Focus on Courses

03 April 2017

IIW: International Welding Inspection Personnel (IWIP) Programme

SAIW is a founding member of the International Institute of Welding (IIW), which is also focused on welding related training, research, standardisation of welding related activities and governance of the IIW system.

Through the IIW network, SAIW has an opportunity to network with over fifty countries on welding related matters. The nations meet at least once a year to discuss welding matters, one of which is welding training. SAIW has obtained accreditation from IIW to present the following training programmes:

International Welding Engineer (IWE);
International Welding Technologist (IWT);
International Welding Specialist (IWS);
International Welding Practitioner (IWP);
International Welder (IW); and
International Welding Inspection Personnel (IWIP).

SAIW has provided welding related training to the South African industry for many years. SAIW developed Welding Inspection and Welding Supervision training programmes during the 1980s and 1990s both of which preceded the respective IIW training programmes. In the early 2000s SAIW converted their Welding Supervision training programme to the IIW Welding Co-ordination training programme and has therefore offered the IWT, IWS & IWP programmes to the industry. The IWE programme is offered to industry through our University training partners.

In 2010 SAIW aligned the Welding Inspector Level 1 and Level 2 training programme to the IIW IWIP training curriculum, meaning that candidates who meet the access conditions for IWIP – Standard and who completed the SAIW Welding Inspector Level 2 programme would also receive the IIW IWIP – Standard diploma.

At the beginning of 2017 SAIW ran our first International Welding Inspection Personnel (IWIP) – Basic course and have now embarked on the journey to fully convert to the IIW programme. The IWIP programme comprises three levels which are:

• Basic level
• Standard level
• Comprehensive level.

The candidate progresses through the three levels of training completing the training at the highest level, which is the Comprehensive level.

Comparison between SAIW and IIW Inspection programme

The IIW has three levels of training while the SAIW Welding Inspector programme has two. The two SAIW levels are Level 1 and Level 2, which when completed by a student result in the individual having attained the same level as the IIW Standard level since 2010. However to attain the IIW Standard qualification certificate the individual needs to meet the access conditions which requires a matric with maths and science as well as two years of welding inspection experience.

The systems are laid out differently so the only cross over point is at the Standard level. This means that if one goes through the SAIW Inspector Level 1, you must proceed to SAIW Inspectors Level 2 after which, on successful completion, coupled with two years’ experience, allows one to be issued the IIW Standard level qualification.

For those who have completed their SAIW Level 1 they must proceed to the SAIW Level 2 course in order for them to attain the IIW qualification.

The two years’ experience is another point of difference between the two systems. This creates an advantage as well as a disadvantage to the both the student and industry in the sense that there is a two year wait before one can proceed to the next level. This however ensures that people with qualifications higher than the basic level have appropriate industrial experience, which is good for industry as new recruits at the Standard level and higher will hit the ground running.

An SAIW Level 1 inspector holds a partial qualification as a result of a decision taken years ago when the SAIW decided to break up the course into two portions which were respectively called SAIW Welding Inspector Level 1 and SAIW Senior Welding Inspector Level 2. The content was split between the “two levels” so ideally for an individual to have completed the entire course one should do both their Level 1 and Level 2. This carries the implication that a Level 1 Inspector holds partial knowledge, which is true. The SAIW Level 1 Welding Inspector is not taught about WPSs, NDT theory and their reports, quality control aspects such as QCPs, drawings, material testing processes and their reports etc. The IIW Basic inspectors is taught all these items at a lower level than the IIW Standard Inspector thus the Basic Inspector is generally more equipped to easily be assimilated into a working environment as they have the basic knowledge of what the SAIW Level 2 Welding Inspector has.

The IIW basic Inspector is at a lower knowledge level than the SAIW Level 2 but is definitely at a superior level than the SAIW level 1. The IIW has defined the duties of all three levels of Inspection personnel which creates an easy system for industry to work with in terms of duties and responsibilities of the IIW Inspection personnel within the workplace. The expectations of each level are clearly defined at the end of this article.

The IIW system recognises all its other courses and has thus created a framework that enables individuals to move from one qualification to another without necessarily going through the entire course. It recognises all subjects taught in some of its courses, therefore, individuals who have completed some courses can be exempt from undertaking some subjects. This is illustrated in the figure below.

The arrows show the directions in which the recognition works. An individual cannot go the opposite route. The IWIP course is laid out in two parts which are Welding Technology and Welding Inspection. The recognition from the IWP, IWS and IWT paths exempts an individual from doing the Welding Technology component of the IWIP course at which ever level they entered the course. For individuals who do not hold any of the IWP, IWS or IWT/IWE course they must undertake the Welding Technology and Welding Inspection modules to become qualified as an IWIP Basic level for starters and they can progress to the Standard level after two years welding inspection experience likewise for the comprehensive level. However for personnel that have the IWP, IWS or IWT/IWE qualifications, they simply have to do the respective Welding Inspection modules in order to obtain the Welding Inspector qualifications in addition to the Welding Co-ordination qualification already obtained.

