Written Practice for Non-Destructive Examination Personnel Training, Examination And Certification
- This document describes Our Company standard practice for the control and administration of Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) Personnel training, testing, qualification and certification. This practice is in guidelines with the ASME Codes and SNT-TC-1A–2020 & EN ISO 9712.
- This practice has been prepared to establish the requirements for the qualification and certification of NDE personnel whose specific jobs require appropriate knowledge of the technical principle underlying the nondestructive testing examinations they perform, witness or evaluate.
- This practice includes three levels of qualification, Level – I, Level –II and Level– III, for the non-destructive test methods of Liquid Penetrant Testing (PT), Magnetic Particle Testing (MT), Radiography Testing (RT), Ultrasonic Testing (UT) and Visual Testing (VT).
- The use of third-party central certifications (e.g. ACCP, ASNT NDT Level II and other internationally recognized third-party certification programs) may be used in place of Company Training examinations, as applicable, provided there is no conflict with the governing industry code or standard.
- a. For Level II Specific and practical examinations, the NDT Level II should ensure that the content of these examinations satisfies the requirements in section 8.4 and 8.5 , respectively in the Company Training program.
- b. The use of third-party central certifications satisfying the requirements for Company – based examinations shall be documented.
Terms included in this document are defined as follows:
- Calibration, Instrument: the comparison of an instrument with, or the adjustment of an instrument to , a known reference(s) often traceable to the applicable country’s national institute or standards body.
- Certification: written testimony of qualification.
- Certifying Authority: Head of the Institute Shall be the certifying authority to sign the certification on behalf of Our Company.
- Certifying Agency: Company.
- Closed Book Examination: An examination administered without access to reference material except for materials supplied with or in the examination.
- Comparable: Being at an equivalent or similar level of NDT responsibility and difficulty as determined by the employer’s Level III.
- Documented: The condition of being in written form.
- Employer: Company.
- Head of The Institute : Owner of Company.
- Experience: work activities accomplished in a specific NDT method under the direction of qualified supervision including the performance of the NDT method and related activities but not including time spent in organized training programs.
- False Call: when an indication and/or grading unit is incorrectly identified as being a defect.
- Grading Unit: A Qualification Specimen can be divided into sections called grading units, which do not have to be equal length or be equally spaced. Grading units are unflawed or flawed and the percentage of flawed/unflawed grading units required should be approved by the NDT Level III.
- Limited Certification: Nondestructive test methods may be further subdivided into limited disciplines or techniques to meet specific employer’s needs; these are Level II certifications, but to a limited scope.
- Method: one of the disciplines of NDT; for example, ultrasonic testing, within which various test techniques may exist.
- Nondestructive Testing: a process that involves the inspection, testing, or evaluation of materials, components and assemblies for materials’ discontinuities, properties and machine problems without further impairing or destroying the parts serviceability. Throughout this document the term NDT applies equally to the NDT inspection methods used for material inspection, flaw detection or predictive maintenance (PdM) applications.
- Outside Agency: a company or individual who provides NDT Level III services and whose qualifications to provide these services have been reviewed by The Head of the Institute of Company.
- Personalized Instruction: may consist of blended classroom, supervised laboratory, and/or hybrid online competency-based course delivery. Modular content is covered through online presentations, in the classroom, and/or in small groups. Personalized instruction also enables students to achieve competency using strategies that align with their knowledge, skills and learning styles.
- Qualification: demonstrated skill, demonstrated knowledge, documented training, and documented experience required for personnel to properly perform the duties of a specific job.
- Recommended Practice: a set of guidelines to assist the Head of the Institute in developing uniform procedures for the qualification and certification of NDT personnel to satisfy the specific requirements of Company.
- Standardization, Instrument: the adjustment of an NDT instrument using an appropriate reference standard, to obtain or establish a known and reproducible response. (This is usually done prior to an examination, but can be carried out anytime there is concern about the examination or instrument response.) (See also Calibration, Instrument.)
