Why Employers Certify NDT Technicians

Why Should Employers Certify NDT TechniciansThe following is a step-by-step guide to “Why Certify Your NDT Technicians”.  WJMG provides training, consulting web-based exam preps and study guide programs and Level III services to companies that certify their NDT personnel.  Welding codes and standards require NDT to be performed by qualified, trained and certified personnel.

The NDT procedures as described in the welding codes have been used for many years and provide reasonable assurances of weld integrity.  Users of the code may consider each method capable of detecting all unacceptable weld discontinuities.  Users who rely on the welding codes should be familiar with all the limitations of the NDT methods, particularly, the ability to detect and characterize planar discontinuities.  The limitations of each method are described in the Employer’s Written Practice.

Codes & Standards


AWS D1.1, Structural Welding Code - Steel

6.14.6 Personnel performing NDT shall be qualified in conformance with the current edition of ASNT SNT-TC-1A.  Certification of Level I and Level II shall be performed by a Certified Level III.


Welder Performance

ASME V, Article 1, T-120 General, Qualification of NDT personnel  in accordance with employer’s written practice, SNT-TC-1A.

ASME B31.3

Process Piping

342.1 Examination Personnel Qualification and Certification shall have training and experience as specified in SNT-TC-1A.

ASME VIII Division 1 Pressure Vessels

ASME V, Article 1, T-120 General, Qualification of NDT personnel  in accordance with employer’s written practice, SNT-TC-1A.

API 1104 - Pipelines

8.0 Inspection and Testing of Production Welds.  8.4 Certification of NDT Personnel – shall be certified to Level I, II or III, SNT TC-1A.  Only Level II or III shall interpret test results.

Step 1.  Establish Employer’s “Written Practice” for the Qualification and Certification of NDT Personnel”.

The Written Practice should be written to comply with the recommendations of the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) guidelines, SNT-TC-1A.  Each employer must determine the appropriate NDT standards for their needs. The procedures shall be prepared by the employer or by a qualified Level III Consultant.

Step 2.  Employ a NDT Level III or Certified Level III Consultant.

The welding codes and standards require that NDT Level I, II & III personnel shall be certified by the employer. The employer may use a qualified, outside Level III consultant. The codes and standards require that the Level III shall be responsible for the administration of the NDT program, training and examinations of personnel and establishing and approving techniques and procedures. This person is the Responsible Level III.  The employer certifies personnel.

Step 3.  Qualified Company Level I and II Personnel.

NDT Personnel shall have adequate education, training, and experience to qualify for Level I, II or III certification. The minimum requirements are detailed in the employer’s “Written Practice - Procedure for Qualification and Certification of NDT Personnel”. For example, a Level II technician must have:

  1. Training –  Designated hours of training in a method by a qualified instructor and Certified Level III.
  2. Experience –  Designated hours of experience, supervised by a Certified Level II or III.
  3. Examinations –  General, Specific and Practical Examinations by a Certified Level III.

Step 4.  Certification Examinations

The designated Level III shall review and accept training and experience records.  Level I or II personnel shall pass GeneralSpecific, and Practical examinations for each NDT method before becoming certified. Written examinations shall be administered by the Level III. The candidate shall pass Visual Acuity and Color Contrast examinations. General Examination topics are typical NDT methods, theory, principles and applications. The Specific Examination topics address the technician’s knowledge of techniques, specifications and company procedures. The Practical Examination topics are to demonstrate the technician’s ability to perform the NDT method, evaluate results and prepare a proper report.

Step 5.   Employer Certification of Level I or II Personnel

The employer may certify the technician to the appropriate level upon successful completion of the examinations. The employer shall keep records of qualifications, examinations and certifications on file. An Outside Agency can only provide Level III services – certification is the responsibility of the employer. Personnel certifications are valid for a period of 3 years for Level I & II’s and 5 years for Level III.


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