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NDT.net Issue - 2017-07 - NEWS

How the NDT Community Perceives BINDT's PCN Scandal


NDT.net109, Bad Breisig [Germany]
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NDT.net Journal
Issue: 2017-07
NDT International / BINDT - The Forum discusses the revoking of thousands of PCN certifications

At the beginning of June 2017 BINDT (British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing) published that they have uncovered a very widespread and systemic breach of ethics and serious malpractice in the case of NDT International PTE Ltd.. "It is not possible to discriminate between legitimate certificates and invalid certificates and so all certificates will have to be withdrawn without exception", one can read in their official statement and read further: "BINDT will allow candidates up to two months to retake the full initial examination before their certification is formally withdrawn". The two month deadline was increased on 23 June to six months. BINDT published a list of names of more than 3000 names of affected PCN certifications holders. (PCN=Personnel Certification in Non-Destructive Testing)

In the following, we summarize (not endores*) the forum discussion "NDT International / BINDT". About 200 contributions have been posted by 64 people (2/3 non-members) since 16 June until 1. July and the thread received 20,000 hits. This is the biggest discussion in the history of the forum. The CEO Cameron Sinclair from BINDT participated for awhile, however, did not answer too many questions that where addressed to him. Also G. Venkataraman Director of NDT International posted information to defend the company. Unfortunately none of the NDT Societies or ICNDT, EFNDT participated in the discussion, although certification is their main mission, but we believe that they followed the discussion.

The discussions were fair and in a professional manner and only in two cases the moderator had to remove an abuse. It was obvious that the majority stands contra to BINDT. The major protest was the decision to withdraw all certificates, also from the innocent, of the last 6 years issued from NDT Int. and its subsidiaries. Although BINDT revised in their official statement the re-exam period from two to six months the majority see this still as too short; especially for holders of certs from multiple methods. It was considered that if a re-examination is necessary this should be possible at the time of certification renewal time. Concerns were also expressed about the high costs of re-examination (including travel costs, break from work etc.) and why the candidates have to pay for it again, but not BINDT and NDTI the two main parties in this scandal. Also, no one can ensure that the certification gained from another AQB will be withdrawn again. NDTI offered free exams completely administered by BINDT. They are waiting for the approval from BINDT for this proposal.

One of the concerns was that BINDT is a big money making institute although they are a non-profit organization. Why expand their PCN business all over the world at all? As more remote centers are added it would seem to be more difficult to keep everything clean. It was stated that the audit fee is very high for Indian ATO/AQB owners and the same situation for African bodies where a lot could possibly close because of this issue. It appears that BINDT put too much trust in Indian organizations without understanding the culture. Also it was questioned that if the same company is ATO and AQB is there conflict of interest.

All agree that this scandal is not the last one. Serious malpractice could exist in many other countries according to the view of many forum commenters. In parallel in another forum topic "NDT CERTIFICATES" someone said: "Many NDT certificates are fake. But I have to add that it depends on the country in which they were issued. .... looking at Europe and North America, I doubt very much that they are fake". Also another related forum topic from Aug 2015 "PCN certification gained by giving fake experience" received in parallel new replies.

Most of the forum comments see BINDT as the guilty party rather than a victim and ask questions like: Should UKAS not take the status of Certification Body back from BINDT due to numerous major nonconformities of BINDT due to their incompetence? One comments "UKAS also will support and back BINDT. UKAS was formed to protect the interest of UK. BINDT is formed to protect the interest of UK and Europe and not Asian market. It is the mistake of Asians to promote PCN scheme".

In the following we extracted some typical comments of the forum discussions "NDT International / BINDT":

".... I can't say as I'm surprised given their reputation .... THERE ARE MANY FACK CERTIFICATION COMPANIES AROUND, ONLY TIME WILL BRING TEHM OUT .... Bindt are on shakey ground assuming all students guilty. Surely Bindt's rush to open aqb's in Asia and their obviously very very poor auditing process should be held responsible as well. Maybe it just a grab by Bindt to secure more exam fees? .... It is totally unfair for BINDT to penalize the candidates who went passed the examination in their own effort. .... It's a terrible situation but the blame has to lay with the cheaters who have/are destroying the scheme .... You can't distinguish between the candidates who is legimate and who is not. BINDT should put their boots on ground and direct the NDT International to re fund the examination fee to all candidates. ....