- Technique: a category within an NDT method; for example, ultrasonic thickness testing
- Third-Party Agency: a company or organization, without an established written practice, providing supplemental workforce to the employer; for example, a temporary staffing company.
- Training: an organized program developed to impart the knowledge and skills necessary for qualification.
- Written Practice: a written procedure developed by Company that details the requirements for qualification and certification of their employees.
- Subcontractor: A Company that provides NDT Services to Company.
Nondestructive Testing Methods
Qualification and certification of NDT personnel in accordance with this Recommended Practice is applicable to each of the following methods:
- Ultrasonic Testing
- Magnetic Particle Testing
- Liquid Penetrant Testing
- Radiographic Testing
- Visual Testing
Levels of Qualification
- There are three basic levels of qualification, NDT Level I, Level II & Level III
- While in the process of being initially trained, qualified, and certified, an individual should be considered a trainee. A trainee should work with a certified individual. The trainee shall not independently conduct, interpret, evaluate, or report the results of any NDT test.
- The technical knowledge and skill set for the three basic levels of qualification are as follows:
- NDT Level I. An NDT Level I individual should have sufficient technical knowledge and skills to be qualified to properly perform specific calibrations, specific NDT, and specific evaluations for acceptance or rejection determinations according to written instructions and to record results. The NDT Level I should receive the necessary instruction and supervision from a certified NDT Level II or III individual.
- NDT Level II. An NDT Level II individual should have sufficient technical knowledge and skills to be qualified to set up and calibrate equipment and to interpret and evaluate results with respect to applicable codes, standards, and specifications. The NDT Level II should be thoroughly familiar with the scope and limitations of the methods for which qualified and should exercise assigned responsibility for on-the-job training and guidance of trainees and NDT Level I personnel. The NDT Level II should be able to organize and report the results of NDT tests.
- NDT Level III. An NDT Level III individual should have sufficient technical knowledge and skills to be capable of developing, qualifying, and approving procedures, establishing and approving techniques, interpreting codes, standards, specifications, and procedures; and designating the particular NDT methods, techniques, and procedures to be used. The NDT Level III should be responsible for the NDT operations for which qualified and assigned and should be capable of interpreting and evaluating results in terms of existing codes, standards, and specifications. The NDT Level III should have sufficient practical background in applicable materials, fabrication, and product technology to establish techniques and to assist in establishing acceptance criteria when none are otherwise available. The NDT Level III should have general familiarity with other appropriate NDT methods, as demonstrated by an ASNT Level III Basic examination or other means. The NDT Level III, in the methods in which certified, should be capable of training and examining NDT Level I and II personnel for certification in those methods.
- The employer shall establish a written practice for the control and administration of NDT personnel training, examination, and certification.
- The employer’s written practice should describe the responsibility of each level of certification for determining the acceptability of materials or components in accordance with the applicable codes, standards, specifications, and procedures.
- The employer’s written practice should describe the training, experience, and examination requirements for each level of certification by method and technique, as applicable.
- The employer’s written practice should identify the test techniques within each test method applicable to its scope of operations.
- The employer’s written practice shall be reviewed and approved by the employer’s NDT Level III.
- The employer’s written practice shall be maintained on file.
Education, Training, and Experience Requirements for Initial Qualification
- Candidates for certification in NDT should have sufficient education, training, and experience to ensure qualification in those NDT methods in which they are being considered for certification. Documentation of prior certification may be used by an employer as evidence of qualification for comparable levels of certification.
- Documented training and/or experience gained in positions and activities comparable to those of Levels I, II, and/or III prior to establishment of the employer’s written practice may be considered in satisfying the criteria of Section 6.3.
- To be considered for certification, a candidate should satisfy one of the following criteria for the applicable NDT level:
- Table 6.3.1A: Recommended initial Training and Experience Levels
|Experience – Minimum Hours in Method or Technique
|Experience -Total Hours in NDT
|Full Matrix Capture
|Time of Flight Diffraction
Table 6.3.1A Notes:
- A person may be qualified directly to NDT Level II with no time as a certified NDT Level I, providing the recommended training and experience consists of the sum of the hours recommended for NDT Level I and Level II.
