Produce computer lasered image carriers

Business Sectors (Suites): Post Press
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 26 Feb 2021


This standard is about producing image carriers for printing from print ready files via laser technology. Different printing processes require different kinds of image carriers. The image carriers produced can be for the following printing processes:

  • Offset lithography
  • Gravure 
  • Flexography
  • Screen printing

This is what the standard covers:

Most artwork for printing is created by digital software packages **and at some point, an image carrier has to be produced.

Print ready files, once approved for print, has to be output in an imposed format to the printing plate(s) and be positioned accurately on the carrier. Colour separations will need to be processed correctly to achieve the required reproduction quality when printed. This involves the selection of the correct output parameters.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

Position images electronically

  1. check you have all the details required for the job and approval to start work
  2. retrieve or create the appropriate imposition template or stepping information that meet the requirements of the job
  3. apply the correct imposition or stepping information into the system, taking into account the working size of job, machine and cylinder size, registration marks, finishing methods, quantity required and then process through the automated workflow
  4. operate equipment in a safe and productive way in accordance with organisational procedures
  5. identify accurate information about data, system and software problems which will affect imposition production and correct them in accordance with organisational procedures
  6. report data, software and system problems which are not your job to deal with in accordance with organisational procedures
  7. create accurate job references and store print ready job files in a secure way in accordance with organisational procedures

**Prepare images for processing

8. confirm job files are compatible with the imaging software and settings *
**to be used
9. set appropriate output parameters to meet job specifications with regards to: resolution, screen ruling, dot type, screen angle, method of printing, orientation, position on the plate, register marks, quality control strips

  1. check the correct size of plate is loaded into the platemaking machine
  2. check the platemaking machine is calibrated for operation
  3. complete your work within agreed deadlines

**Process data through computer to platemaking system

13. send data to platemaking machine in line with manufacturer's instructions
14. process carrier(s) after imaging in line with manufacturer's instructions
15. identify accurate information about errors and faults and correct them in accordance with organisational procedures
16. report errors and faults which are not your job to deal with in accordance with organisational procedures
17. check that plate(s) meets job requirements for quality and specification
18. store completed carrier(s) in a secure way in accordance with organisational procedures
19. keep accurate records for quality assurance and administrative purposes as required by your company
20. archive print ready files as required by your company

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the law as it affects printing: copyright and ownership of images, obscenity, forgery
  2. ethical issues relevant to printing: confidentiality
  3. hazards and risks in your own job, their assessment and the action to take to deal with them
  4. manufacturers' and suppliers' health and safety requirements relevant to your job
  5. how to safely handle customer material
  6. computer system security and virus protection
  7. the secure methods of archiving digital and conventional artwork
  8. how to communicate with colleagues and customers
  9. workplace objectives, priorities, standards and procedures
  10. the identification and assessment of printing options
  11. the reasons for selecting one printing process over another
  12. the set-up of laser imaging equipment and software
  13. the operation of laser imaging equipment and software
  14. colour theory, including additive and subtractive systems such as RGB and CMYK colour gamuts
  15. the relationship between image size, file size and resolution
  16. the difference in file formats for images and the reasons for using them
  17. how to set up, maintain and use image profiles
  18. file conversion techniques
  19. file compression and decompression systems
  20. file management procedures
  21. the causes and treatment of common faults in laser imaging
  22. the legal requirements for the classification, storage, carriage and disposal of waste
  23. any specific environmental legislation that covers processes in your company control of pollution
  24. the main features of quality assurance and quality control systems
  25. techniques for controlling quality
  26. equipment for controlling quality in printing
  27. types of problems that may need to be solved
  28. sources of information
  29. techniques for assessing machine faults
  30. the types and characteristics of paper, board and other commonly used substrates
  31. the types and characteristics of inks, toners and coatings
  32. the purpose of image carriers
  33. the principles of imposition
  34. appropriate output parameters including screen ruling and dot type, resolution and screen angle
  35. how to determine the correct positioning of images on image carriers


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Printers, Printing Machine Minders and Assistants, Printing Trades

SOC Code



digital, laser, print ready files, print, pre press, images, carriers, plates, impositions, quality, colour