The Alliance of Certified Engravers (ACE) no longer exists. The informal group was formed when a few engravers claimed to be certified by an individual who self-awarded his own certification when, in fact, there is no governing body of certified engravers. ACE was created out of rebellion against this individual because they claimed he promised to offer them engraving events to work if they “certified” with him for a significant amount of money. Once they certified they quickly found he didn’t support them. The ACE group disbanded many years ago. Those still claiming to be current members of this group are misleading their audience and potential clients.
The only real certification any engraver can ever achieve is offered and governed by only two groups. One is the Firearm Engravers Guild of America (FEGA) and the other is a group in England called the Guild of Glass Engravers (of which our engravers are members). These are the only two groups who follow the standards of certification created for engraving professionals worldwide. Any person or group claiming to offer certification to engravers other than those previously listed is offering a deceptive operation and should be seriously investigated before anyone decides to offer them money for their “engraver certification.”
In the United States, the Firearms Engravers Guild of America has in place a process to certify highly skilled gun engravers and bestow the title of FEGA Master Engraver. To achieve this certification, a member engraver must submit an application, meet certain requirements (such as having a federal firearms license), and submit sample work to a jury of previously certified masters. At present there are approximately 41 FEGA Certified Masters in the United States. FEGA Certified Masters are authorized to use an official seal to designate their status.
Outside the United States, particularly in Europe, there are formal schools, trade guilds, or official governmental bodies who are authorized to bestow the title of Master Engraver on those who have met strict guidelines and passed written and skill tests as well as sufficient longevity in the trade.
To be clear, certifications are issued by professional boards set up to provide testing, oversight, and measurement to maintain a level of standards for those who achieve certification. Some certifications may be achieved by education alone but most require testing to determine competency and must be maintained with yearly educational requirements. The standards for such certification vary by state and profession.
This information is to help consumers who believe engravers with a false certification or who list membership in the Alliance of Certified Engravers are expertly qualified. This has been proven untrue by the low quality of many of these individuals work.
It is also to help those researching certification to understand individuals offering false certifications outside of FEGA and GGE are completey fraudulent.
To reiterate, there is no legal certification or Master Certification for engravers except those listed previously. Unless one is a Master Engraver certified with FEGA or GGE, the claims of certification or title of “Certified Engraver” are false and should be carefully researched by anyone considering hiring the individual.
If you have any questions about certified engravers, please contact us at 770 823 1673.