When preparation, production and inspection are over, the inspector must collate the observations, checklists, and results into a report that is structured to meet the needs of the client, PER Regulations (SANS 347), or a code of manufacture. This report is the document of reference, which could allow the tracing of a production parameter that proves after years of service to be contributing to a failure. It allows the tracing of responsibility to a specific supplier or contractor. The above table helps to illustrate how it is possible for the IWIP – B inspector to be much more geared to allow an individual to perform the above mentioned tasks as compared to the SAIW Welding Inspector Level 1.This is not to say the old Level 1 was not a great offering, it is merely a result of the course having been split in two years ago, which is why the SAIW Level 2 Welding Inspector is a great asset to the South African fabrication industry and it has helped many an inspector working overseas to be held in high esteem.

This course generally incorporates some of the latest concepts in welding technology such as the more advanced metal transfer modes such as Surface Tension Transfer (STT), Keyhole techniques, arc regions. In essence this course is a major improvement in bringing the flagship offering of the SAIW to world class standards. The introduction of the IWIP – B essentially puts the SAIW trained Welding Inspector at the same level as any other IIW member country trainees e.g. Germany, France, Portugal, Italy etc. This is definitely a move into the future as we face a more and more globalised world. As such our inspectors can move freely with qualifications that are recognised in various countries through the IIW banner. The IIW access conditions for IWIP – Standard requires a candidate with a Matric with maths and science to access this level. However the IIW has an alternative route for candidates who do not meet this requirement which is the IWS 0 route. The SAIW Welding Quality Control course meets the syllabus requirements of IWS 0. A pass on this course coupled with the required experience allows progression for a candidate from Welding Inspector – Basic to Welding Inspector – Standard. The training on this course is also sufficient to provide a candidate an entry level position in the welding and fabrication sector such that they can obtain valuable work experience in order to pursue a career in this sector.

Tasks of the Welding Inspector following training at the relevant level

The IIW Welding Inspector education and training programme will enable the candidate to effectively perform the following tasks:

BASIC (IWI-B): General knowledge of welding and inspection application and theory.

❒ Conduct direct unaided visual inspection to identify and evaluate welding imperfection according to acceptance criteria;
❒ Verify, witness and understand all welding related activities in fabrication, including (but not limited to) the following points:
– Verify the adequacy of information on NDT reports (VT, PT, MT, RT, UT) for conventional techniques;
– Verify data and adequacy of material certificates (base and filler materials);
– Verify identification and traceability of the materials during the fabrication process;
– Verify the compliance of raw materials and consumables against the applicable standards, codes and specifications;
– Verify the implementation of the WPS in production for conventional applications (e.g. arc welding processes, steels);
❒ Verify the implementation of PWHT specifications in production;
❒ Witness welder approval tests including testing of the specimens or test coupons;
❒ Witness production test coupons;
❒ Read and understand an Inspection Testing Plan;
❒ Read and understand the construction drawings in relation to inspection activities; and
❒ Report any of the above actions to a qualified supervisor.

STANDARD (IWI-S): Advanced knowledge of welding and inspection theory and application.

❒ Supervise the activities of the IWI-B;
❒ Develop and provide instructions to IWI-B;
❒ Develop, comment and review Quality Control Plans and Inspection and Testing Plans based on product standards, codes, specifications,
drawings and regulatory requirements;
❒ Witness procedure qualification tests including testing of the specimens;
❒ Verify the compliance of WQPRs and WPSs and welder qualifications and approvals against the applicable standards, codes and specifications for conventional applications (e.g. arc welding processes, steels, aluminium alloys – see Section 1 for detailed information);
❒ Verify the compliance of PWHT specifications against the applicable standards, codes and specifications;
❒ Verify the compliance of raw materials and consumables certificates against the applicable standards, codes and specifications;
❒ Take decisions on acceptance of quality documents related to welding fabrication (e.g NDT, material testing, production testing, etc.);
❒ Take decisions based on quality documents (e.g NDT, material testing, production testing, etc.) according to the requirements defined for the construction;
❒ Verify radiographic films quality adequacy (no interpretation);
❒ Identify and verify the relevant NDT techniques for a welded construction;
❒ Report on all the above actions.

COMPREHENSIVE (IWI-C): Intimate knowledge of welding and inspection theory and application.

❒ Manage the whole of the Welding Inspection activities;
❒ Supervise the activities of the IWI-S and IWI-B;
❒ Develop and provide instructions to IWI-S and IWI-B;
❒ Act as a technical expert for the Inspection function;
❒ Develop, comment and review Quality Control Plans and Inspection Testing Plans for applications not covered by product standards, codes, specifications, drawings and regulatory requirements; and
❒ Manage inspection activities for non-conventional applications with reference to materials, processes, and advanced destructive testing and NDT techniques.