Its really unfair BINDT with draws all candidates certifications who are really professional BINDT Capability in approving or Auditing is subject to questionable. better not to take PCN .... I think the problem is BINDT put too much trust in Indian organizations without understanding the culture. I think BINDT need to withdraw from such countries .... why BINDT allowed NDTI run till now it means BINDT made Joint Venture with NDTI just to dosh Pounds. .... How you can differentiate the genuine candidates from fake candidate? Only by re-examination....... The institute should be penalized by not only banning BINDT, they should be recommended to ASNT for cancelling their ASNT Level III certification also. .... I will sit exams from PCN and expect they wont charge anything other than administration costs. ....

NDTI shall be scraped same applies to BINDT as their auditors gave constant approval .... BINDT made huge money with these AQB's and ATO. .... I hope BINDT works out a modality to easy the stress of re-certification. .... Audits will unlikely reveal such activities as people paying to pass. Audits are a review Of documentation (which can be fabricated if the organizations management allow it) .... maybe BINDT did not fully understand the implications of allowing an Indian based company to expand so fast without having all the control mechanisms in place to protect the scheme. .... In India even ASNT NDT Level II certificates are just issued for money without conducting any examinations. .... what if I take the re-exams in the so called ATO’s approved by Bindt and again this SUPER HONEST BINDT will say that the ATO which I took the re-exam is also banned. So again take the re-re-exam!!!! Wow .....

If an organization could forge documents for five years and convince the auditors , then you should question the auditing body or the auditing procedures. I think its time to revisit these certifications, and understand the real reasons involved (MONEY) nothing else , these SUPER HONEST BINDT is not concerned about the quality or integrity but only MONEY. people should promote the ISNT cert instead of the this MONEY SWINDILING foreign certs . .... I think certificates are available in shop over there..... Your own level III from India told me what is happening in India....you all have made shit of NDT. .... They have been doing this for many, many years and many people knew they were doing it! .... they don't know what is UT but they are PCN L-3. ....

If NDT international or any candidate done some malpractice , punish them not genuine persons like us. .... India is not alone in the manipulation of Certification Schemes, however the scale does appear to be larger, based upon my experience. .... no one need to worry who passed genuinely... we can fight for cost free re-examination practically that's what we can do!! BINDT should publish the reason for this action with proofs on their website.. simply writing very serious non-conformity is not acceptable!!!! .... Also its is not fair to say they cannot find who is genuine. Who's inability is this? Is market is ready to give same value for ASNT equal to PCN ? Then i better choose to go for ASNT instead of PCN. I have seen candidates qualified from UK organisation who doesn't know to connect probe with wedges. So the knowledge depends with people and not with country. And the decision by BINDT is unacceptable, we are ready to go for re exam, who will bare the cost for trusting BINDT. What if that institute where i take re exam banned in future, do we need to keep on writing exams paying fees until BINDT vault is filled up with innocent people money. ....

BINDT should allow re-examination for all such candidates at free of cost. Regarding strict auditing I dont agree with that because documents can be easily created and audit can be sucessfull. They should implement rather a better quality plan for examination. .... BINDT has taken the right decision for its future sustainability and reputation. .... no re -examination as there is no certainty in BINDT certification body they can withdraw your certifications put you in a position that you are fraud even after 10 years . .... BINDT wants money and thus gives approval to so many centres If BINDT is fair and ethical, they should arrange something for all the certificate holders and not just "withdraw" them. BINDT audit their centers every year. Why was it not detected since 2011. Is it not BINDT failure?!!! Should BINDT not take responsibilities?!!! ....

Re-taking exams can also be useless if a test centre is later found to be an issue .... go through other ATO/AQB. But they don’t give any guarantee , may be other AQB/ATO will band in future. So, why we go for PCN which too costly, all company can arrange their own arrangement as per their job requirement and the guide line as the ISO-9712. .... because of BINDT inability why should innocent people getting affected. .... The purpose of forming BINDT and UKAS is to protect the interest of UK and not Middle east, far east, or India. Then in that case why they need to enter into Indian market??? Let ISNt handle the same in India. .... I have been working for 4.5 yrs with PCN. Would like to ask BINDT is it wrong. I have been working for 4.5 yrs with PCN. Would like to ask BINDT is it wrong. .... So we strongly urge the BINDT organisation to reconsider its action and cancel the withdrawn of the PCN certificate from PCN holder who has completed their PCN through NDT International. ....

This audit fee is little for UK bodies. Indian ATO/AQB owners are crying ie. all are working for BINDT. I heard the same situation for African bodies also. Lot of african bodies under PCN is going to close because of this issue. .... I have discussed with international legal advisors, and they were also adviced that BINDT publication was not correct way because they not have nay rights to withdraw the certificates from the PCN holders without their knowledge and proper reason. .... Most of my colleague working in my company are certified by NDT International only. Companies can easily identify the skill of its employees. If they don’t have skills they would have sent them home. ....

