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Volsteve
Volsteve
20:43 Mar-02-2016
Certifying a Self Employed ASNT Level III

Sorry, I'm relatively uneducated when it comes to NDT and have scoured the web for help on an issue but cannot find a clear resolution. I manage a QA department and audited our NDT vendor several months ago. The vendor is a small with only a few members of staff. Our company designs product to API-8C which states that NDT procedures have to be approved by an ASNT Level III (or equivalent). During the audit I noticed that our vendor had certified themselves as an ASNT Level III and then subsequently approved their own procedures.

I understand that this practice was somewhat allowable in the earlier version of the ASNT standard but since 2011 this practice has been blocked. That said I understand the issues surrounding this certification for a very small NDT company. After mentioning this following the audit our vendor has told me that he is doing the first stage of the CGSB Level III which will qualify him appropriately regarding the examinations and then he'll self-certify due to his experience (based on the numerous inspection reports he has).

I'm stuck as to where to go to find a resolution. This individual appears very good at his craft but I don't have the background or knowledge to determine if this practice is acceptable or where to find information that specifically deals with this (other than to bring in a third party ASNT Level III to approve his procedures). I'd appreciate any help or guidance that you could provide.

 
 Reply 
 
Joe Buckley
Consultant, ASNT L-III, Honorary Secretary of BINDT
Level X NDT, BINDT, United Kingdom, Joined Oct 1999, 524

Joe Buckley

Consultant, ASNT L-III, Honorary Secretary of BINDT
Level X NDT, BINDT,
United Kingdom,
Joined Oct 1999
524
21:59 Mar-02-2016
Re: Certifying a Self Employed ASNT Level III
In Reply to Volsteve at 20:43 Mar-02-2016 (Opening).

If you are designing and manufacturing products to an API spec then your scheme can presumably be audited by one of your customers. If they have specified that an ASNT Level III or equivalent should approve your procedures then that is what they will expect.

I would think that the chance of an auditor approving a 'self-certified' Level III is remote. Once he has the CGSB qualification then I think you could reasonably accept that as an equivalent. I still don't think he could certify himself as an ASNT Level III and have that accepted by an auditor.

Certification costs money, [My five year recert cost about the same as I bill for a whole day of my time] but its not particularly complicated if you are able to meet the requirements. Like many things [liability insurance springs to mind for some reason] its part of the cost of doing business.

If someone advises otherwise then let us know, We could all save a lot of time and money. I can think of loads of qualifications I'd like to give myself.

 
 Reply 
 
Volsteve
Volsteve
23:10 Mar-02-2016
Re: Certifying a Self Employed ASNT Level III
In Reply to Joe Buckley at 21:59 Mar-02-2016 .

Many thanks for your reply Joe. It appears my instincts are correct and it appears that our vendor is making decisions that outside of his control. I just wish there was some clear guidance that I could reference to the vendor outlining the steps as to how a sole trader can become properly certified as a Level III. However certification to the ASNT standard is not endorsed, approved or governed by any formal external body, rather certification, as per section 9.1, "is the responsibility of the employer" (who is also the examinee).

 
 Reply 
 
Joe Buckley
Consultant, ASNT L-III, Honorary Secretary of BINDT
Level X NDT, BINDT, United Kingdom, Joined Oct 1999, 524

Joe Buckley

Consultant, ASNT L-III, Honorary Secretary of BINDT
Level X NDT, BINDT,
United Kingdom,
Joined Oct 1999
524
23:46 Mar-02-2016
Re: Certifying a Self Employed ASNT Level III
In Reply to Volsteve at 23:10 Mar-02-2016 .

We may be talking a cross purposes here.

Does your vendor hold an ASNT issued Level III certificate?

Does the certificate checker at www.asnt.org (asnt site seems down at the moment so I can't give the exact address) show his name?

