BINDT Survey 2016 – the results are in…


The British Institute of NDT’s 2016 Membership Survey aimed to understand how and why BINDT members and others engage with the Institute, to gauge how members rate the services it offers and to find out how important these services are to them in their professional lives. It also offered participants the opportunity to tell BINDT what it should do to improve the products and services it provides. The survey received 725 responses in total, of which 70% were from members of the Institute.

The largest proportion of members that participated in the survey are at Member grade (56%), followed by 15% at Affiliate grade (including BINDT-Registered Practitioners), 8% at Fellow grade, 8% at Graduate (Legacy) grade and 7% at Associate grade. There were smaller numbers of responses in each of the other grades. 46% of respondents indicated that they are also members of other professional bodies/institutes. Almost 35% of survey participants are registered with the Engineering Council: 43% as EngTech, 29% as IEng and 24% as CEng. 77.5% of those taking part in the survey indicated that they feel being a member of BINDT is useful.

Of those surveyed, around 85% hold NDT and/or CM certification through PCN, with much smaller numbers certificated through other schemes. The majority of NDT certificates are held in magnetic particle testing, ultrasonic testing and liquid penetrant testing, with smaller but significant numbers held in all other methods and many respondents holding certificates in more than one method. Smaller numbers hold certificates in condition monitoring methods, with thermography being the most common, followed by vibration analysis, acoustic emission and lubrication management.

Respondents were asked to indicate firstly how important they considered each of the main BINDT services to be and then how well they thought BINDT was providing these services. In all questions asked, a proportion of the respondents did not express an opinion. Excluding the ‘don’t know’ answers in all sections, the results are presented below.

Around 74% of respondents consider BINDT membership services to be important to them and over 83% believe the Institute is providing these services to members to a satisfactory level or higher, with the provision of professional engineering registration being particularly well regarded by over 87%, closely followed by information letters/emails to members, membership services and discount schemes and Branch meetings and events.

The Institute’s publications received an overall average rating of 67% in terms of importance, with almost 80% of respondents satisfied or better with the provision of all publications. NDT News is highly valued by nearly 95% of those surveyed, with Insight appealing to over 90% and all other publications, including the BINDT Yearbook, regarded as being provided to a high standard.

The BINDT website at is seen as important by almost 90% of respondents, and over half consider BINDT’s mobile apps and social media presence to also be worthwhile. BINDT’s provision of online services is considered to be to a high standard by almost 80% of survey participants, with the website valued highly by nearly 92%.

The events regarded as most important to those taking part in the survey are BINDT’s Annual NDT Conference and Materials Testing Exhibition, being rated highly by 65% and 63% of respondents, respectively. The UK Certification Conference is also considered particularly important. Around 75% of survey participants are satisfied or better with the provision of all BINDT events, with both the Annual NDT Conference and Materials Testing Exhibition rated highly by around 82% of respondents, followed closely by the UK Certification Conference, Branch meetings and all other Institute events.

Over 80% of survey participants consider BINDT’s certification services to be important, with the provision of these services regarded as satisfactory or better to over 85% of those taking part in the survey. The issue of certificates and renewals scored particularly well, at over 86%, with the provision of information and advice, the quality of ATOs and AQBs and the range of schemes available all regarded as being provided to a high standard.

The other activities that BINDT is involved in are also seen as important to around 83% of those taking part, particularly BINDT’s efforts to explain the benefits of NDT/CM/SHM to the general public, along with establishing links with government and other professional bodies and establishing/maintaining NDT courses and programmes at universities. An average of 83% of respondents are satisfied or better with this provision.

When asked what BINDT could do differently to better serve its membership, a wide range of opinions were expressed, with the most frequent being an appeal to make the certification/recertification process simpler and quicker, such as through developing online training and exams, and to provide assistance with the cost of training and certification, or reduce fees. More rigorous auditing of overseas trainers and examiners was suggested to improve the standards of personnel certificated overseas.

There are also calls for the Institute to lower the cost of membership, make applying for membership easier, improve its communication to members and offer more assistance with applications for engineering registration to speed up the process of applying. Those taking part in the survey also indicated that they would like to see the network of local Branches expand and support for overseas members increase.

Some respondents would like to see more Insight articles aimed at a less academic audience, for instance case studies, better communication of new and developing methods, and for the Institute to provide more information and support to technicians, practitioners and contractors, along with improving the website navigation to make information easier to find or offering more apps and reference material.

Participants in the survey indicated that they receive a number of important benefits through being a member of BINDT, including access to information, technology updates and industry news, pride and status in the profession from being part of a recognised professional body, the opportunity for professional engineering registration, PCN qualifications and the recognition of capability this brings, opportunities for networking and to be influential in the industry, as well as access to awards and scholarships.

In conclusion, the survey captured the thoughts and opinions of a relatively small number of the people with whom the Institute engages. However, the results can be considered to be broadly representative of the views of the membership and other engaged communities and the wide range of opinions expressed highlights the broad nature of the sectors supported and the wide-ranging expectations. In general, all the products and services BINDT is offering to its membership are considered to be relevant and provided well.

The BINDT management team and volunteers have been studying the results of the survey and all of the comments and suggestions made as to how the Institute could better serve its membership and the industry will be taken into consideration as BINDT continues to develop and expand its portfolio of products and services.

The full report is now available to download from the BINDT website at