Dear ERAI Members and Colleagues,

Personnel training is dreaded by many employees but plays an integral role in achieving overall organizational goals. Just as new hires must be appropriately oriented, existing employees, including seasoned veterans, require ongoing training to maintain their skills and knowledge base. Finding suitable educational opportunities presents challenges to organizations with budget, time and personnel constraints. Additionally, much of the available anti-counterfeit information is centered on general consumer luxury goods or pharmaceuticals and is not focused on the unique demands faced by those in the electronics industry.

Although events such as the ERAI Executive Conference provide excellent venues for presentations and peer-to-peer discussions, the expense and time required for travel limits the number of employees that benefit from these collaborative learning opportunities. In looking to serve a larger sector of the industry and in response to member feedback, ERAI has focused our efforts to create an online training program called InterCEPT. This new service aims to provide International Counterfeit Electronics Personnel Training for employees at all job levels in an easy-to-use and convenient format.

Working in partnership with thought-leaders in their respective fields, InterCEPT's classes center on counterfeit part mitigation while addressing counterfeit parts detection and avoidance through control plan development, inspection and testing as well as highlighting government and industry responses and solutions. By allowing administrators to purchase classes for their employees, we hope to provide an invaluable tool throughout varying job sectors to facilitate organizations challenged by flow down training requirements.

In this edition of INSIGHT we will introduce you to the InterCEPT Personnel Training program which was designed specifically for organizations that manufacture, procure, sell, integrate or test electronic parts. We will provide an overview of the class offerings and will explain the student certification process and the class management console, unique to InterCEPT, which allows organizations to manage and document personnel training for internal and external auditing purposes. At the conclusion of this introduction you will understand our short and long term goals that will result in a safer, more informed supply chain.

As always, we welcome your input and look forward to your thoughts and comments.

Anne-Liese Heinichen

Introducing InterCEPT: A Collaborative Training Program

By: Anne-Liese Heinichen

Over the last ten years, we have seen an emergence of new anti-counterfeiting standards at every level, as well as sweeping new government regulations, such as those of the US Department of Defense. Trained experts are needed to implement these standards, retain company certifications, plan for audits and ensure companies are employing best practices. Kristal Snider, Vice President of ERAI, Inc., and Anne Poncheri have collaborated to create InterCEPT, a web-based training portal that provides a cost-efficient solution to train personnel about the challenges posed by counterfeit electronic parts. InterCEPT's goal is to help individuals become one of those valued experts through a web-based training program designed exclusively for the unique needs of the electronics industry. With classes such as developing a documented counterfeit mitigation program, reporting and quarantining counterfeit and suspect counterfeit electronic parts and materiel, and inspection and testing of electronic parts, InterCEPT's broad offerings are designed to augment the skills of professionals with roles in manufacturing, management, procurement, logistics, distribution, marketing, government agencies, law enforcement, legal services and consultancies.

I spoke to Anne and Kristal to find out their inspiration for InterCEPT, how they envision the program working and what future plans are in store.

AH: How did the idea of InterCEPT come about?

Kristal Snider: ERAI is regularly asked to provide training to individuals and organizations, both in- and outside of the high-tech electronics supply chain specific to counterfeit electronic parts. For years there has been a growing desire among professionals engaged in either buying, selling or using integrated circuits to learn everything they can to protect themselves, the companies they represent and their customers. While there are training opportunities for portions of the supply chain, when it comes to physically inspecting parts, there is nothing out there that addresses counterfeit avoidance using a holistic approach and the vast majority of the training opportunities that do come up require people to travel, making it more expensive and challenging for the individual and their employer. I understand the challenges people are facing, I saw the void and knew ERAI’s platform could provide the solution; I just needed the right partner.

Anne Poncheri: There is a very strong need across the supply chain for training on the subject of counterfeit electronic components. In the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations, there is a requirement for training. Also, many government primes and OEMs have flow-down requirements for training about counterfeit electronic components. For larger companies, the resources may be available to develop in-house and web-based training. For smaller companies, their only option is publicly available training. Thus far, the only training that has been offered has been devoted to the specific set of requirements of an industry standard. Too often, these courses are focused only on the target audience of the standard.