- For NDT Level Ill certification, the experience should consist of the sum of the hours for NDT Level I and Level II, plus the additional time in 6.3.2 as applicable. The formal training should consist of the NDT Level I and Level II training, plus any additional formal training as defined in the employer’s written practice.
- Listed training hours may be adjusted as described in the employer’s written practice depending on the candidate’s actual education level, e.g. grammar school, college graduate in engineering, etc.
- Training should be outlined in the employer’s written practice. Magnetic Particle training hours may be counted toward Magnetic Flux Leakage training hours as defined in employer’s written practice.
- While fulfilling total NDT experience requirement, experience may be gained in more than one (1) method, however, the minimum hours must be met for each method.
- If an individual is currently certified in a Radiographic Testing technique and a full course format was used to meet the initial qualifications in that technique, the minimum additional training hours to qualify in another technique at the same level should be 24 hours (of which at least 16 hours should be equipment familiarization). The training outline should be as defined in the employer’s written practice. If an individual is certified in a technique, the minimum additional experience required to qualify for another technique at the same level may be reduced by up to 50 percent, as defined in the employer’s written practice.
- Independent of the training recommended for Level I and Level II certification, a trainee is required to
- receive radiation safety training as required by the regulatory jurisdiction.
- Time of Flight Diffraction and Phased Array require Ultrasonic Testing Level II certification as a prerequisite.
- Full Matrix Capture, Time of Flight Diffraction, and Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing require Ultrasonic Testing Level II certification as a prerequisite.
- In addition to the training recommended in this table for FMC, TOFD, and PAUT, supplemental specific hardware and software training should be required for automated or semiautomated technique applications. The employer’s written practice should fully describe the nature and extent of the additional training required for each specific acquisition or analysis software and instrument/system used. The employer’s written practice should also describe the means by which the examiner’s qualification will be determined for automated and semi-automated techniques.
Table 6.3.1 B. Recommended Initial Training and Experience Levels for NDT Level II Limited Certifications
NDT Levels I and II
Table 6.3.1 A lists the recommended training and experience hours to be considered by the employer in establishing written practices for initial qualification of NDT Level I and Level II individuals.
Table 6.3.1 B lists initial training and experience hours, which may be considered by the employer for specific limited applications as defined in the employer’s written practice. Limited certifications should apply to individuals who do not meet the full training and experience of Table 6.3.1 A. Limited certifications issued in any method should be approved by the NDT Level III and documented in the certification records.
NDT Level III
- Have a baccalaureate degree (or higher) in engineering or science, plus one additional year of experience beyond the Level II requirements in NDT in an assignment comparable to that of an NDT Level II in the applicable NDT method(s), or:
- Have completed with passing grades at least two years of engineering or science study at a university, college, or technical school, plus two additional years of experience beyond the NDT Level II requirements in NDT in an assignment at least comparable to that of NDT Level II in the applicable NDT method(s), or:
- Have four years of experience beyond the NDT Level II requirements in NDT in an assignment at least comparable to that of an NDT Level II in the applicable NDT method(s).
- The above NDT Level III requirements may be partially replaced by experience as a certified NDT Level II or by assignments at least comparable to NDT Level II as defined in the employer’s written practice.
- Personnel being considered for initial certification should complete sufficient organized training. The organized training may include instructor – led training, Personalized instruction, virtual instructor-led training, computer-based training and web-based training should track hours and content of training with student examinations in accordance with 7.2. The sufficiently organized training shall be such as to ensure the student is thoroughly familiar with the principles and practices of the specified NDT method related to the level of certification desired and applicable to the processes to be used and the products to be tested. All training programs should be approved by NDT Level III responsible for the applicable method.
- All training program should include sufficient examinations to ensure understanding of the necessary information.
- When outside training services are purchased Head of the Institute shall ensure that such services are in accordance with this written practice.
