Set up and control automated mail processing machinery

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


This standard is for print finishers using automated mail processing machinery. This could be inline. They will be expected to set up the equipment and control it whilst running production jobs. This will include the fulfilment of brochures, catalogues, letters and magazines in envelopes or polywraps.

This standard consists of two elements:

  • Set up automated mail processing machinery
  • Run automated mail processing machinery and monitor quality

This is what the standard covers:

  1. identifying the job requirements
  2. checking that the automated mail processing machinery is working properly
  3. checking that safety devices are working properly
  4. running the automated mail processing machinery safely
  5. adjusting settings, where necessary to maintain the required standard
  6. checking that work meets the required standard
  7. identifying faults and taking action to deal with them
  8. unloading and stacking the finished product

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

Set up automated mail processing machinery

  1. check that you have all the job details you need
  2. check that you have enough materials of the right type to meet job requirements
  3. report when the materials provided are not correct or sufficient in accordance with organisational procedures
  4. set up the line in accordance with organisational requirements, so that: folded sheets are inserted into the carriers squarely without causing damage, inserts are as listed, trimming and perforating are square, carriers are delivered without damage or distortion

  5. check that samples produced by the machine match the required system

  6. make any necessary adjustments, to enable standards to be met
  7. report when standards cannot be met in accordance with organisational procedures
  8. prepare your work area so that it is safe and ready for production
    Run automated mail processing machinery and monitor quality

9. run automated mail processing machinery so that it is safe and efficient and at the required speed to produce the output in accordance with organisational procedures
10. keep up sufficient supplies of materials so that runs continue as long as necessary to meet job requirements
11. check at regular intervals that quality standards are met
12. identify the cause of production faults, which result in: folded sheets damaged or not inserted into the carriers squarely, inserts not as listed, trimming and perforating not square, damaged or distorted carriers

  1. adjust machines, using approved methods and equipment, to correct mechanical faults which it is your job to remedy
  2. use agreed procedures to report mechanical faults which it is not your job to correct
  3. check that machinery is safe to operate, once faults are corrected, in accordance with organisational procedures
  4. record production and quality assurance details, checking information meets organisational procedures
  5. follow the organisational procedures for the removal of waste
  6. stack work using the approved method

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, such as not under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication, smoking policies in the workplace
  10. how to stop a machine in the event of an emergency
  11. the purpose of mail processing
  12. the information and materials required to meet job specification
  13. safety devices found on automated mail processing machinery, their purpose and how to check they are functional
  14. how to set up and adjust automated mail processing machinery to meet job requirements
  15. the causes of common faults and how to rectify them including folded sheets damaged or not inserted into the envelopes squarely, inserts not as listed, trimming and perforating not square or damaged or distorted envelopes
  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, such as the internet
  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, such as electrical, mechanical, electronic
  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, automated, mail, processing