Our goal in creating InterCEPT was to develop training that would give all members of the supply chain a better understanding of the challenges of each tier in the supply chain. The various InterCEPT classes will include a variety of topics, including a discussion on the difficulty in finding obsolete electronic components, how to test those components and how to report a counterfeit part to the industry. There will be a course to cover all aspects of mitigating counterfeit electronic parts in the supply chain.

AH: And what prompted you to develop InterCEPT now?

KS: It feels like we have been talking about counterfeit parts forever and yet we still regularly see escapes. How is that possible? The reality is there are huge gaps in counterfeit risk awareness levels based on where an organization is situated within the supply chain and their geographic location. When assessing training programs developed internally by organizations, we typically see a lack of consistency in the content of the trainings and more often than not, the trainings tend to be high level and general in nature. Evidence of counterfeit-specific employee training is now required in industry standards and government contracts and these training requirements are being flowed down. Existing personnel training programs are being scrutinized. Creating, maintaining and monitoring internal training programs is challenging and time-consuming. We knew organizations would be struggling to juggle another responsibility so we developed InterCEPT to help meet personnel training obligations.

AP: The idea of developing training for counterfeit electronics has been in the back of my mind for about five years. In my various job functions in the past eight years, I've encountered many people who have very basic questions about why electronic parts are counterfeited, how they enter the supply chain and what is being done to keep them out of the supply chain. My goal with InterCEPT is to be able to point prospective students to a link and allow them to choose the class that meets their requirements.

Although I have the skills needed to develop the training materials, I'm not capable of developing a web-site to deliver the training. The partnership with Kristal Snider to develop this product was perfect because we have complimentary skills and ERAI has the resources to develop first-rate course materials and website.

Each year, the topic of counterfeit electronic components continues to be a hot topic. There are continued efforts in the development of standards, the development of counterfeit detection test methods and the roll-out of government requirements. The topics are covered on several message board discussions, published articles and web-sites. However, there is not a central point to find the training needed.

AH: How do InterCEPT's classes differ from standard webinar-based trainings?

KS: InterCEPT differs in a variety of ways. Unlike a typical webinar, InterCEPT courses undergo a peer review process to ensure the courses' content meets the needs of government, industry and the intended students. All courses are available on-demand and include resource materials or handouts. Students will be given quizzes throughout the course and must pass a final test in order to receive a training certificate. The courses were developed to ensure that the student listens to the content and understands the concepts.

AH: What is your vision for the supply chain and InterCEPT

AP: The vision for the student is to be able to customize their training needs by taking only the classes that they need. The classes are all between one and two hours long and they build upon each other. There are five different training tracks, but there are no required prerequisites. If one of our students is already familiar with the topic of electronic components, they can select the class that applies to their job function. However, if an employee has just been employed and needs to have a better understanding of counterfeit electronics, they can start at the beginning with the 'Counterfeit 101' class or the 'Supply Chain 101' class. These classes are intended to provide a starting point for the topic. The classes have been developed to build upon each other, using the same terminology to minimize the repetition of definitions and concepts.

The InterCEPT product has also been developed with the Program Manager or Quality Manager in mind. These personnel are typically responsible for ensuring that the appropriate training is completed and the training records are available. With InterCEPT's intuitive website, the manager may assign personnel to classes, give deadlines for the training and allow the InterCEPT web-site to do the work for them. No more collecting and filing certificates of training. The certificates of training can be linked to a company account and the manager will have access to those training records with a few clicks on the website. There will not be any surprises during registration or customer audits. The report and the certificates can be generated and downloaded, if preferred.

AH: What are your future plans for InterCEPT?

AP: Now that the website is active, we are excited to begin a dialog with our customers. We have laid out the progression of course development, but we will modify our course development using feedback from our customers. In addition to the available courses, future courses are listed on the website. We are asking prospective students to click on a link to be notified when a specific course is complete. This feedback will help us to prioritize the class development.

KS: As Anne said, the immediate plan is to continue working on course development and peer review for the classes we have scheduled for release this fall. Feedback from the community is important to us. Please take a moment to let us know your thoughts. We'd love to hear what you think.