It is very unfair about BINDT decision to with draw all the PCN certificates who are studied in the NDT international organization. .... Real competitive personnel are affected by this unfair action by BINDT .... But this PCN business in malaysia is well known to everybody in the far east market and quite unfortunately what BINDT has done for that. .... BINDT is an incompetent organization run by a bunch of incompetent individuals who don’t have any idea about the NDT Industry. .... Sinclair, so you agree there are your other malpracticing AQB's out there at the same time you give the resit option to choose one of them. Since its your failure you need to come up with a system to identify legitimate candidates and the ones not. ....

Why do you need ATO/AQB in India?..... Money Why you have approved many centres in India?..... Money .... it is a cultural problem that needs addressing also.... Yes, this the ultimate thought.....cultural problem…Many have already expressed this opinion on this thread .... NDT Int' is now in the process of appealing against the withdrawal decision of BINDT. What is the guarantee that they will not withdraw the other agency that you prefer for the re exam. Moreover the examination fee was already paid and why candidate has to take re-exam by paying additional re exam fee. We (NDT Int') intend to organise Re exam (completely administered by BINDT on my premises) at free of cost (provided BINDT doesn’t charge PCN Levy again). The administration cost of arranging all the exams, invigilator fee, and examiner fee will be taken care by NDT International. We are waiting for the approval from BINDT for the above proposal. All the above clients confirmed that we did conduct the training and examination legitimately. All the above clients have confirmed that there is no corruption in the organisation. .... The recent action by BINDT is very unfair It's purely unjustified and unethical decision of BINDT to withdraw all the personnel certifications who have completed from NDT international-Singapore. ....

Anyone who isn't confident of having to resit PCN exams should go to a training institute in Malaysia. The results sheet showing the defects is given to you by the students who sat the exam the previous week. This was several years ago presume its still the same. .... Why is the same AQB's if they provide ASNT certification only charge only approx 1/6th of the PCN for the same. So it should be clear who is earning millions of pounds, BINDT or the AQB's. .... BINDT is in full control all the while: What is their penalty? Did they admit anything wrong with them? Was there a detail investigation internally? Any corrupted official or auditors that let things slip by for years? .... What we have going on now is churning out NDT technicians with a click of fingers. this is very dangerous from the viewpoint of safety aspects in industry. .... go to centers in malaysia and no need to write exams on your ow. they themselves write for you (if required) and there will be a fee charged for that. ....

Don’t UKAS see this saga made by BINDT as a major nonconformance and withdraw your “Certification Body” Status by considering BINDT as a big threat to the Industry instead of a big asset? Even today I couldn’t see any of your PSL / CP or any other document (those are in BINDT website) speak about your policy on certification withdrawal. Is this acceptable to UKAS? I hope you as a CEO of BINDT will respond to the above queries with a highly professional manner (CEO not responded). .... Can anyone show me the documentary evidence from BINDT that they have a rights to withdrawn the certificates before its gets expired. .... I think that ambrella societies ICNDT, EFNDT, APCNDT or Indian Society of NDT should play a role in this matter. .... NDTI is gone. Certificate holders are gone. BINDT is the only one left that needs to show something of equal or rightfully greater responsibilities and being the driver, you hold the steering wheels. .... do not have taken any data analysis to find who is competent and incompetent? ....

Why do you allow ATO and AQB to conduct training and examination outside their main center which is approved allow the candidates to take re-exam as per their convenience (give some long time frame say about 1 to 2 years) because it is failure of BINDT to provide service to the candidates and the re-take examination should be free of cost. .... BINDT is a victim too : Its a false claim. BINDT is the beneficiary in this scam more than NDTI. You earned millions of pounds and plan in place to multiply the earnings in short period of time. Its only the certificate holder the victim of your Scam. ....

BINDT says that "It is not possible to discriminate between legitimate certificates and invalid certificates" what type of process evaluations it is ? .... why did BINDT never sent anyone down for the exams? AWS use to send their members from headquarters down with exams papers and test sample in locked metal boxes only to be opened on that day by their HQ members and oversee the whole exam FOR ALL EXAMS. Is it not a conflict of interest for BINDT to approve a centre for both training and exams? .... If you find something wrong with specific candidate; go ahead with your decision for the specific candidate - not for all. Don't play with the candidates life; its just a money making business you are doing. ....

everyone should be getting in touch with BINDT in emails requesting explanation and UKAS directly to involve in the matter. Only then we move forward saving innocents due to BINDT's own fault and unfair decision. .... UKAS also will support and back BINDT. UKAS was formed to protect the interest of UK. BINDT is formed to protect the interest of UK and Europe and not Asian market. It is the mistake of Asians to promote PCN scheme. .... I feel it is the employer who has to own up to the responsibility now. How on earth you allowed BINDT to dictate to you who is capable or who is not. As BINDT is doing a great job by cleaning up the market, they should also introspect and revise there certification practice, because we current systems, one day you have to close almost all of your AQB's. ....

