IWT Course to Train Topflight Welding Co-ordinators

14 October 2016

In contrast to Europe, South Africa has qualified 14 IWEs and 14 IWTs and it is estimated that there are now about ten IWEs and five IWTs still active in the country.

An increasing number of South African companies are being certified, or seeking certification, to the international ISO 3834 standard for fabricators. The need for technically proficient personnel to run the ISO 3834 scheme, combined with an industry need for training that will upskill employees, has prompted the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) to add the IWT course to its range of courses.

People are the key to ISO 3834 since the standard is based on having a suitably qualified and experienced welding coordination team controlling the quality of the welding process from beginning to end,” says Sean Blake, SAIW Project Manager. The requirement that welding coordinators/managers have the necessary training and experience is achieved by incorporation of another standard: ISO 14731 Welding Co-ordination – Tasks and Responsibilities.

In this context, IWE, IWT and IWS (International Welding Specialist) qualifications are the preferred and recommended route for personnel in these supervisory positions. “These courses give a holistic view of welding, which is what ISO 3834 aims to entrench,” says Blake.

IWT is the qualification level between IWS and IWE. SAIW already conducts IWS training, while an IWE course is run in conjunction with Wits University.

The few IWTs who qualified in South Africa have come through the transition route in recognition of previous qualifications and there has been no course available specifically for this qualification. The introduction of this course now completes various levels required by industry and offered internationally.


Access to the course requires students to have a National Diploma or equivalent qualification in a suitable engineering discipline. It is an IIW prerequisite that students on the IWT course have an engineering qualification as a foundation for this programme.

Although it isn’t a mandatory requirement of ISO 3834 for a welding coordinator to hold an international welding diploma, it is advisable. “Ideally companies should employ coordinators with qualifications appropriate to the quality level of their certification,” says Blake.

“In Germany, companies are in a position to demand approval of welding documentation and procedures by qualified personnel such as IWEs and IWTs. In South Africa, the power generation industry is leading the way by requesting sign-off of welding procedures by IWE and IWT qualified personnel for the manufacture of critical equipment. This emphasizes the urgency to train more topflight welding coordinators to help bridge the skills gap and ensure quality fabrication into the future.”


The IWT course will become a flagship welding course, responding to industry requirements at the highest level.

The course programme covers four modules: Welding Processes and Equipment; Materials and their Behaviour during Welding; Construction and Design, and Fabrication Applications Engineering. The duration of the course is 338 hours and includes sixty hours of practical welding.

The first course is scheduled to start on 31st May this year. Module and course details are available on the SAIW website or contact Etienne Nell or Debbie Spadino at the SAIW on 011 2982100.