Thank you for sharing your thoughts on InterCEPT. We appreciate your taking the time to provide us with suggestions to improve our services.

The Challenges of Meeting Government and Industry Standards Training Requirements

Many government regulations and industry standards written over the past few years have established personnel training as a necessary part of an organization's counterfeit part mitigation policies and procedures.

DFARS 252.246–7007 Contractor Counterfeit Electronic Part Detection and Avoidance System published in May of 2014 sets forth a training requirement:

(c) System criteria. A counterfeit electronic part detection and avoidance system shall include risk-based policies and procedures that address, at a minimum, the following areas:
(1) The training of personnel.

UK Ministry of Defence's Defence Standard 05-135 - Avoidance of Counterfeit Materiel asserts:

6.3 Competence, training and awareness
6.3.1 The supplier shall determine the awareness level requirements appropriate to each functional role, the competence level required by each employee and how the training needs will be met.
6.3.2 Records of training, skills and competence are to be maintained.

Similarly, SAE AS9120B, AS9100D, AS5553B and AS6081 include personnel training requirements to ensure that employees stay informed of "changes in counterfeit information and trends".

What many of these documents do not address are the specifics – who should receive what training and how often, causing confusion among some organizations. It is the responsibility of each organization to ensure their employees are receiving adequate training in order to continuously perform and excel in their daily job tasks and, more importantly, to maintain training records in the event of an audit by a third party or customer. It is also imperative for an organization to ensure that any contractual requirements are also being appropriately flowed down to their lower-tier suppliers.

In the case of the DFARS, it was specifically noted that the scope of the required training was intentionally omitted to provide "contractors with the flexibility to determine the appropriate type of training required for individual firms, based upon each contractor's assessment of what programs and capabilities are already in place within the firm and the assessment of what more is needed." SAE AS5553B is similar in its requirement and adds that, "training shall be updated periodically" to address changes in counterfeiting trends.

As counterfeiters modify and refine their methods, so too must employees in purchasing, management, engineering and quality control stay abreast of the latest counterfeiting techniques and detection methods.

Adding to the challenge is finding appropriate resources to provide training opportunities. Some government and private organizations offer on-site classes, online webinars and trainings with certificates, yet many of these options are costly and require additional expenses for travel and require that employees leave their work site, further adding to the burdens faced by smaller organizations.

With these challenges in mind, InterCEPT developed easy-to-use and budget-friendly classes structured around five main topics:

Counterfeit Information: InterCEPT's counterfeit courses address the issue of counterfeit electronic components from a high level perspective. These classes have been specifically designed as an entry-level introduction to counterfeit activity, understanding the electronics supply chain and reporting and quarantining of suspect counterfeit parts.

Counterfeit Mitigation Program: InterCEPT's Documented Counterfeit Mitigation Program classes are designed to teach organizations how to develop a counterfeit mitigation control plan and control plan best practices.

Government Response to Counterfeits: InterCEPT's DFAR and FAR classes provide an in-depth understanding of how US Government Federal Acquisition Regulations and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations address counterfeit part mitigation and describe how organizations can meet these requirements.

Counterfeit Inspection and Testing of Electronic Parts: InterCEPT's test methods classes provide overviews on various test and inspection methods commonly used in the industry to detect counterfeit parts. Introductory class TM-01 provides an overview of commonly used test methods, while other courses provide a deeper-dive into specific test methods.

Industry Response to Counterfeits: InterCEPT's standards classes provide an understanding and in-depth review of requirements contained in commonly used industry standards as part of an organization's counterfeit risk mitigation strategy.

Enroll now at www.counterfeittraining.com.

How InterCEPT Works

You can access InterCEPT by visiting www.counterfeittraining.com or on the ERAI website (www.erai.com) by clicking on the "Training" tab located at the top of the page. You do not need to be a member or subscriber of ERAI to enroll in InterCEPT.

InterCEPT's classes

Each class has been developed by thought leaders in their respective fields. After peer-review by third parties, the classes are made available to students. Clicking on the Class List button in the left side navigation will display all classes. Please note that classes with a double asterisk (**) are classes that are in development. Classes are grouped by separate study courses. You are not restricted to any particular course of study and can select a class from any course that suits your needs.