If so he can (assuming he has the relevant experience) legitimately claim to be an ASNT Level III (Thats exactly what I and many other independent contractors do). Subject to this you as QA manager can approve him as your company level III

What he cannot do is independently certify himself to his own standard

Joe

 
 Reply 
 
Volsteve
Volsteve
00:00 Mar-03-2016
Re: Certifying a Self Employed ASNT Level III
In Reply to Joe Buckley at 23:46 Mar-02-2016 .

I don't think we are at cross purposes. I contacted ASNT and they have no record of him and he has indeed certified himself to his own standard (apparently this was an ASNT loophole before the 2011 version of the standard was released).

I don't believe that he can certify himself, however the wording in the standard is vague as to the steps required for a company of 1 person to become certified. ASNT is a certification that is executed by the company and cannot be carried from employer to employer. If you don't mind me asking, as you seem to be in exactly the same situation as my vendor, what exact process did you follow to become certified?

 
 Reply 
 
Joe Buckley
Consultant, ASNT L-III, Honorary Secretary of BINDT
Level X NDT, BINDT, United Kingdom, Joined Oct 1999, 524

Joe Buckley

Consultant, ASNT L-III, Honorary Secretary of BINDT
Level X NDT, BINDT,
United Kingdom,
Joined Oct 1999
524
01:51 Mar-03-2016
Re: Certifying a Self Employed ASNT Level III
In Reply to Volsteve at 00:00 Mar-03-2016 .

In my case (after working in NDT for some years) I went to an ASNT approved training school, took the ASNT administered exams, paid some money, and received a certificate from ASNT directly. Every five years I have to recertify,, either I retake the exam or I have to demonstrate (a 'points system' applies) acceptable continued involvement with the methods I am certified in. The system works well and ASNT hold regular exams in a range of countries.

I am an ASNT Level III, I hold a certification issued by ASNT. I can examine and certify people who work for a company that has approved me as their Level III, but they do not hold 'ASNT certification' and the certification they hold is only valid for that company.

What your man appears to be claiming is an 'SNT' Level III, i.e in accordance with the SNT-TC-1A guidelines. However you still:

-Cannot certify yourself.
-Cannot normally then do work for another company without invalidating your certification (Because you are not certified to their scheme)
-Cannot examine and certify anyone who works for another company.

Normally it is expected that the Level III will hold a direct ASNT certification, a company certified Level III is only applicable in a relatively large company having many operators and several Level III's, and normally that means a large manufacturing company.

If he is claiming to be an 'ASNT' Level III (as distinct from SNT) without holding an ASNT certificate he is misrepresenting himself. There is a lot of confusion (much of it deliberate) here. If you stay in this forum you will hear a lot of discussion about training schools (mostly Indian) offering 'ASNT' certification to the gullible. There are a lot of problems there, the main one being employers who will not pay for the cost of proper qualifications.

As with anything else in QA, the practice of approving your own work is problematic at best. Sometimes its the best you can do, but unless there is a very good reason its quite normal to use an external guy to approve whats been done.

From your Email I assume you are in Canada, The Canadian certification system has a pretty good reputation. I would strongly recommend that you expect that all your NDT operators should have CGSB qualifications. That is centrally certified and transportable. I would expect that your customers would be happy with that. If not its relatively straightforward to 'bolt-on' a company written practice and certification/ approval scheme in order to meet the SNT requirements.

I'm really a bit worried about your vendor here. As I said above, getting the ASNT certification is fairly straightforward and only costs a few hundred dollars. So why doesn't he already have it? If he is competent to do the work then its an easy enough exam to pass.





 
 Reply 
 
Joe Buckley
Consultant, ASNT L-III, Honorary Secretary of BINDT
Level X NDT, BINDT, United Kingdom, Joined Oct 1999, 524

Joe Buckley

Consultant, ASNT L-III, Honorary Secretary of BINDT
Level X NDT, BINDT,
United Kingdom,
Joined Oct 1999
524
01:54 Mar-03-2016
Re: Certifying a Self Employed ASNT Level III
In Reply to Joe Buckley at 01:51 Mar-03-2016 .

And the ASNT website is now working again.

