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Jürgen Gemeinhardt

Jürgen Gemeinhardt

Head of department
Printing techniques

transparent 11x15@fogra.org

+49 89. 431 82 - 256


PSO Certification

Certification on compliance with the ProcessStandard Offset (ISO 12647)

PSO seal enFogra offers every company an opportunity to gain certification according to ProcessStandard Offset (PSO), which is based on ISO 12647. Externally, this certificate provides proof of the quality a printing or media company is capable of and internally it ensures smooth production.
The ProcessStandard Offset (ISO 12647) certification by Fogra and the member associations of the Bundesverband Druck und Medien e.V. (bvdm) is based on the same foundations. In addition, both institutions support each other as co-certifiers during the evaluation stage.

For printers with in-house prepress, the following modules are checked:
  • Expert colour management
  • Proof production
  • Platemaking
  • Print job makeready/print run
For printers without in-house prepress the following modules are checked:
  • Platemaking
  • Print job makeready/print run

A Fogra employee will be on site whilst the programme of checks is carried out. This person will not only check the achievement of the required target values but will also establish that the necessary quality controls exist to ensure consistent production over the long term.
The requirements are specified in the “ProcessStandard Offset“ handbook, the standards series ISO 12647 and the “MediaStandard Print”. They are discussed in detail in Fogra’s “Prozesskontrolle im Offsetdruck” and “Vorbereitung zur Zertifizierung nach ProzessStandard Offsetdruck (ISO 12647)" seminars. Participation in these is not mandatory but strongly recommended. In addition, the “Farbmanagement - Grundlagen”, “Farbe im Druck messen und bewerten” und “Prozesskontrolle in der CtP-Produktion” seminars are useful supplements.

If you are interested ...

in certification please take ten minutes time and complete the questionnaire together with the responsible persons in your company. It provides you and us with a starting point from which to determine further steps. At the same time it provides a check of the process sequences and components that will be tested during the examination. Send the completed questionnaire via fax, email or post to Fogra. A Fogra employee will then contact you to finalize the certification agreement and set a date for the examination.

The examination ...

will require about one full day to carry out. Since the programme must be carried out separately for sheet-fed and web offset presses, one and a half days should be allowed if both types of press are operated.
At the beginning of the examination there will be a brief introductory discussion, which should be attended by those responsible for every department. They will be asked to briefly present the structure of the company. The production sequences and quality controls will then be checked on the basis of the questionnaire. During the subsequent tests in the prepress department and the print room the correct performance as well as the fulfilment of the tolerances will be checked. The final assessment will be made at Fogra and bvdm.

General examinations

Failures in a PDF test data set must be found with the help of preflight check tools. Furthermore an informative light check is performed.

Expert colour management

The focus is on the correct handling of colour transformations with ICC profiles and CMYK separations of spot colours. Tools for monitor profiling must be presented.

Proof production

Digital proofs for the simulation of different printing conditions have to be produced. The Fogra Media Wedge is used for conformance check according to MediaStandard Print.


Proof will be required that appropriate control aids are used to ensure consistent platemaking. Suitable tone value correction tables must be integrated into the RIP of the CTP system in order to achieve the required characteristic printing curves.

Print job makeready/print run

A special acceptance test form will be printed on a selected press and checked ac-cording to the PSO guidelines with respect to the paper types used. The substrate will be chosen by the printer and must be assigned to the existing paper categories. During printing the required solid tone colours and tone value increases must be adhered to.
Samples from a short print run will be used to assess consistency over the run. For sheet-fed presses the run must extend to 3,000 and for web presses to 10,000 revolutions.


Upon the successful conclusion of the test programme you will receive a certificate and a special logo to display on your letterheads or other promotional material. Furthermore your company will be listet in the database of PSO-Insider. The certificate remains valid for two years. After one year a short intermediate test is carried out. Therefore some standardized printed samples of another test form as well as a contract proof for the same paper type must be submitted to Fogra. The presence of a Fogra employee at site is not necessary.

Further information/costs

For the costs of a Fogra employee at your site and the subsequent assessment of the results please refer to the current Extra FograCert PSO.



The certification according to ProcessStandard Offset (ISO 12647) follows an intensive and in-depth going due date test. The optional additonal module PSOactive supplements this appropriately, as the company proves quality, process stability and compliance with the standards also between the due dates.



At www.pso-insider.de you will find further information around the ProcessStandard Offset and a list of all certified companies.

The constantly updated database can be checked at any time by quality concious customers and agencies looking for suitable printers in their vincinity.