Classes within each course of study that are listed first and end in -01 are designed as introductory overview classes for each individual course track. Other courses listed in each track are designed as "advanced" classes providing in-depth coverage of the selected topic. We highly encourage you to review the course learning objectives to determine your knowledge base for each class you are interested in as advanced learning courses are best suited for students who have already received prior training or have relevant work experience that addresses the learning points presented in the introductory classes.

Each class description page will show the following sections:

Course Overview – a generalized class description.

Course Content – topics covered in the class.

Course Learning Objectives – key learning points covered in the class.

Target Audience by Industry Sectors and Job Functions – Industry sectors and job functions that would most benefit by the class. Industry sectors include organization types (e.g. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), Distributors, Government Agencies) while job functions show organization department names (e.g. Sales, Quality, Contracting) to help you decide which class is best for you and your employees.

Class Information – includes the class length and tuition price in U.S. Dollars.

List of Prerequisites and Recommended Pre-Course Learning – While most InterCEPT classes do not have prerequisites, advanced learning courses are best suited for students with a specific knowledge base. InterCEPT does not require you to take an introductory class prior to an advanced learning class; however, we strongly urge you to review the class description page(s) for all courses listed in this section to ensure that you or your employees can fully benefit from an advanced class.

Related InterCEPT Courses – Other InterCEPT classes that cover similar topics as the course you are viewing.

Course Handouts – Class handouts that will be available to students who take the selected class. These will vary per the selected class but can include checklists, tables, graphs, etc. to further enhance key learning objectives.

Administrative Controls – Employers can easily purchase classes for employees.

InterCEPT was designed with a two-pronged approach: for individual students and for an organization's administrator to purchase classes on behalf of other employees. Assigning a student to a class during the purchasing process is optional and classes can be purchased and later assigned to specific individuals.

For Administrators, the Class Management Console permits you to administer your purchased classes. Each class will be listed, along with the purchase date, student the class is assigned to (or the ability to assign a student), the class status, expiration date and certificate (if available). Once an administrator assigns a student to a class, an email is sent to the student containing an activation code. Students can then use the Class Management Console to activate classes assigned to them by administrators.

How classes work

InterCEPT classes are self-paced, meaning you can control your study pace. Upon completion of each slide, you will have an option to proceed to the next slide or repeat the slide you just completed. You can also backtrack to a previous slide for review.

You have 6 months from the date of purchase to begin your training class(es). Once you begin a class, you have 60 days from the date you first start a class to complete an individual class. Your class management console will display how much time you have left to begin and complete your class(es).

InterCEPT has made enhancements to ensure that individuals with hearing impairments have an equal opportunity to benefit from our training classes. Each class permits a student to turn on a text-based transcript that follows the audio narration. Anyone who requires auxiliary services for effective communication can contact InterCEPT at 239-261-6268 for individual assistance.

Each class will contain multiple choice quizzes throughout the class. These quizzes will prepare you for the final test that you will be required to pass in order to receive a Certificate of Training.

Quizzes can consist of multiple choice where one or more answer may be correct. Please be sure to read each question and corresponding directions thoroughly. In the example below, please note the system states that the question allows for multiple answers indicating that more than one answer is correct.

At the end of the class, you will be presented with a final exam. You must achieve a passing score to obtain your Certificate of Training. The final exam will be a series of questions similar to the ones you already answered in quizzes throughout the class. Please be sure to read the instructions for each question. Some questions will require you to select one answer from a multiple choice selection while others will require you to select multiple answers. Unlike quizzes, the system will not display the correct answers for each question. Please note that if you stop or close the window during the exam, your answers will not be saved and you will be required to re-start the exam from the beginning when you resume the class.

If you do not pass the final exam, you will have the opportunity to re-take the class from the beginning and re-take the final exam. Please remember you have 60 days' time from the time you first began the class to pass the final exam. You may re-take the class and final exam an unlimited number of times during the 60 day time period.

Once you have completed a class and passed the final exam, you can re-view any of the class content for a period of 60 days from the date of purchase. Please note that no quizzes or final exam will be presented to you during the review period.