Indian society have to bell the cat on this to start a scheme which is recognised globally. .... I think 6 month is not reasonable. Let me cite you an example. .... BINDT is bad because they decide to hit all certificate holders without evidence of their individual fraud. Their only evidence is "secret shoppers'. Not any certificate holders. .... It is very obvious, BINDT started with an aim of selling NDT certs and ended up doing wrong business. Not all British is glittering. .... Peter, it seems you never considered the candidate travelling expenditure, examination fees, how many methods to complete within 6month, are these victims doing exams through similar BINDT approved ATO/AQB in India, etc… .... Just check out what is going on in Nigeria. Like they say, even a blind will see, a deaf will hear and a leper will be able to feel it. .... So, please stop pointing fingers at Indian Institutes. If BINDT is interested, I can guide them to a few Nigerian setups .... An institute like BINDT is supposed to screen out the good ones for the industry. Is it not what they promise? If they choose wrong parties for this job, they are RESPONSIBLE. ....

what makes sure that a fake cannot happens for the 9712 scheme? .... Yes, there will be fake on other ISO 9712. I am only NOT SUPPORTING BINDT action of taking back all certificate holders without proof. Is it not "innocent" until proven guilty? .... If BINDT decides to organize and administer exams all over the world themselves, or rather all ISO 9712 requires all to organize and administer exams all over the world themselves with stringent control, lots of issues will be weed out. .... From the posts so far on the discussion of this issue it is very clear that injustice has been done to thousands of innocents and placed them in a state of question mark about their NDT career. ....

BINDT have found failures in the NDT International ATO/AQB and cannot, with any certainty, ascertain who these innocent individuals are. .... They have lost their credibility just because they failed to manage their own system and their own Hands - NDTI. .... accept the fact BINDT is equally responsible and shall be accountable rather than punishing the innocents on the basis of doubts. ....

BINDT should bear the cost of examination fees, administrative fees, accommodation, travelling and day off charges. If BINDT is not bearing the cost, then all the certification holders are victims and BINDT is playing dirty ....

Oops... where is Sinclair?.... Ok.... Sinclair has left... Steve continue to carry the flag of support. Long live the Queen. .... I graduated from USA. Those that graduated during the time when the college has an accreditation will still have their degree recognized as accredited degree. Thus, it is important to keep evidence of your college accreditation on your year of graduation. ....

I spend 2 years in Australian desert to make money for paying the exam fee. How can you just withdraw my certificate for somebodys mistake??? .... I suggest that if your certificate is withdraw, ask BINDT to show evidence that you have done something against the ethics, rules and regulations that you have signed. If not they cannot proof it, which I do not see them proving anything, tell them to get lost. If they fail to proof anything and insist, here is the UKAS e-mail for complaint: customerfeedback@ukas.com ....

It is a great joke BINDT outsource training and examination, without proper controls and awake one fine morning and remove all the certs. System of BINDT needs thorough review. .... On what Clause/Section did BINDT decide to withdraw all 8000 Certificates? Don’t UKAS see this as a Non-Conformance against BINDT??? Why are responsible personnel from BINDT not appearing on this forum and why has Mr.CEO not agreed to conduct free exam and free training for the proposal that was made by NDTI??? ....

Why don't NDT International make an offer by stating "return back of money". Note, neither NDT International or BINDT are going to return even a single penny. It makes no sense at all and certainly doesn’t show any level of professionalism from any of these two companies (i.e. BINDT & NDT International). What kind of world are we living in?! Certainly not one that does justice to the 21st century .... by 23 June a revised offical statment noticed two changes: secret shoppers => covert investigations, two month = > 6 month. .... I am a proud student of NDT International. My training and examination was conducted very nicely by them. .... The record of individuals is the only evidence for both parties BINDT & NDTI, for one to prove all qualification processes has been followed while the other to say no. ....

ISO 17024: Conformity assessment -- General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons. .... It would seem that any revocation of a certificate by the certification body would need to be made based on specific evidence that there was an incompatible behaviour or breach of code of ethics by the “certificate holder” or “candidate”. .... In ISO 9712, the full responsibility lies in BINDT. And if massive fraud exist in exams, BINDT has "failed" to ensure and it has been going on for 7 years."

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