Connect, no. 125, July/August 2003, p.7
The Welding Institute (TWI) has been associated with the Certification Scheme for Welding and Inspection Personnel (CSWIP) for over 30 years. A major part of this scheme involves the certification of welding inspectors.
Recently, a completely separate organisation in the UK, the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT) has introduced its own certification scheme for welding inspectors as part of the Personnel Certification in Non-Destructive Testing (PCN) scheme.
The job of a welding inspector often requires individuals to make technical judgements under pressure. The consequences of incorrect judgements with regard to the acceptability of welds can be disastrous in terms of structural failure, loss of life, economic consequences, etc.
Potential users of Welding Inspector certification should be aware that the engineering experience requirement for access to certification is of a much shorter duration in the PCN scheme compared to CSWIP and there is no minimum age at which certification may be obtained.
Neither TWI, one of the world's leading organisations in the welding field, nor CSWIP supports, recognises or endorses the PCN welding inspector scheme in any way.
The CSWIP Welding Inspector Certification Scheme is completely unaffected by the introduction of the PCN scheme. CSWIP will continue to offer a means of demonstration of competence for welding inspectors which is recognised by all relevant authorities and clients throughout the world, accredited by UKAS and backed by the technical resources and quality standards of TWI. CSWIP is the only UK certification scheme which is recognised by the European Welding Federation and by the International Institute of Welding. It is also the only scheme which provides examination exemptions to holders seeking BGAS or AWS certification and which provides a direct route to Professional Membership of The Welding Institute.
The following is an extract from a recent letter received from Professor Sir Bernard Crossland CBE, FRS, FREng, FIAE, MRIA.
"My attention has been drawn to the possible reduction in the experience required for access to certification as a welding inspector. Based on my experience of investigating accidents and disasters arising from defective welds, I strongly believe any diminution of the experience required is to be deplored. If welds of acceptable integrity are to be produced then there is a strong case for enhanced standards of education, training and experience."
Welding and Joining Quality Board