Welding Qualifications: Who can act as the Examiner / Examining Body?

The definition in the BS EN ISO series of standards (see ISO 15607) is written in a very neutral context. This is because the series of standards could support a wide range of industrial sectors.

In some contract specifications, application standards and / or directives it can be specified that the use of an independent examining body is required to verify compliance for all the witnessing, testing & certification of WPQR’s and Welder Qualifications. To satisfy these requirements it usually means that the fabrication company will need to engage an Independent ISO / IEC 17020 Inspection Body, this proves integrity and a fully traceable system is applied throughout the whole verification process.

When a fabrication company is looking to comply with a contract, make sure that the welding qualifications that are going to be applied to the project not only cover the applicable qualification ranges, but also that the person / organisation that issued the qualifications is going to be acceptable to all contracting parties.

What standard do I need my welders qualified to?

This would depend on what industry sector you are working in and also if an application standard was specified. For example, BS 4872 may be applicable to satisfy general ISO 9001 quality requirements. If the welder was required to work on pipework or pressure vessels or structural steelwork then BS EN 287-1 or BS EN ISO 9606 welder qualification may be required.


Why do I need a qualified welding procedure test?

A welding procedure test is required to demonstrate that the organisation performing the welding can select appropriate welding conditions, that could include such variables as preheat, correct consumables and welding parameters etc. to meet the applicable standard.


What is the difference between a welding procedure test and a welder qualification test?

The welding procedure test demonstrates technical control from the manufacturer performing welding and also proves mechanical and metallurgical properties. In some situations special tests such as corrosion testing may also be required.
The welder qualification test is all about the skill of the welder to produce an acceptable weld.


For a welder qualification test to EN 287-1 / ISO 9606-1 what butt weld test position gives the widest range of qualification?

The position is known as H-L045. Pipe axis 45 degrees inclined from the horizontal and the welder welds in a vertical up direction without rotating the pipe. The welder needs to be competent to produce a test in this position.


What is the period of validity for a welder qualification certificate?

This depends on the standard that the certificate was issued under, for example BS EN 287 has a two year validity period.  BS EN ISO 9606-1 has a number of options one of which is a three year validity period.