- Personnel having his/her ASNT NDT Level I / II or equivalent from their earlier employers as per SNT-TC-1A and joined Company within 6 months, shall be Certified as Level II with successful completions and grading as per this written practice in specific examination through a Company Procedures, Vision and Practical exam, no separate training is required for such type of Certification.
- Administration and Grading:
- All qualification examination questions should be approved by the NDT Level III responsible for the applicable method.
- An NDT Level III shall be responsible for the administration and grading of examinations specified in Section 8.3 through 8.8 for NDT Level I, II, or other Level III personnel. The administration and grading of examinations may be delegated to a qualified representative of the NDT Level III and so recorded. A qualified representative of the Company may perform the actual administration and grading of Level III examinations specified in 8.8.
- To be designated as a qualified representative of the NDT Level III for the administration and grading of NDT Level, I and Level II personnel qualification examinations, the designee should have documented, appropriate instruction by the NDT Level III in the proper administration and grading of qualification examinations prior to conducting and grading independent qualification examinations for NDT personnel. Additionally, the practical exam should be administered by a person certified in the applicable NDT method as NDT Level II or III.
- All NDT Level I, II, and III written examinations should be closed-book except that necessary data, such as graphs, tables, specifications, procedures, codes, etc., may be provided with or in the examination. Questions utilizing such reference materials should require an understanding of the information rather than merely locating the appropriate answer.
- For NDT Level I and II personnel, a composite grade should be determined by simple averaging of the results of the general, specific, and practical examinations described below. For NDT Level III personnel, the composite grade should be determined by simple averaging of the results of the basic, method, and specific examinations described below.
- Examinations administered by the employer for qualification should result in a passing composite grade of at least 80 percent, with no individual examination having a passing grade less than 70 percent.
- When an examination is administered and graded for the employer by an outside agency and the outside agency issues grades of pass or fail only, on a certified report, then the employer may accept the pass grade as 80 percent for that particular examination.
- The employer who purchases outside services is responsible for ensuring that the examination services meet the requirements of the employer’s written practice.
- In no case shall an examination be administered by one’s self or by a subordinate.
- Near-Vision Acuity. The examination should ensure natural or corrected near-distance acuity in at least one eye such that the applicant is capable of reading a minimum of Jaeger Number 2 or equivalent type and size letter at the distance designated on the chart but not less than 12 inches (30.5 cm) on a standard Jaeger test chart. The ability to perceive an Ortho-Rater minimum of 8 or similar test pattern is also acceptable. This should be administered annually.
- Color Contrast Differentiation. The examination should demonstrate the capability of distinguishing and differentiating contrast among colors or shades of gray used in the method as determined by the employer. This should be conducted upon initial certification and at five-year intervals thereafter.
- Vision examinations expire on the last day of the month of expiration.
General (Written – for NDT Levels I and II)
- The general examinations should address the basic principles of the applicable method.
- In preparing the examinations, the NDT Level III should select or devise appropriate questions covering the applicable method to the degree required by written practice.
- The minimum number of questions that should be given is as follows:
- The minimum number of questions that should be given is shown in Table 8.3.4.
- A valid ACCP Level II or ASNT NDT Level II certificate may be accepted as fulfilling the general examination criteria for each applicable method if the NDT Level III has determined that the ASNT examinations meet the requirements of the employer’s written practice.
Table 8.3.4 Minimum Number of Examination Questions
Specific (Written – for NDT Levels I and II
- The specific examinations shall be addressed to the equipment, operating procedure and test techniques that the candidate will encounter during specific assignments.
- The specific examinations may also cover the ASME Pressure Vessels Code Section – 1, Section II, Section – VIII Division 1, Section – V, B 31.1 and employers NDE Procedure.
- The minimum number of questions that should be given is as per the above Table 8.3.4
Practical (for NDT Level I and II)
- The candidate should demonstrate familiarity with and ability to operate the necessary NDT equipment, record, and analyze the resultant information to the degree required.
- At least one flawed specimen or component should be tested and the results of the NDT analyzed by the candidate.
