NDT is a very important industry. It assures safety and quality in all engineering systems and structures.
It is for this reason that correctly qualified personnel operate in the industry. To enforce this principle the various NDT Institutes have developed NDT certification schemes enabling employers to ensure their staff are correctly trained and qualified to carry out non-destructive testing. Over several decades of development we now have the current status of two fundamental types of personnel certification; employer based certification and central certification.
Employer Based NDT Certification
This is a system by which employers construct their own ‘Written Practice’. A written practice describes the responsibilities of each level of certification as expected by the company, as well as describing the training, experience and examination requirements for each level of certification. There are several documents that provide requirements or recommendations for employers to establish a written practice. SNT-TC-1A is a recommended practice published by ASNT, the current version is 2011; this recommended practice gives guidelines for an employer to establish a written practice, it only provides recommendations for the written practice and not requirements. CP-189 is a standard, published by ASNT which outlines requirements for any written practice that conforms to the standard. Other employer based personnel certification standards include NAS410 and EN4179 which are specific to the Aerospace Industry.
Lavender International provides training and examination services to support an employer’s written practice. We also provide Level 3 Services, to enable companies to set up their own written practices. One of the advantages of employer based NDT certification is that the training and examination is structured to methods and products specific to each individual company.
Central NDT Certification
The concept of central certification is that an operator can obtain certification from a central certification scheme which is recognised by a large range of employers. Hence, limiting the problem of having to train to each individual employer’s certification scheme. It also provides employers with a reliable guide as to how much training an operator has had. There are two central certification programmes that Lavender International provides training services to :- PCN and ASNT (Level 3 only).
PCN (Personal Certification for NDT) is a programme developed by the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT). PCN exams conform to EN ISO 9712. Lavender International is accredited to provide training and examination to Levels 1, 2 and 3. PCN GEN provides the requirements for training, work experience and examination for all NDT Operators certified under their scheme. There are a minimum number of training hours which vary for each method and level in addition to a minimum number of hours of work experience. PCN also require that an examination is passed. The work experience can be either obtained before or after examination but it is recommended that it is obtained before. If the examination is taken before experience a results notice is issued and experience must be obtained within 24 months. Once the examination has been passed and the work experience obtained application is made to PCN for the certification to be issued.
PCN training hours and work experience months for PCN Levels 1, 2 and 3.
|Method||Training (hours)||Work Experience (months)||L3 Training (hours)||L3 Work Experience (months) **|
|Level 1||Level 2*||Level 1||Level 2*||Basic 80|
*These are additional to hours/months already obtained from Level 1. To go direct to Level 2, the sum of Level 1 and Level 2 hours/months should be obtained. e.g. to do PT Level 2, the requirements would be 40 hours training and 4 months’ work experience.
**For a prospective Level 3 with no appropriate degree.
Work experience is when a trainee is supervised by an appropriately qualified NDT Operator. The period in months required is based on a 160 hours per month basis.
Level 3 Certification
There are 2 types of Level 3 central certification in NDT, PCN Level 3 and ASNT Level 3. An employer based Level 3 certification is also available which should not be confused with the ASNT Level 3 scheme.
PCN Level 3 Programmes
The requirements for certification are that:
- The Level 3 Basic examination has been passed
- A minimum amount of work experience and training has been obtained
- The Level 2 in the method is held; otherwise the Level 2 practical exam must be taken
ASNT Level 3
The ASNT scheme works similarly to the PCN Level 3 scheme. A Basic examination must be passed and each additional method examination required at Level 3, to obtain ASNT Level 3 status. Lavender International offer Level 3 training suitable for ASNT Level 3. However, we cannot offer the examination, this has to be done at a location determined by ASNT and this location changes each year. Please call the Lavender International office for the information.