Set up and control publishing equipment

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


This standard is for print finishers using publishing equipment. It is likely to be most useful to those working on newspapers and periodicals.

They will be expected to set up the equipment and control it whilst running production jobs.

This standard consists of two elements:

  • Set up publishing equipment
  • Maintain the throughput of publishing equipment and monitor quality

This is what the standard covers:

  1. identifying the output required
  2. setting publishing equipment
  3. checking that machinery is in a fit condition and that safety devices are in place
  4. operating equipment safely
  5. checking and adjusting settings, where necessary to maintain production
  6. checking that the output meets quality requirements
  7. identifying faults and taking action to deal with them

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

Set up publishing equipment

  1. check that you have all the job details you need
  2. check that you have sufficient supplies of strapping to complete production
  3. set up units on the equipment in accordance with organisational requirements, so that:
    the bundler collects the correct number of copies
    bundles are square and leave the stacker centrally at the selected running speed and in the correct orientation
    underwrap, when used, is applied
    strapping feeds freely without snagging
    strapping is applied centrally, and holds the bundle firmly without damage
    the correct number of straps are applied
  4. report any difficulties in achieving output which you cannot resolve in accordance with organisational procedures
    Maintain the throughput of publishing equipment and monitor quality


  1. run publishing equipment so that it is safe, efficient and at the correct speed in accordance with organisational procedures
  2. keep up sufficient supplies of materials so that runs continue as long as necessary to meet job requirements
  3. check at regular intervals that bundled items meet the company's quality standards
  4. identify faults which:
    produce a shortfall in output
    cause damage or distortion to the end product
    affect the efficient operation of equipment
    create risks to health and safety

  5. adjust the machine to correct faults which it is your job to deal with, using approved methods and equipment

  6. identify faults which it is not your job to deal with and report them, using agreed procedures
  7. give sufficient information about faults to colleagues who are responsible for correcting them
  8. check that the machine is safe to operate, once faults are corrected, in accordance with organisational procedures
  9. record the production details required by your company, checking information meets organisational procedures

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. your duties and responsibilities for health and safety as defined by any specific legislation covering your job role
  2. regulations such as those covering manual handling, noise at work, personal protective equipment, safe handling of equipment and materials, and the safe use of computer equipment
  3. workplace policies and written operating procedures relating to written health and safety policy statement, provision, use and processes of workplace equipment, training, prohibited equipment, young persons, safe systems of work
  4. the way you actually do your job, more particularly the activities and techniques and the way that materials and equipment are used
  5. typical hazards and risks in the printing industry and those that relate to your own job
  6. risk assessment techniques and the action to take to deal with them
  7. codes of practice relevant to your role and where to obtain information on them
  8. manufacturers' and suppliers' health and safety instructions and advice for operating machinery, guarding machinery and data sheets for substances harmful to health
  9. the requirements for personal presentation including personal hygiene, suitable clothing and accessories, fitness for work
  10. how to stop a machine in the event of an emergency
  11. the purpose of publishing equipment
  12. the information and materials required to meet job specification
  13. safety devices found on publishing equipment, their purpose and how to check they are functional
  14. how to set up and adjust publishing equipment to meet job requirements
  15. the causes of common faults and how to rectify them including a shortfall in output, damage or distortion to the end product, inefficient operation of machinery or risks to health and safety
  16. the causes of faults with raw materials, processes and machinery used in your business and how to identify and treat them
  17. techniques for controlling quality including inspection, testing, sampling and use of input and output controls
  18. the impact that faults, in the process you are involved with, have on later processes and the quality of the end product
  19. types of problems that may need to be solved including machinery - electrical, mechanical, electronic, settings, component wear and tear, consumables needing replacement, materials - defects, shortages, incompatibility, systems, organisation and lack of skills or knowledge
  20. sources of information for solving problems including manufacturer's documentation / troubleshooting guides, colleagues, tutors / trainers / mentors and reference material – in house or external
  21. techniques for assessing machine faults including observation, listening, inspection of product, reports from colleagues / log reports, touch or smell (if safe to do so) and testing
  22. the types of paper, board and other commonly used substrates including commonly used uncoated, coated, embossed papers and boards
  23. the grammage, thickness, opacity, brightness/whiteness, strength, dimensional stability, gloss of paper, board and other commonly used substrates
  24. how to maintain the quality of materials and protect them from damage, humidity and temperature during storage and handling
  25. how to label and identify materials


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



post press, print finishing, machinery, publishing