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Design and manufacture ultrasonic Transducers, Scanners and Custom Solutions for NDT inspections. Innovators in NDT technology
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Career Discussions
David Mackintosh
Engineering,
Acuren Group Inc., Canada, Joined Feb 2011, 85

David Mackintosh

Engineering,
Acuren Group Inc.,
Canada,
Joined Feb 2011
85
20:43 Oct-19-2009
Endorsement vs. Certification

What is the difference between 'endorsement' and 'certification'?
(And I mean endorsement as training, not as support or agreement.)

The word 'endorsement' can mean "Permission to carry out a specific skill or application in a field in which the practitioner already has a general licence." (wiktionary).

API defines endorsement as "Documentation that indicates that minimum requirements have been met for additional qualification in the designated area of expertise."

Example: To transport gasoline, truckers may need a HazMat endorsement.

If I'm a UT2, a customer may require an endorsement for fillet weld examination. That's not a new method, just a specific application of skills and knowledge from UT level 2, which is why we can call it an endorsement.

Is phased array an endorsement on UT2? Or is UT2 just a prerequisite, and phased array a totally new method with its own certification?

We'd likely all agree that guided wave UT (GWUT) is a very different method from conventional UT, so GWUT is a separate certification, not an endorsement on UT2.

Your feedback?

David

 
 Reply 
 
David Mackintosh
Engineering,
Acuren Group Inc., Canada, Joined Feb 2011, 85

David Mackintosh

Engineering,
Acuren Group Inc.,
Canada,
Joined Feb 2011
85
16:45 Oct-20-2009
Re: Endorsement vs. Certification
In Reply to David Mackintosh at 20:43 Oct-19-2009 (Opening).

Let me put the question more simply!

Do you think phased array is an endorsement on UT2, or is phased array a stand-alone certificate with UT2 only a prerequisite?

 
 Reply 
 
Michel Couture
NDT Inspector,
consultant, Canada, Joined Sep 2006, 850

Michel Couture

NDT Inspector,
consultant,
Canada,
Joined Sep 2006
850
18:28 Oct-20-2009
Re: Endorsement vs. Certification
In Reply to David Mackintosh at 16:45 Oct-20-2009 .

Well David, it all depends where in the world you're working. I am going presently through PA training at Lavender Internatioal in England and here with PCN, you have 3 tickets for UT ie. Weld, Forging and Casting and the same with PA.

In Canada, we don't have a separate ticket for PA yet.

 
 Reply 
 
anjafo
NDT Inspector
Norway, Joined Aug 2009, 204

anjafo

NDT Inspector
Norway,
Joined Aug 2009
204
19:16 Oct-20-2009
Re: Endorsement vs. Certification
In Reply to Michel Couture at 18:28 Oct-20-2009 .

I dont pretend to understand the orginal question ;) but should that depend on which spec rather than which country?

 
 Reply 
 
Mike Molnar
Mike Molnar
20:20 Oct-20-2009
Re: Endorsement vs. Certification
In Reply to David Mackintosh at 20:43 Oct-19-2009 (Opening).

I believe that an "endorsement" rider to an exsisting certification would only have to be a demostrated ability to perform the technique in a manner consistant with the supplied procedure and produce the desired (expected) results, similar to a performance evaluation of any technique.

I do not believe that GWUT should require a separate certification, as it is, at its core, a pulse-echo technique, abeit with a different mode of wave propagation (torsional).

Phased Array ultrasonics is also a pulse-echo technique as evidenced by the defects/dicontinuities evaluated from the A-sacn presentation of the reflected (or refracted as in crack tip sizing) sound energy. The S-scan and C/B scans are additional tools to assist the examiner making the evaluation.

The issue we are faced with in Canada, is that the National certifying agency has not kept current in the methods and techniques being applied both in Canada and worldwide. Without offering a cerification scheme that addresses these new techniques in the past, I believe the cerifying agency has lost control of the applications and applicators of methods NDT providers are offering and the clients have already embraced. I believe that they are merely closing the barn door long after the horse as left.
I applaud you, Michel Couture, for seeking to attain the PCN certification, as BINDT has not only kept current to the new trends in NDT, they are at the forefront in ensuring the technicians performing these techniques have met a minimum threshold of knowledge in the area.

