Established in 1995, Card Testing International™ (CTI) is a global leader in certification and testing for cards in the Government ID, Financial, EMVCo™, e-Passport, and Healthcare sectors to name a few. CTI’s services have now reached over 40 countries, with an industry leading 53 ISO/IEC accredited tests, over twice the number of competing labs.
CTI’s team of experts actively develop, represent and host official ISO/IEC working group meetings for the parent committee JTC1/SC17. CTI’s very own CTO was appointed Project Editor for the International Standard 10373-1 used daily by card manufacturers for in-process testing. To put it another way, CTI not only certifies to the industry norm, but is also entrusted to set the norm.
Portraying the Visionary Leader
Steve DeDera, CTO of CTI is respected as an expert in his field by staff, clients and global organizations. This is not hard to miss given his track record, and enthusiasm in the face of challenges ahead. In 2009 Mr DeDera set his sights on expanding test capability and industry certifications for CTI, with ISO 17025 accreditation providing a framework. This uplift would be far from a solo project, employing the entire team at CTI to build, learn and create the new tests, now in use today. Certifications including ISO/IEC 17025, VISA, Amex Enabled and MasterCard CQM grew through leaps and bounds, but never stalling. Last year, CTI was selected as one of only four laboratories for VISA™ Card Design Innovation™ qualification. The laboratory now tests powered, metal and biometric cards on a monthly basis, all made possible by the diligence of CTI’s staff and enthusiasm for ‘the science’ that Mr DeDera has been known for.
“New and evolving card technologies will always bring challenges. With a culture of sharing knowledge and refined skills, new tech is business as usual… Likened to a precision journeyman watchmaker passing down honed skills to apprentices”.
Creative Work Culture
The positive work culture inspires the talent to grow, allowing staff to become invested in CTI through test development travel for tradeshows. The lab support administrator recently organized and promoted the major expo Money 20/20™ in Las Vegas. CTI’s Advanced Materials analyst was recently awarded full signatory status of all 53 accredited tests for CTI’s test reports. The CTO is recognized in ISO Standards committees as an ISO Editor and having built/installed more accredited tests than any other laboratory in the world today.
“It’s achievements like these by all our staff that have e business into to the exponential growth seen today”.
Special Perks and Facilities for Employees
CTI has always believed in a managed work life balance to build a successful and happy team. This has taken a further step by planning tasks to be completed at the end of each standard working day, rather than partially completed. When our team realized the structured “working day” as the focus, office hour’s productivity increased. This is also more popular with the latest workforce generation.
A flexible view on paternity care leave has seen staff returning both full and part-time after many months to continue their career at CTI. The company also operates flexible hours which allow staff ‘glide hours’ earlier into the morning or evening to suit everyone’s busy lives.
Creating Healthy Work Environment
For the past 15 years, CTI has engaged a professional Occupational Psychologist throughout the year to work with its staff in practicing best workplace communications. Should matters of our personal life become a struggle, one-on-one sessions are paid for by CTI. This has been one of the best programs ever put in place for business and personal staff health for the company. Given the hazards of a lab, best practice is followed from the ISO standards for health and safety of the workplace.
Talent Acquisition Processes
Steve DeDera has elaborated the talent acquisition processes in CTI. He states,
“For over a decade, CTI has continuously improved its proprietary processes and systems to culminate at the current 53 ISO certified tests for competency. While this achievement is a great indicator of trust and excellence for clients, there is also a useful byproduct… As processes are placed into a framework of intuitive structure with checks and balances, workloads and technical challenges have become easier and more consistent. Manual tasks have turned into smart systems. Less focus is placed on prior lab experience for new staff as procedures have matured to a stage of being understood with little prior experience.”
Further, he adds,
“The addition of automated user error safeguards and checks allow the work to become more forgiving while creating an expedient learning process, giving the analysts greater confidence from day one. In addition, the continuous improvement systems have given experienced staff an outlet for creativity and innovation and recognition via a bonus program.”
Recognized by the industry leaders as the world’s experts in their field, the expert staff of CTI leaves little doubt that the culture is on the right track. With half of the present staff over 15 years loyal to CTI, the growth of the business and its staff is set to continue. Training programs and the proprietary systems will evolve to facilitate a larger team for the next generation of analysts to continue the tradition of testing excellence.