Practical Welding Today September/October 2015 54
y Arc Welding 101 Paul Cameron
While browsing the AWS website I found listings for accredited test facilities. After a little
more digging, I found AWS QC4-89, the standard for accreditation of test facilities. I was
of the understanding that my endorsement
as a certified welding inspector (CWI) per-mitted me to certify welders to the standards
laid out in D1.1. Am I to understand that as
a school, we need accreditation in order to
send welders out the door with a certification? If not, what is the accreditation good
for, besides marketing?
You’re getting the terms qualified and cer tified all cobbled
You may have been a qualified welding inspector—
meaning you had the required skills. Once a third party evaluated
those skills, you became a certified welding inspector to QC-1.
Similarly, I may be a qualified welder, but once someone
evaluated my skills against a standard and found that I met
that standard, I became a cer tified welder.
The AWS runs a certified welder program, much like its CWI
or certified welding educator (CWE) programs. To
run a program like that, the AWS needs facilities
around the country to perform the necessary
weld testing. To maintain the program’s integrity,
the organization developed a program to certify
a facility as well. There are guidelines and other
requirements your facility would need to meet to
become an AWS-certified test facility.
You can still administer welder qualification
tests even if your facility is not an accredited one,
but those welders would be qualified per AWS D1.1, not AWS
certified welders. There is a difference. If a welder takes a
test at your facility or at his/her employer’s, those test results are not transferable from one employer to the next. That
welder’s qualifications/certifications are the property and responsibility of the company. A welder who goes through the
steps of becoming an AWS certified welder keeps that certification, and that certification is portable.
Paul Cameron, CWI, is Weld and NDT Level II Inspector
at Braun Intertec, Rochester, Minn., 507-269-7142 or
email@example.com. He is also a member of Practical
Welding Today’s Editorial Review Committee.
Qualified versus certified: What’s the difference?
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