- Phased Array and Time of Flight Diffraction Practical Examination. Flawed samples used for practical examinations should be representative of the components and/or configurations that the candidates would be testing under this endorsement and approved by the NDT Level III.
- For Film Interpretation Limited Certification, the practical examination should consist of review and grading of a sufficient number of radiographs to demonstrate satisfactory performance to the satisfaction of the NDT Level III. The number of radiographs should be addressed in the employer’s written practice.
- The description of the specimen, the NDT procedure, including check points, and the results of the examination should be documented.
- NDT Level I Practical Examination. Proficiency should be demonstrated in performing the applicable NDT on one or more specimens or machine problems approved by the NDT Level III and in evaluating the results to the degree of responsibility as described in the employer’s written practice. At least ten (10) different checkpoints requiring an understanding of test variables and the employer’s procedural requirements should be included in this practical examination. The candidate should detect all discontinuities and conditions specified by the NDT Level III. The written practice should address detection rates as well as the maximum number of false calls acceptable.
Note: While it is normal to score the practical on a percentile basis, practical examinations should contain checkpoints that failure to successfully complete will result in failure of the examination
- NDT Level II Practical Examination. Proficiency should be demonstrated in selecting and performing the applicable NDT technique within the method and interpreting and evaluating the results on one or more specimens or machine problems approved by the NDT Level III. At least ten (10) different checkpoints requiring an understanding of NDT variables and the employer’s procedural requirements should be included in this practical examination. The candidate should detect all discontinuities and conditions specified by the NDT Level III. The written practice should address detection rates as well as the maximum number of false calls acceptable. An example of a practical examination checklist is attached as Appendix B to this Recommended Practice. The example checklist has been provided as guidance on development of practical examinations for any method or level.
Note: While it is normal to score the practical on a percentile basis, practical examinations should contain checkpoints that failure to successfully complete will result in failure of the examination.
- Sample questions for general examinations are presented in the reference material provided by training institute. These questions are intended as examples only and should not be used verbatim for qualification examinations.
NDT/PdM Level III Examinations
- NDT Basic Examination (need not be retaken to add another test method as long as the candidate holds a current Level III certificate or certification). The minimum number of questions that should be given is as follows: Fifteen questions relating to understanding the SNT-TC-IA document
- Twenty questions relating to applicable materials, fabrication, and product technology.
- Twenty questions that are similar to published NDT Level II questions for other appropriate NDT methods.
PdM Basic Examination (need not be retaken to add another test method as long as the candidate holds a current Level III certificate or certification). The minimum number of questions that should be given is as follows:
- Fifteen questions relating to understanding the SNT-TC-IA document.
- Twenty questions relating to applicable machinery technology.
- Thirty questions that are similar to published NDT Level II questions for other appropriate PdM methods.
Method Examination (for each method)
- Thirty questions relating to fundamentals and principles that are similar to published ASNT NDT Level III questions for each method, and
- Fifteen questions relating to application and establishment of techniques and procedures that are similar to the published ASNT NDT Level III questions for each method, and
- Twenty questions relating to capability for interpreting codes, standards, and specifications relating to the method.
Specific Examination (for each method)
- Twenty questions relating to specifications, equipment, techniques, and procedures applicable to the employer’s product(s) and methods employed and to the administration of the employer’s written practice.
A valid endorsement on an ASNT NDT Level III certificate or ACCP Professional Level III certificate fulfills the examination criteria described in 8.7.1 and 8.7.2 for each applicable NDT method.
- Those failing to attain the required grades should wait at least thirty (30) days or receive suitable additional training as determined by the NDT Level III before reexamination.
- Certification of all levels of NDT personnel is the responsibility of the Company.
- Certification of NDT personnel shall be based on demonstration of satisfactory qualification in accordance with Sections 6, 7, and 8, as described in the written practice.
- At the option of the Company, an outside agency may be engaged to provide NDT Level III services. In such instances, the responsibility of certification of the employees shall be retained by the Company.
- Personnel certification records shall be maintained on file by Company for the duration specified in the written practice and should include the following:
- Name of certified individual.
