SAIW Seeks to Alleviate Shortage of Highly Skilled NDT Managers

The SAIW has successfully presented its first NDT Level 3 Workshop for 2021 which built on pre-existing Level 1 and 2 NDT Qualifications and enabled attendees to take on a more senior managerial role within an organisation with the ability to oversee all NDT procedural and quality checks and the authorisation and management of individual staff NDT operations.

SAIW NDT Training Manager Mark Digby reports; “Currently the South African NDT industry is suffering due to the lack of enough competent Level 3 NDT personnel and with the growing demand from end-users to have them directly involved during outages and shutdowns, combined with the global movement towards ISO 9712, there is a massive shortage in the industry. This has resulted in high consultation prices and some individuals being over utilised and extended beyond their service delivery capacity.”

In light of this, the SAIW Level 3 course seeks to address this challenge with a key target market for the course being Senior Personnel engineers and managers wanting to improve their knowledge relating to NDT. The benefits of the course for attendees is that it is nationally accredited and internationally recognised via ICNDT MRA Schedule 2.

Building on experience

The latest course, therefore, saw a continuation of the highly successful model whereby internal SAIW lecturers and respected industrial Level 3 NDT practitioners combine forces to present specific course components. They presented selected sections of the NDT Level 3 Basic and Main Method course content as well as a new Visual Testing Level 3 module that will follow on the last week of the workshop.

Digby adds; “We are considering including a web-based presentation, pending interest; to run together with the actual courses.  Students opting for this route would be able to attend from where they are located via MS teams.”

Examinations will be available in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg and depending on demand could be extended to anywhere in South Africa since SAIW Certification invigilators would facilitate these exams on allocated dates. This flexible, customer-friendly approach will also give students the option to choose exam times e.g. weekends to suit their workplace commitments.

The March 2021 Workshop also provided South African attendees with a further benefit, namely the opportunity to interact with the initial three Cameroonian NDT students.  A second workshop scheduled to start in August 2021 will cater for an additional three Cameroonian students. This will continue the 21-year partnership between the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), SAIW and NDT practitioners across the continent and the globe that has seen the local institute train students from as far afield as Kenya, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Vietnam and Bangladesh.

Future growth

Despite the current skill pressures facing the country, the future does indeed look brighter for the development of senior NDT management level skills in South Africa. Reasons to believe this includes the fact that one of the country’s leading NDT users has indicated that they will task the SAIW with training ninety 90 Level 3 practitioners, during the next five years.

In addition, the SAIW is seeking to boost its NDT operations with the introduction of a Card System for Qualified NDT Inspectors that will allow them to present and prove their qualifications wherever and whenever they need to. There are also plans to restart the SAIW’s NDT Consulting Services which are aimed at assisting small and medium-sized companies with their in-house NDT systems and their testing and examination processes.