 
 Reply 
 
Ed Ginzel
R & D, -
Materials Research Institute, Canada, Joined Nov 1998, 1274

Ed Ginzel

R & D, -
Materials Research Institute,
Canada,
Joined Nov 1998
1274
00:24 Oct-21-2009
Re: Endorsement vs. Certification
In Reply to David Mackintosh at 20:43 Oct-19-2009 (Opening).

David:
This particular application of the concept (i.e. “endorsement”) was used in an early attempt I made when trying to introduce a method of getting operators’ competence recognised in the advanced UT options (i.e. pipeline AUT, TOFD and phased-array UT). I had made a petition to the CGSB committee in about 2004 to get a certification programme going. I had already seen that CSWIP was doing AUT certifications and BINDT, through their PCN scheme, was developing PA and TOFD. My fellow CGSB committee members were more concerned with costs than benefits so balked at the idea of a full certification scheme in Canada. To overcome their cost concerns I suggested and developed a full programme for a simple “endorsement” (i.e. an add-on) to the UT2. For various reasons it still failed to obtain acceptance in Canada. But by 2006 or 2007 PCN and CSWIP schemes had developed full certification programmes with reasonable curricula. The CSWIP and PCN TOFD and PAUT and CSWIP AUT certification programmes were developed with the cooperation and input of the NDT industry in the UK.
EN 473 (and ISO 9712) state that national programmes, via the appropriate technical committees, may add other certifications to those that are listed in the EN 473 and ISO 9712 documents. In the UK, the “industry” decided to add the AUT, TOFD and Phased-array UT as full certification programmes. There is an endorsement in the UK that is reserved for “critical sizing” and it is an add-on to the UT certification. But the technical committees in CSWIP and PCN decided that the demands of the advanced UT methods (pipeline AUT, TOFD and PAUT) where sufficiently demanding to merit a separate certification. I concur with their judgement. In retrospect, the amount of material that SHOULD be covered in a course to prepare for these methods is significant and could not be covered in the simple 40 hours originally planned as an endorsement...but the “simple” endorsement idea was only an effort to keep costs down to satisfy the CGSB committee members.
I think other countries are now working on “certification” programmes to address the advanced methods. I would be interested to hear from others in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and South America to learn what they may be planning or already have in place for certification in the advanced UT methods.
As for Guided Wave UT, I think the same path will be taken. If it becomes wide spread and the industry is concerned about the competence of those applying it then the industry will decide if the details are sufficient to merit a certification or just an endorsement.

 
 Reply 
 
Nigel Armstrong
Engineering, - Specialist services
United Kingdom, Joined Oct 2000, 1096

Nigel Armstrong

Engineering, - Specialist services
United Kingdom,
Joined Oct 2000
1096
15:18 Oct-24-2009
Re: Endorsement vs. Certification
In Reply to Ed Ginzel at 00:24 Oct-21-2009 .

Who does the endorsing? How are they qualified to endorse? In my opinion if a person is to pass judgement on another's capabilities then they should have proven their own capability in a similar way. I cannot say a certification scheme for these methods is essential because many countries have not yet instigated such a scheme. I think ICNDT should investigate and incorporate within ISO 9712 the requirement for separate certifications for new methods.

Often Phased Array and TOFD are called in for critical applications. In my opinion it is essential for the credibility of these methods that there are professional NDT Engineers of Level III status in these methods to provide a backbone of demonstrated knowledge to industry. The required training hours and practical experience for all levels can be adjusted to reflect the gap between the new method and conventional UT.

 
 Reply 
 
John O'Brien
Consultant, -
Chevron ETC , USA, Joined Jan 2000, 280

John O'Brien

Consultant, -
Chevron ETC ,
USA,
Joined Jan 2000
280
19:20 Oct-30-2009
Re: Endorsement vs. Certification
In Reply to Nigel Armstrong at 15:18 Oct-24-2009 .