- Level of certification, NDT method and/or technique, as applicable, and limitations (if any), as applicable.
- Educational background and experience of certified individuals.
- Statement indicating satisfactory completion of training in accordance with the employer’s written practice.
- Results of the vision examinations prescribed in 8.2 for the current certification period.
- Current examination copy(ies) or evidence of successful completion of examinations.
- Composite grade(s) or suitable evidence of grades.
- Signature of the Level III that verified qualifications of candidate for certification.
- Dates of certification and/or recertification and the dates of assignments to NDT.
- Certification expiration date.
- Signature of Head of the Institute on the certificate.
- Certification certificates and wallet cards. The following recommendations are considered best practice and should be followed:
- The legal name of the employer should be clearly identified followed by the document number and revision/edition number of the written practice.
- The certificate should indicate ‘SNT-TC-1A” followed by the four-digit year of the applicable edition of SNT-TC-1A that the written practice was developed to follow.
- Full legal name of the certified individual in the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Additional characters may also be used where customary to accommodate local languages.
- Level of certification, NDT method and/or technique, as applicable and limitations (if any).
- Limitations of certification authorization should be clearly defined, when appropriate for the employer, which may include restrictions on product forms, industry sectors, codes, standards, and examination procedures.
- The full printed legal name and signature of both the designated NDT Level III that verified the qualifications of the candidate for certification and the designated certifying authority when the Level III and certifying authority are identified as separate positions in the employer’s written practice.
- If applicable, the ASNT issued Level III identification number, when either or both of the signers hold ASNT Level III certifications.
- The certificate or wallet card should be fully completed at the time of signing by the designated NDT Level III and/or certifying authority so that no fill-in-the-blank data remains to be completed by others.
- Changes to certificates or wallet cards should require that a new certificate or wallet card be issued whenever changes or alterations are necessitated.
- Dates of certification and expiration.
Technical Performance Evaluation
- NDT personnel may be reexamined any time at the discretion of Company and have their certificates extended or revoked.
- Periodically, as defined in the written practice, the technical performance of Level I and II personnel should be evaluated and documented by an NDT Level III. The evaluation and documentation should follow the format and guidelines described in section 8.5.
- Interrupted service of more than Six Months, due to any reason, shall require recertification.
- During Reexamination Specific and Practical Exam may be taken.
- NDE LEVEL – I & LEVEL – II Personnel shall be recertified periodically in accordance with one of the following criteria:
- Evidence of continuing satisfactory technical performance. Evaluations.
- Reexamination in those portions of the examinations in Section 8 deemed necessary by the Company’s NDT Level III.
- Maximum recertification intervals are 5 years for all certification levels. Certifications expire on the last day of the month of expiration.
- When new techniques are added to the employer’s written practice and the NDT Level III personnel is assigned to perform examinations using these new techniques, the NDT Level III personnel should receive applicable training, take applicable examinations and obtain the necessary experience, such that the NDT Level III meets the requirements of the new techniques in Table 6.3.1 A, prior to their next recertification date, in the applicable method.
- All certification shall be deemed revoked when employment is terminated.
- A Level I, Level II, or Level III whose certification has been terminated may be certified to the former NDT level by a new employer based on examination, as described in Section 8, provided all of the following conditions are met to the new employer’s satisfaction:
- The employee has proof of prior certification.
- The employee was working in the capacity to which certified within six (6) months of termination.
- The employee is being re-certified within six (6) months of termination.
- Prior to being examined for certification, employees not meeting the above requirements should receive additional training as deemed appropriate by the NDT Level III.
- A Level I, Level II, or Level III whose certification has been terminated may be certified to the former NDT level by a new employer based on examination, as described in Section 8, provided all of the following conditions are met to the new employer’s satisfaction:
- A Level I, Level II, or Level III whose certification has been terminated may be reinstated to the former NDT level, without a new examination, provided all of the following conditions are met:
- The employer has maintained the personnel certification records required in section 9.4.
- The employee’s certification did not expire during termination.
- The employee is being reinstated within six (6) months of termination.