Once you or another student has successfully completed an InterCEPT class, a link will appear to access the digital certificate. Once you complete a class and obtain a certificate, you can provide the certificate identification number located on the bottom right corner of the certificate to any individual for verification on the InterCEPT website. This feature is available to anyone; an individual does not need to be enrolled in InterCEPT or be an ERAI member or subscriber to verify a certificate of training.

ERAI Member and Government Employee Discounts

Please note that InterCEPT automatically offers a 20% discount for organizations currently subscribed to ERAI's services. To receive a discount, students must log in using their ERAI membership credentials - discounted prices are displayed to all Members. InterCEPT additionally offers discounted rates to government employees. To receive a government promotional discount code, please contact the InterCEPT office directly at +1-239-261-6268 to provide proof of employment by a government agency. Eligible individuals will receive a 20% discount.

Sign up for Updates

InterCEPT is routinely adding new classes. To sign up to receive notifications for a class that is currently in development, from within the class description page, click on the "Coming soon – notify me when class is available link" to receive emails once the class is live on the InterCEPT website.

Learn more about InterCEPT

Watch our videos to learn more about InterCEPT

InterCEPT Training Program Overview

How does InterCEPT work?

InterCEPT Featured Classes

CF-01: A Historical Overview of Counterfeit Electronic Part Activity: The Risk, Response, and Solution

Problems must be defined before they can be solved. CF-01: A Historical Overview of Counterfeit Electronic Part Activity: The Risk, Response, and Solution provides the foundation upon which all other InterCEPT courses are built. All organizations and their personnel need to know how the term "counterfeit electronic part" is defined, the consequences associated with the sale or integration of a "counterfeit electronic part" and how government and industry responses could impact your business.

This class is recommended for anyone involved in the purchase, sale, inspection or integration of Electrical, Electronic, and Electromechanical (EEE) parts and materiel with job roles in contracting, management, purchasing, sales, quality, and engineering at Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), Independent Distributors, Authorized Distributors, and Government Agencies. The approximately one hour class covers why organizations should worry about purchasing counterfeit parts, what is a counterfeit electronic part (definition, sources and types) and government and industry responses to counterfeit parts.

After reviewing the class content, students will be able to:
  • Identify the importance of preventing counterfeit electronic parts entering the organization.
  • Distinguish how counterfeit electronic parts are defined.
  • Discover what types of electronic parts are being counterfeited.
  • Identify how the government has responded to counterfeit electronic parts.
  • Identify how industry has responded to counterfeit electronic parts.
  • Identify the next steps in learning more about preventing counterfeit electronic parts entering the organization.
Course handouts include selected definitions of the term "counterfeit" and "counterfeit electronic parts" and links to sources of the government responses and industry responses to counterfeit electronic parts.

TM-01: Counterfeit Inspection and Testing of Electronic Parts: Test Methods Overview

TM-01 provides an overview of the various recommended test methods used to detect counterfeit electronic components. The following test methods are addressed: External Visual Inspection; X-Ray Fluorescence; Delid/Decapsulation Physical Analysis (DDPA); Radiological Inspection; Acoustic Microscopy and Electrical Test Methods.

In addition, test report content will be discussed as well as the role of in-house laboratories versus third party laboratories. The class includes images to help the student recognize the indicators of counterfeit or sub-standard electronic components.

Upon completion of the class, students will be able to understand the various testing protocol and terminology for counterfeit mitigation testing, become familiar with the various test methods, understand the flow of the testing protocol, understand the importance of the results and the report and will become aware of the published standards.

Course handouts include a summary sheet of methods and the purpose of each test and resources for test methods standards (IDEA 1010 and SAE AS6171).

Related InterCEPT Courses in Development

TM-02: Counterfeit Inspection and Testing of Electronic Parts: Visual Inspection, Surface Testing and Criteria for Acceptance or Rejection
TM-03: Counterfeit Inspection and Testing of Electronic Parts: XRF, Decapsulation, Radiography and Criteria for Acceptance or Rejection

CP-01: Developing and Implementing a Documented Counterfeit Mitigation Program

The first step to establishing a counterfeit avoidance program is to document the process. Some standards refer to this document as a "control plan", other standards call it a "policy document" and yet others refer to this document as a "procedure" or "process". Regardless of what your organization calls this document, the processes that your organization uses to ensure that you do not purchase, sell, install or release a counterfeit electronic part into the supply chain should be documented.