Certification check :
https://www.asnt.org/MajorSiteSections/Certification/Certificate_Holders.aspx

 
 Reply 
 
Volsteve
Volsteve
07:46 Mar-03-2016
Re: Certifying a Self Employed ASNT Level III
In Reply to Joe Buckley at 01:51 Mar-03-2016 .

Many thanks for the comprehensive reply which enlightened me on many fronts. The first one being that there is a difference between ASNT and SNT. Right now API requires that procedures are approved by an ASNT Level III. I checked our records we have on hand for the vendor in question and he has indeed certified himself as an SNT Level III, not ASNT Level III so it sounds like we're already not meeting requirements.

I will add that this individual has been working for us for many years and does hold current CGSB Level II so I'm pretty confident that he generally has a good idea what he is doing.

Looks like the determination about self examination is almost a moot point right now as the SNT certification is not what we need anyway. Sounds like we have to find if this guy can possibly get full ASNT certification and if not we should consider a new vendor I'm thinking.

As an aside, in addition to the examinations how did you get your experience "qualified" to enable you to be certified?

 
 Reply 
 
Joe Buckley
Consultant, ASNT L-III, Honorary Secretary of BINDT
Level X NDT, BINDT, United Kingdom, Joined Oct 1999, 524

Joe Buckley

Consultant, ASNT L-III, Honorary Secretary of BINDT
Level X NDT, BINDT,
United Kingdom,
Joined Oct 1999
524
10:11 Mar-03-2016
Re: Certifying a Self Employed ASNT Level III
In Reply to Volsteve at 07:46 Mar-03-2016 .

When you apply for the ASNT exam you are required to detail your qualifications and experience, with referees where appropriate. They will check that this meets the requirements:

https://www.asnt.org/MajorSiteSections/Certification/ASNT_NDT_Level_III_Program/Initial_Requirements.aspx

 
 Reply 
 
Keith
NDT Inspector, ASNT Level 3
Chimaera Inspection Services, South Africa, Joined Jan 2009, 17

Keith

NDT Inspector, ASNT Level 3
Chimaera Inspection Services,
South Africa,
Joined Jan 2009
17
19:49 Mar-04-2016
Re: Certifying a Self Employed ASNT Level III
In Reply to Joe Buckley at 10:11 Mar-03-2016 .

Hi Volsteve


I am blessed to hold an ASNT and ACCP L3 Cert in MT and PT and own an NDT company here in South Africa where I perform inspections as well as provide Level 3 Services.

For my company to certify me to perform work, I make use of an appointed external Level 3 to sign off on all the authorisations. He is also used to approve my procedures even though I wrote them myself. This is all stated in my written practice and will usually prevent ambiguity when undergoing audits.

I suggest that you also ask your vendor for his company written practice which should provide clear instructions as to how he qualifies and certifies the inspection personnel within his company.

Regards from SA,

Keith

 
 Reply 
 
George Crowe
Consultant, AEROSPACE NDT
Self Employed, United Kingdom, Joined May 2013, 30

George Crowe

Consultant, AEROSPACE NDT
Self Employed,
United Kingdom,
Joined May 2013
30
18:46 Mar-21-2018
Re: Certifying a Self Employed ASNT Level III
In Reply to Keith at 19:49 Mar-04-2016 .

There is a paradox here. How can a self-employed ASNT Level III comply with EN4179 to meet NADCAP criteria as an outside agent? NADCAP requires that he be additionally certified as a level III by his employer. Accordingly, if he acts as a self-employed consultant, the sole employee in his own company, he can only self-certify to meet EN4179 Clause 8.1.

Any comments on this or previous postings?

 
 Reply 
 
Volsteve
Volsteve
19:30 Mar-21-2018
Re: Certifying a Self Employed ASNT Level III
In Reply to George Crowe at 18:46 Mar-21-2018 .

This raised a sufficient amount of questions and concerns that, after giving our vendor the opportunity of correction, we moved away from the vendor and picked up a different vendor who was already sufficiently qualified based on the information I was given in here. Long term I think we need to look at developing an in-house capability. All went well in the end.
Thanks

 
 Reply 
 

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