What is ACFM Testing?

Alternating Current Field Measurement or ACFM is an electromagnetic inspection technique that introduces an alternating current into the surface of the component to detect surface-breaking cracks.

The presence of a crack disturbs the electromagnetic field and the return signal is instantaneously converted by advanced mathematical techniques, so that the operator is alerted to the presence of a defect. Immediate defect sizing and recording is a major benefit compared to alternative NDT methods.

What are the responsibilities of a individual who is certified to ACFM Level 2?

An individual certified to ACFM Level 2 has demonstrated competence to perform NDT according to ACFM procedures. Within the scope of the competence defined on the certificate, Level 2 personnel may be authorised by the employer to:

  • Select the ACFM technique for the test method to be used
  • Define the limitations of application of the testing method
  • Translate NDT codes, standards, specifications and procedures into NDT instructions adapted to the actual working conditions
  • Set up and verify equipment settings
  • Perform and supervise tests
  • Interpret and evaluate results according to applicable standards, codes, specifications or procedures
  • Prepare ACFM written instructions
  • Carry out and supervise all tasks at or below level 2
  • Provide guidance for personnel at or below level 2
  • Report the results of ACFM test

ACFM Level 2 training at Lavender International covers the following:

General Theory

  • History of electromagnetic testing
  • Terms and definitions used in electromagnetic testing
  • General principles of the ACFM technique
  • Electrical Theory. Further principles of AC theory
  • Equipment – ACFM equipment design and construction

Sector Specific Theory

  • Introduction to the range of available ACFM techniques
  • Types of equipment: Equipment selection and preparation
  • The effect of the ACFM test on the material to be tested
  • Preparation for testing
  • Carrying out the test
  • Post-test procedures reporting
  • Codes, standards and specifications
  • Briefing of remote probe operator
  • Preparation for testing
  • Surface preparation
  • ACFM techniques
  • Safety precautions, fire hazards, electrical safety
  • Conduct of test
  • Test procedure
  • Factors affecting the sensitivity of the ACFM technique
  • Probe and instrument set-up
  • Computer file handling
  • Detectability of defects. General advantages and limitations of the test method with regard to defect detection.
  • Characterisation of defects. Difficulties and limitations
  • Interpretation and reporting
  • Types of discontinuity and their identification
  • Responsibilities for reporting
  • Welding product technology
  • How defects are formed


We can provide ACFM training suitable for PCN/ISO 9712 Levels 1 and 2. Alternatively we can provide training suitable for candidates working to an employer written practice based on SNT-TC-1A; EN4179 and NAS410.

Examinations for ACFM are based around PCN personal certification examinations to level 2, plus examinations for employer based schemes such as SNT-TC-1A, NAS410, EN4179, to level 2.

The ACFM Level 2 examination includes a general theory paper, specific paper, and a practical exam.

The PCN requirements for Level 2 ACFM are: 80 hours training, previous to the exam, and 12 months supervised work experience, to be obtained either before the examination, or within 24 months after passing the exam.

Once the 80 hours training have been obtained, the examination passed, and 12 months supervised work experience obtained within 24 months of passing the exam, PCN will issue certification.

The options for ACFM Level 2 examinations are:
Initial Candidate
Resit (Theory)
Resit (Practical)
Please Note: PCN require that an exam levy is paid at an appropriate rate

To be eligible for the PCN Level 2 examination, an eye test must be passed (near vision and colour).

The PCN requirements for ACFM Level 2 are: 9 months supervised work experience to be obtained either before the examination, or within 24 months after passing the exam. If you chose to go direct to level 2 you will require 12 months work experience.

For employer based schemes the expected amount of work experience should be determined in the written practice.

We offer ACFM training and examination courses around the world at our approved training centres:


UK office – Penistone On-site locations
Click here for available dates Contact usenquire 

If you would like further information about this course, please contact us or enquire 

Safety Boots
Overalls/Lab Coat

Candidates MUST bring their PCN Wallet Card.
If you do not have a wallet card bring some other form of identification showing a photograph, i.e. Passport or Photo Driving Licence.

All other equipment and training materials (with the exception of Level 3 Text Books) are provided by Lavender International.
Protective gloves, protective eye glasses and plastic aprons are also available for the use of students.

Course Enquiry - ACFM

Please complete this form to enquire about a place on an ACFM course. A member of the booking team will contact you to confirm details.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Lavender Newsletter

To receive information about Lavender, please leave your details below: