Operate post press machinery and equipment under supervision

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


This standard is about operating machinery or equipment in a general print environment or for newspaper or periodical production.

It can apply to the operation of any relevant machinery or equipment but specifically applies to:

  • auto-fed sewing machinery
  • multiple hopper feeders
  • multi knife trimming machinery
  • guillotines
  • folding machinery
  • case making machinery
  • casing-in machinery
  • adhesive binding machinery (inline or offline)
  • main processing machinery
  • booklet making machinery
  • laminating equipment
  • auto punching and cutting machinery
  • slitting and re-reeling equipment (adhesive label production)
  • automatic stacking/palletising equipment
  • automated stitch and trim equipment
  • automated inserting equipment non automatic finishing machines including wire stitching machines, perforating machines, drilling machines, thread stitching machines, punching machines, eyeletting machines, riveting machines, rotary perforating machines

This is what the standard covers:

  1. running the machinery or equipment safely
  2. adjusting settings, where necessary to maintain the required standard
  3. checking that work meets the required standard
  4. identifying faults and taking action to deal with them

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. check your work area is safe and ready for production
  2. check that safety processes have been followed and safety devices are working as they should
  3. run machinery at the required speed in a safe and efficient manner in accordance with organisational procedures
  4. keep up sufficient supplies of materials so that runs are not interrupted
  5. check at regular intervals that outputs meet approved sample and identify the cause of any marking, damage or distortion to product
  6. identify faults which affect the efficient operation of equipment or create risks to health and safety
  7. correct faults which it is your job to remedy using approved methods and equipment
  8. report faults which it is not your job to correct using agreed procedures
  9. check that machines are safe to operate, once faults have been corrected
  10. record production and quality assurance details in accordance with organisational procedures
  11. remove waste using the correct procedures
  12. place work in the correct location using approved handling methods

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 the process you are undertaking
  12. the information and materials required to meet job specification
  13. safety devices found on the machinery you are using, their purpose and how to check they are functional
  14. how to adjust the machinery you are using to meet job requirements
  15. the causes of common faults with the process you are undertaking and how to rectify them
  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, equipment