things.  The most recent release of the Certification Center includes some management tools that can help engineering managers discover the strengths and weaknesses of their team. 

When a team of engineers takes a certification exam, that data can be set up to be shared with a central person who can examine the results to get some idea of where his team is at.  Instead of trying to explain it via text, lets look at some screen shots.

In this first shot we can see the students that are in the 2009 Q1 M.E. Cad 101 Class:


It's a relatively small class with only two students, but it gets the point across.  By clicking on Mr. Luchini's name in the list I get the graphical feedback of how he did on his CSWA exam that he took.  As you can see he is in desperate need of help when it comes to mate and assembly creation.  Unfortunately he only scored a 40 and failed, but perhaps if he had taken more then a minute on the exam he could have performed better!

Next we click on Mr. Rochino's results and we see a little different outcome:


Avelino did slightly better overall which perhaps is a result of him taking an extra minute to complete the exam! 

The ability to get this information is good, but what can you do with it.  On that same screen there is an export option that will export the data from every student or engineer shown in this list.  It exports an excel file that gives you this data:


The nice thing is once you get data into Excel, you can do lots of things with it.  As the instructor of this class I would make a simple bar graph and see the results of my entire class in a single picture:


As the instructor I could put in an entire classes results and see exactly what areas of SolidWorks I would need to instruct on, based on this graph.  If I was doing this as a CAD manager I would call my VAR and set up a specialized training session based on the low scoring areas.

As for these two students, well I think sending them back to essentials for the time being may be the best bet possible!

If you have a SolidWorks Certification, head over to the Certification Center and make sure all your information is up to date, and be sure that you can log-in.  Later in the year, the user information in the Certification Center will be used to aid in registration for the CSWP event at SolidWorks World next year, and you don't want to be left out of that if you are planning to attend!

Mike Puckett

Senior Manager, Worldwide Certification Program, SOLIDWORKS