Why are we so hung up on a piece of paper with a fee attached to it and what it is called. All of these 'endorsement' opportunities are more about education, training and most importantly experience in applying the technique and analyzing the results. Base competency in a method i.e UT is one thing but there are too many 'flavors' of applying the technique for a central qualification whether it be by certification or endorsement to cover. We should be moving more along the lines of performance demonstration for the application - in this way you know if the people are competent in your particular task. We already centrally test and examine (with fees of course) our NDT people more than any other industry. Doctors are tested once but of course they bury all their mistakes whereas ours love to become public. We need competent, trained and experienced people and more extra often burdensome and costly central certifications is not the way forward in my opinion whatever they are called.

 
 Reply 
 
Peter Philipp
Consultant
PQS, United Kingdom, Joined Jan 2002, 7

Peter Philipp

Consultant
PQS,
United Kingdom,
Joined Jan 2002
7
18:18 Nov-12-2009
Re: Endorsement vs. Certification
In Reply to Ed Ginzel at 00:24 Oct-21-2009 .

I am taking endorsement to mean 2nd party in house schemes and certification as a 3rd party scheme.

I believe that endorsement can only work where the company who develop their scheme are the only ones who use it for example manufacturers of products who want to carry out tests as part of their own Quality Management System(QMS). A 2nd party endorsement system can function well as it allows them to prescribe their own level of testing and training. If this is not sufficient for any reason they will pick this up in their QMS and take the appropriate action.
The whole scenario changes within say the Petrochem industry as you can now have a multitude of contractors prescribing the testing they will do, training inhouse and issuing their own endorsement. Problems are not generally caught in their QMS system so they can proceed oblivious to problems they may be causing.
The only way an end user can have confidence is for all contractors’ staff to be independently certified by a 3rd Party. This should provide a more consistent measure of a technician’s ability, along with confidence that the marking of their tests is independent. Also it removes the opportunity for contractors to try and gain a commercial advantage by paring down on the training.
Ed Ginzel mentioned Guided Wave Testing so I would like to give you an update of what PCN are doing.
This method is fast becoming a mainstream NDT method and at present there are no equipment or application standards so this makes control of training difficult.
What the end users want is a qualification for a technician that will give them confidence that they have been trained properly and should be able to find the type of defects required for effective asset management.
There is a truly independent (3rd party) qualification presently available and this is through RINA in Italy and is EN473 compliant.
PCN now has a working group set up to develop PCN qualifications for Guided Wave Testing (GWT).
The working group held their first meeting 30th October and will proceed under the Chairmanship of myself. The aim is to have an operating PCN (GWT) qualification available in 2010.
The group comprises representatives from all 3 GWT equipment manufacturers, several equipment users, GWT method developers and some major asset owners.
One of the first decisions taken by the group is that GWT will be treated as a method in its own right and not a sub technique of Ultrasonic Testing (UT). The group decided this unanimously.

 
 Reply 
 
Godfrey Hands
Consultant,
PRI Nadcap, United Kingdom, Joined Nov 1998, 303

Godfrey Hands

Consultant,
PRI Nadcap,
United Kingdom,
Joined Nov 1998
303
08:11 Nov-13-2009
Re: Endorsement vs. Certification
In Reply to Peter Philipp at 18:18 Nov-12-2009 .

Hi,
I currently work in the aerospace industry in the UK.
All of our UT operators are certified in accordance with EN4179. That is third party certification.
Because we are in the UK, we can only use Level 2 operators on aerospace applications (CAA regulations), so all of the operators are quite competent and experienced.

However we have some applications where extra training is required, and operators who have received this extra training are then "endorsed" to perform this specific work.

With such a large variety of work as we have here (and with 14 full time operators), it is easy to forget some of the specific differences between a standard job and another, so it makes sense to limit the number of different jobs that operators are competent to work on.
Godfrey

 
 Reply 
 

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