Starting January 2010, the International Council on Machinery Lubrication’s examinations in oil analysis will follow the now published ISO 18436-4 standard.

ICML is honored that its bodies of knowledge for the Machine Lubrication Technician (MLT) Level I, Machine Lubricant Analyst (MLA) Level I and Machine Lubricant Analyst Level II certifications were pioneered into the first-ever international standard on qualification and assessment of field lubricant analysts.

The ICML MLA I and MLA II certification program’s subject areas were brought into ISO 18436-4 as category II and III, respectively. To reflect this equivalence with the ISO 18436-4 standard, ICML has chosen to rename its MLA I and MLA II certifications as MLA II and MLA III, since the original MLA I is equivalent to Category II and the original MLA II equivalent to Category III of ISO 18436-4. The MLT I would be the close equivalence to Category I of the ISO standard.

The ICML MLT I was originally created by the council to focus on lubrication, not analysis, and as such did not focus on the subject areas of oil sampling or analysis. However, its body of knowledge was very desirable for a Category I of this ISO standard as it tested machinery and lubricant knowledge at an entry level. Therefore, ICML proposed a Category I body of knowledge for the ISO standard based on the MLT I.

Since the ICML was pioneering the MLT I’s body of knowledge into an analysis standard, it was necessary that some oil health monitoring, basic oil sampling, as well as some basic wear debris monitoring and analysis be added to the body of knowledge.

ICML will continue to offer the MLT I exam (as well as the MLT II) in its original form, independent of ISO, to serve the machinery lubrication professional. In addition, ICML will offer a new exam, adjusted as per our additions to the body of knowledge, as we included on the standard. This new exam will be in accordance with ISO 18436-4 Category I and will be named MLA I (the former MLA I is now called MLA II as explained previously).

The ICML Web site ( is being updated to reflect these upcoming changes, with the English pages reflecting this already.

ICML strongly suggests that potential candidates for its exams, as well as companies interested in providing training in preparation for the exam, familiarize themselves with ISO 18436-4 and its bodies of knowledge as this standard will dictate the ICML bodies of knowledge for the new MLA I, MLA II and MLA III series. It is also important that trainers familiarize themselves with 18436-3, which dictates the requirements for the training bodies and the training process. Personnel interested in sitting for the exams equivalent to ISO 18436-4 are required to have received training by bodies offering its courses in accordance with 18436-3 and based on the syllabus of 18436-4.

ICML’s policy dictates independence from training. Suitability of intended courses should be evaluated by potential candidates by comparison of course outline with ICML’s bodies of knowledge as well as ISO 18436 parts 3 and 4 requirements and syllabus.

A brief summarization of the bodies of knowledge for the new MLA I, MLA II and MLA III certifications follows:

Machine Lubricant Analyst Level I

I. Maintenance strategies (10 percent)

II. Lubrication theory/fundamentals (18%)

III. Lubricant selection (10%)

IV. Lubricant application (18%)

V. Lube storage and management (10%)

VI. Lube condition control (10%)

VII. Oil sampling (10%)

VIII. Lubricant health monitoring (10%)

IX. Wear debris monitoring and analysis (4%)

Machine Lubricant Analyst Level II

I. Lubricant roles and functions (4%)

II. Oil analysis maintenance strategies (4%)

III. Oil sampling (29%)

IV. Lubricant health monitoring (21%)

V. Lubricant contamination measurement and control (25%)

VI. Wear debris monitoring and analysis (17%)

Machine Lubricant Analyst Level III

I. Lubrication fundamentals (20%)

II. Fundamentals of machine wear (15%)

III. Wear debris analysis (21%)

IV. Analyzing lubricant degradation (25%)

V. Oil analysis program development and program

management (19%).

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