This class covers the basic elements of a documented counterfeit avoidance process, which include:
  • Documented Procedure
  • Training
  • Supply Chain Traceability
  • Purchasing Procedure
  • Flow Down Requirements
  • Supplier Approval Process
  • Verification of Purchased Product
  • Quarantine/Disposition
  • Reporting
  • Maintaining current information

Note that this training will discuss the documented counterfeit avoidance program in general terms.

Students will understand what a documented counterfeit avoidance process is, how it fits into an organization's current quality system, the basic elements of a documented counterfeit avoidance process and best practices for ongoing improvement of the counterfeit avoidance process.

This class is best suited for individuals in management, purchasing, sales and quality who need to understand the need for a documented counterfeit avoidance process, identify the critical elements that would be included in the documented counterfeit avoidance process and those who must become familiar with industry best practices for documented counterfeit avoidance process.

Course handouts include a general list of elements to include in a documented counterfeit mitigation program, a cross-reference of the basic elements of a documented counterfeit mitigation program with the specific requirements for each standard and a training matrix template.

Releasing soon - ST-01: Industry Response to Counterfeits: An Overview of the Industry Standards

Several industry groups have developed and issued standards to address the issue of counterfeit electronic parts and materiel entering the supply chain. These standards have been developed for organizations throughout the supply chain. These standards are also being flowed-down to suppliers. This class will discuss the various standards setting organizations, their respective standards and the application of those standards.

Standards Setting Organizations
  • SAE
  • IDEA
  • IEC
  • CTI, Inc. (CCAP)
Standards Developed for Manufacturers and Integrators
  • SAE AS5553
  • SAE ARP6328
  • SAE AS6462
  • SAE AS6174
  • SAE AS6886
  • IEC TS 62668
Standards Developed for Distributors
  • SAE AS6081
  • SAE AS6301
  • SAE ARP6178
  • SAE AS6496
  • CAAP
Standards Developed for Counterfeit Detection Test Methods
  • SAE AS6171
  • IDEA-STD-1010B
  • CCAP
Application of Standards within your Organization
  • Best Practices
  • Self-Assessment
  • Certification
  • Flow-down on Purchase Orders

Upon completion of the course, students will be familiar with the standard setting organizations, understand the purpose and application of each standard, can select the appropriate standard for implementation within your organization, understand how to use industry standards to develop a counterfeit mitigation program and will understand how to flow-down industry standards to your suppliers.

Course handouts will include a cross reference of standards to applicable organizations.

The standards will be addressed each in further detail during future classes currently in development:

ST-02: Industry Response to Counterfeits: Standards Developed for Manufacturers and Integrators
ST-03: Industry Response to Counterfeits: Standards Developed for Distributors
ST-04: Industry Response to Counterfeits: Standards Developed for Counterfeit Detection Test Methods

InterCEPT Launch at CALCE

On June 27-29, Anne Poncheri and Kristal Snider premiered InterCEPT at the SMTA/CALCE Symposium on Counterfeit Parts and Materials held at the University of Maryland to approximately 100 attendees representing government agencies, prime contractors, integrators and distributors.

Attendee response to InterCEPT was extremely positive as student enrollment began. Various attendees praised the program as "cost-effective" and "necessary" for employees.

In addition, Anne presented on the topic of "Utilizing your counterfeit mitigation program to meet the 'Risk Assessment' requirements of ISO 9001:2015, AS9100D or AS9120B", in which she reviewed how the aerospace industry has always addressed risk in their quality management standards.  Although there is no specific requirement for a risk management process,  revised AS9100D and ISO 9001:2015 both reference 'risk' in eight different requirements clauses.

The fundamental requirements are that management should determine the risks and opportunities of the organization and promote the use of risk-based thinking.  If you already have a counterfeit mitigation program in place, it is likely that you have already addressed risk in your quality system. This presentation discussed a methodology to (1) identify risks, (2) identify methods to eliminate those risks and (3) document the effectiveness of the risk mitigation.