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Food Processing Lubrication (FPL)

To become certified, an individual must meet the following requirements:

  • Education and/or Experience - Candidates must hold either MLA I or MLT I certifications OR have a minimum of 1 year of experience with industrial lubricants and the knowledge base of the Food Processing Lubrication Body of Knowledge.
  • Examination - Each candidate must successfully pass a written, 25-question, multiple-choice examination that evaluates the candidate's knowledge of the topic. Candidates have 45 minutes to complete the closed-book examination. A score of 70% is required to pass the examination and achieve certification.
The Food Processing Lubrication is an outline of concepts that one should have in order to pass the exam.

References from which exam questions were derived can be found in the Body of Knowledge below:

I. Food Grade Lubricants Selection (16%)
A. Base Oils
B. Additives
C. Thickeners
D. Classifications
1. H1 etc.
2. Non-Food Grade Lubricant Use

II. Food Processing Regulations (16%)

III. Lubricant Application (24%)
A. Bearings
B. Gearing
C. Motors
D. Compressors
E. Chains
F. Hydraulics
G. Conveyors
H. Direct contact (hooks, pan release, etc)

IV. Contamination Control (24%)
A. Lubrication Degradation
1. Water Contamination
2. Particle Contamination
3. Microbial Contamination
4. Lubricant Shelf life
5. Heat related oxidation, resulting from Clean-in-place (CIP) and Steam-in-place (SIP)
B. Equipment Modifications
1. Caustic/Sanitation
2. Particle Contamination

V. Equipment and Field Inspections (20%)
A. Inspections for leakage, debris
B. Lubricant analysis as an inspection tool
C. Detecting lubricant mixing
D. Detecting food in lubricant
E. Detecting lubricant in food
F. Detecting microbial contamination
Domain of Knowledge

FPL Badge Certification is valid for three years from the date of issue. Individuals certified for Food Processing Lubrication must recertify their competency every three years. The purpose for recertification is to ensure that certified individuals keep their skills current and up-to-date.

Recertification is achieved by a points system. To recertify by points, individuals must accumulate 6 recertification points over the three-year period and submit a completed application to ICML. Points may be claimed using the following criteria:

Training2 points per day4 pointsProof of attendance (certificate, badge or letter from training company on its letterhead) and a copy of the course outline
Employment3 points per year6 pointsLetter from employer, on company letterhead, with title of signer shown
Conference Attendance2 points per conference day4 pointsProof of attendance (certificate, badge or letter from conference organizer on its letterhead) and copy of program


Criteria of Acceptability

  • Employment - Employment must be in a field related to industrial lubrication and/or oil analysis.
  • Training – Training topics related to oil analysis, lubrication or other topics important to effective equipment maintenance and management will be accepted.
  • Conference Attendance - Conference topics related to oil analysis, lubrication or other topics important to effective equipment maintenance and management will be accepted.

All points must be earned during the time the FPL certification is in effect. Points earned before or after the certification period will not be accepted. Points may be applied to multiple ICML certifications held by the individual, assuming that the points are applicable and approved for each individual recertification.