·Table of Contents
·Education, Training and Certification
The deciding factor in the success of NDT - NDT Examiners for personnel Qualification ExaminationMr. Diwakar D. Joshi
ASNT Level III (RT+UT+PT+MT+LT+ET+VT)
Insight Quality Services, Pune 411009 (India)
E-mail : email@example.com
Of course, in any NDT, the meaningful NDT results can only be obtained if
there are :
This paper deals with personnel qualifications in NDT and focuses on the importance of NDT Examiners in NDT Exam system. In any exam system the appropriately designed exam system and efficient implementation of the system will give the correct results. In the present international scenario, the effective system generation is in progress everywhere. However to implement the system effectively we should have a strong force of NDT Examiners knowledgeable, capable and demanding. The word demanding is very important here .Unless, one demands the improvement does not come automatically. (All Quality Control professionals will agree with this.) This paper is giving the overall perspective of an NDT examiner 's role in this exam system. It also deals with prerequisites of a good examiner and duties and responsibilities of the examiner with Do and Don'ts for the role.
The purpose of this paper is not to cover a specific standard in details but
to review the Examiner's Role in an overall perspective!
The basic purpose of any personnel qualification exam is very simple. To segregate the lot into two - those who fulfil the requirements and those who do not ! Of course, in actual practice this simple thing becomes more complicated and the examinations if not monitored properly, there is every possibility that the persons who are competent and skilled may fail or the persons who are incompetent and unskilled may pass. Both these possibilities are highly undesirable. In order to avoid this and to get meaningful results in exams we must have a good examination system and it shall be handled by competent examiners. While touching the national and international qualification systems, an effort is made here to emphasize on the knowledge and skill requirements of an NDT personnel examiners, who are the judges in the process of administrating NDT personnel examinations.
The basic things covered by all the national and international standards are education, experience, physical tests, theory tests (general and specific) and practical tests. The examiners are responsible for monitoring of the above tests. It is therefore very important that the examiners shall fulfill some basic requirements.
The practical exam system shall consist of standard samples (already tested by the examiners or other competent person) which shall be tested by the examinee in examiner's presence. The results of practical samples shall be consistent and not erratic.
The timing of the exam must be such that a competent but slow person can complete within the time and incompetent persons cannot unnecessarily delay the exam.
The examiner needs to know how a candidate has to perform after he passes the exam. What are the expectations from him in the field. This is only possible when the examiner himself has hands-on experience in the relevant field. He shall also have skill and expertise in the relevant field. The examiner shall also have the sufficient experience which will ensure maturity and impartial approach towards examination.
The examiner shall have thorough knowledge of applicable examination system with its advantages and limitations. This will make him comfortable in probing and decision making whether the expectations from the examinee are fulfilled or not.
Of course, it is very important that examinations must be administered in unbiased fairness and honesty. This expects a lot of pre-requisites from the examiners and the Role of Examiners in NDT exams becomes very critical.
The documentation for the above is also important.
In review of documents the examiners must satisfy himself that the education, experience and eye-sight tests meet the requirements of certification scheme. For educational certificate verification, the examiner shall have fair idea about the intended level of education and the educational curriculum covered up to that level.
Generally there is experience certificate issued by the employer. However the certificate issued meets the intended meaning of the certification standard or not needs to be verified by the examiner. The experience certificate for level I shall be the experience gained as a trainee. The experience certificate for level II shall be the experience gained as a level I or similar capacity. The examiner shall verify these experience requirements correctly.
Training hours are to be verified strictly as per the requirements of certification scheme. The contact hours (excluding lunch-tea times) need to be counted. In the duration of course, if some participant is absent for few hours, he shall be compensated by additional training hours and shall be documented accordingly. Training syllabus, training hours and training faculty shall meet the specified requirements. Adequate documentation is needed at this stage.
While developing the theory exams many times it is divided into general, specific and method exams. The widely used exam pattern is multiple choice questions. Multiple choice questions are easy for evaluation and have proved better by experience in comparison with 'true/ false', 'fill in the gaps' or 'descriptive type' questions. They can be easily evaluated by mechanical or electronic means. They are judging the knowledge, skill, judgement, mathematical ability and reasoning power as well as communication. The statistical analysis of these enables us to upgrade or modify the questions on the basis of feed back of the earlier exams. The syllabus of the subject and its full coverage with due weightage is important part to be seen here.
In specific examinations it has to be ensured that the specification is covering all areas as per the requirements. The questions should be such that a candidate having a full understanding of the specification should only be able to answer . Questions calling for merely searching the answer and putting it at place are not recommended. The aim of this exam is to ensure that the candidate can handle this specification and similar specifications comfortably and can give the correct results in NDT by using this specification.
In any theory exams (either general or specific) there shall be check list to ensure that the question formed is perfect. Few points which can be put in this check list are:
It is advisable to get the question cross checked by minimum 2 competent persons. There shall be statistical analysis of the different candidates and different examinations keeping in view the following :
In many countries the educational levels specified for Level I are giving education inputs in local language. In such cases digesting the level I theory in English becomes a problem area for level I operator. In such cases there is always a fear that a person doing a good job (hands-on) will fail in theory due to lack of knowledge of English. Here, the examinations in local language can reflect the correct status and are generally considered for level I examinations. The written instructions used by level I are generally given in local languages . For level II exams as the international specifications are generally in English and one has to interpret and evaluate the data with respect to these specifications, the examinations in English are common.
In either case the examiner shall be well conversant with the languages used for exam.
In practical exams the requisite defective samples and calibrated machines are playing an important role. The examiners have to decide the appropriate check points to evaluate the skills of the examinee. Viva, is kept at minimum level, ( preferably eliminated) as it has not proved beneficial. Here, the skill demanded from the examiner is to make maximum out of available machines and samples to judge the examinee. It is advisable that the samples shall be absolutely perfect and to be cross examined by examiners before use. Instruction for practical exam shall be clear and unambiguous,. This is very important as the ambiguous instructions lead to confusion in examinee's mind. As long as possible there should be written instructions. The time for the theory and practical examination shall be decided carefully.
A good examiner shall also
The examiners having the above qualities will be able to do justice to the job given to them. Off course, all these qualities cannot be readily available with an individual and continuous efforts are required on the examiner's part to improve their performance. Monitoring exam demands a skill and it can be acquired by experience. Schedule of exams, sitting arrangement, clarity in instructions, atmosphere etc, are to be seen with care.
Adequate training and practical exposure in examinations will be the right combination for this. Continuously upgrading the knowledge and skill level will ensure that the examiners are up to the mark. This is the only way to ensure that the right candidates are qualified and given entrance to the NDT field. The success of future NDT is in the NDT operator's hand and these hands are controlled by NDT personnel qualification examiners . Hence this is a deciding factor for the success of NDT.
At the end there is a poser!
A candidate if he gets a 85% marks, he passes NDT exam. As he gets 85 % of marks, naturally he fails in 15 % marks (15% - equivalent questions - he marks wrong).
In such case, the candidate carries 15% ignorance while passing the exam. A need is felt to find out whether there can be a feed back system in which the 15% wrong answers shall be explained to the candidate and the misconcepts can be corrected . If this happens, candidate will go back to work with 85% marks but 100% knowledge. This is a key issue in examination. With the present developments in computer technology. This is not very difficult.
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