What is Penetrant Testing?

Penetrant Testing involves applying a visible or fluorescent dye to the surface. The dye enters the discontinuities via capillary action. The method can be applied to any non-absorbent material with uncoated surfaces.

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

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

  • Select the Penetrant 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 Penetrant written instructions
  • Carry out and supervise all tasks at or below level 2;
  • Provide guidance for personnel at or below level 2, and
  • Report the results of Penetrant test

Penetrant Level 2 training at Lavender International covers the following:

General Theory:

    • Introduction
    • Principles of penetrant inspection
    • Equipment
    • Preparation for testing
    • Testing techniques
    • Post test procedures
    • Safety precautions
    • Processing
    • Testing procedures and selection
    • Product technology
    • Inspection and evaluation
    • Interpretation and reporting

Specific Theory:

Application of the Method to the Specific requirements of the Company, in particular making reference to those Codes, Specifications and Procedures used by the Company, including the relevant control checks.

We can provide Penetrant training suitable for PCN GEN  BS EN ISO 9712 Levels 1, 2, and 3, ASNT Level 3. Alternatively we can provide training suitable for candidates working to an employer written practice based on SNT-TC-1A; EN4179 and NAS410.

We provide examinations for Penetrant Testing, including PCN personal certification examinations to Levels 1, 2 and 3, plus examinations for employer based schemes such as SNT-TC-1A, NAS410 and EN4179.

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

The PCN requirements for Level 2 Penetrant are: 24 hours training if Level 1 is held, or 40 hours direct to Level 2, previous to the exam, and 3 months supervised work experience additional to Level 1 (4 months direct), to be obtained either before the examination, or within 24 months after passing the exam.

Once the 24 additional hours training have been obtained, the examination passed, and 3 months additional supervised work experience obtained within 24 months of passing the exam, PCN will issue certification.

The options for Penetrant 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 Penetrant Level 2 are: 3 months supervised work experience additional to Level 1 (4 months direct to Level 2).

Once the 24 additional hours training have been obtained, the examination passed, and 3 additional months supervised work experience obtained within 24 months of passing the exam, PCN will issue certification.

The minimum requirements for Level 2 are additional to requirements already satisfied for Level 1.  If you are wishing to go direct to Level 2, the minimum work experience is 4 months, and the minimum training is 40 hours.  Note: The examination may be taken before the work experience is completed; however certificates are not issued until proof of work experience is provided.  After passing the examination, a results notice is issued by PCN, you then have 24 months to complete the required work experience.  For employer based schemes the expected amount of work experience should be determined in the written practice.

Candidates are now able to claim 50% of the total work experience requirement by attending a Lavender accelerated work experience programme.  The programme is PCN approved and is available at our UK facilities.  Click here for more information

We offer Penetrant Testing Level 2 training and examination courses around the world at our approved training centres:


UK office – Penistone USA office – Houston, Texas On-site locations
Click here for available dates Click here for available dates Contact us / Enquire


UK office – Penistone USA office – Houston, Texas
Weekly Contact us for dates or enquire

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

Course Enquiry - PT

Please complete this form to enquire about a place on a Penetrant Testing (PT) course. A member of the booking team will be in touch to confirm details.
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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.