·Table of Contents
·Education, Training and Certification
Qualification and Certification of Non-Destructive Testing Personnel in Slovak RepublicAuthor: Mrs. M. Komárnanská
Co-Author: Mr. V. Chmelík
The qualification and certification of personnel is one of three most important parts of the product process in all industry. All producers who want to arrange for high quality of their product components have to take heed of quality to these three parts, which play a key role in the integrity of the production systems:
Certainly, there is a relationship between these parameters and their best combination is the condition of success in business. The experience of different organisations is as follows:
In case you do not have so good equipment but very well qualified personnel, personnel can compensate this handicap during the process of non-destructive testing, primarily in the evaluation of the results. On the other hand when you have the best equipment in the world and personnel without appropriate qualification, you can not guarantee the quality of your services and products conducted in accordance with the conditions of the customer. The majority of employers know that investments in the qualification of personnel go back in the form of good business contracts.
Well, we see, that the key word in our life, I think personnel and proffessional life, is quality.
The quality control of such equipment includes a number of NDT methods. Historically, NDT followed the production of weld products and developed in parallel with the research of welding-engineering, which has had good tradition in The Research institute of welding in Bratislava for many years. The application of NDT methods is one of the essential parts of daily life in the industry such as power generating industry, for all its machines and adequate equipment used for transfer, primary circuit, turbines, water preparation etc. Especially the area of power plants personnel demonstrates plenty of knowledge and experience to decide about the reliability level of components.
Moreover, the Slovak Republic has tradition in a number of production branches as chemical industry, textiles, machine production, pharmaceuticals, reparation of trains, shipbuilding, production of steal and wires, car production etc. which need application of NDT. A very well developed area of industry is the production of energy in plants such power, water and gas.
All personnel reached qualification in old Czech-Slovak system and this system was changed in accordance with the requirements of the Europe standards with the issue of EN 473 and this change gave the possibility to create a new certification body in the Slovak Republik.
In 1998 the certification body(CB) for NDT personnel was established within the company Reaktortest Ltd. The company was founded as a joint-venture of Siemens Power Generation Group (KWU) and Slovak Power Plants in 1991. Reaktortest Ltd. works in the area of the in-service inspection for the Power Plants in the Slovak Republic and abroad. The creation of the certification body is one of its many business activities.
In the summer of 1999 the certification body was accredited according to EN 45 013 :1989 "General criteria for certification bodies operating certification of personnel" and EN 473:1993 "Qualification and certification of NDT personnel - General Principles" by Slovak National Accreditation Service (SNAS). SNAS is the only national institution recognized by the Slovak government to perform accreditation of laboratories, certification bodies and inspection bodies. SNAS is constituted by the central body of the state administration in the Slovak Republik - Slovak Office of Standards Metrology, and Testing (UNMS). In the year of its establishment (1994) the SNAS/UNMS was already admitted as an observer and in 1995 as an associated member to EAL and EAC. Since their merge in 1997 the associated membership has continued in the EA. SNAS became a member of ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation) in 1996 and IAF (International Accreditation Forum) in 1997.
The accreditation of CB includes seven methods: radiographic testing (RT), ultrasonic testing (UT), magnetic testing (MT), liquid penetrant testing (PT), electromagnetic testing (ET), visual testing (VT) and leak testing (LT). Each method contains two levels: Level I and Level II. The programme of qualification examinations and the following certification covers 5 basic industrial sectors (castings, forgings, welds, tubes and pipes, wrought products) and the combinations of these. General requirement for the knowledge, skills, education and experience of NDT personnel of levels I and II organizing structure and requirements for the certification body, procedures of qualification and certification are comprised in the documents of the quality system of CB according to EN 45 013.
In the scheme of CB the governing board plays an importatnt role. In our CB the governing board has three members who represent three parties concerned: state (Material-technological faculty of Slovak Technical University), employers of NDT personnel (head of acredited laboratory) and NDT personnel (Nuclear power plants research insitute). This combination safeguards impartiality by the formulation of policy matters related to the operation of the CB.
In the schedule of CB a committe of NDT-specialists is included who have helped with the formation of documents for written and practical examinations. They have found optimal solution for adequate level of these documents. I think, the creation of this commitee gives a guarantee of good quality to our services in the area of qualification and certification.
CB arranges the examinations in cooperation with people who have reached the highest Level - Level III and work as NDT-specialists in different companies such as research institutes, industrial manufacture and service organizations. Our history as CB is not very long but since december1998 until May 2000 there were 261 persons, who were certified in CB within Reaktortest Ltd. (data are presented in the table).
|Method of testing||Quantity of certified NDT personnel|
|Level I||Level II||Total|
|Table : Distribution of certified NDT personnel according to testing methodes and qualification levels|
Distribution of certified NDT personnel according to testing methodes and qualification levels
The main factors which influence the success of the applicant in the proccess of qualification and certification are:
If one of these factors is negative, the probability of failure develops during the examination. It is good to pay sufficient attention to the whole process of qualification and certification on the part of the emloyer and applicant so that the invested means are not wasted.
In CB´s competence is issuing the wallet cards which involve all certifications of competence of the NDT personnel according to EN 473.
I think, our short history shows our effort to provide good service for industry and to help employers choose and have appropriate personnel.
CB is trying to build a national and international reputation in the area of qualification and certification of NDT personnel according to international and European standards. We hope our activities in this area will promote an increase in both the production quality and life quality and safety for all people.
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