PCN News

Certification Services Department – September 2022 

Qualifications & Certification Talk

BINDT COVID-19 temporary extension policy

The BINDT COVID-19 temporary extension policy ended on 31 August 2022 and no further applications will be accepted. If you are eligible, you may apply to pcn@bindt.org for a deferred/late approval application (PSL28, with fees included in form PSL35).

For up-to-date forms, visit: www.bindt.org/certification/pcn-exam-requirements-and-document-download If you are not eligible for deferred/late approval you should contact an Authorised Qualifying Body (AQB) for initial examination. 

Pressure Equipment Directive 2014/68/EU (PED)

All PCN holders who hold the relevant method/sector combinations should have now applied for approval.

You may not currently work in accordance with the Pressure Equipment Directive (PED); however, it is recommended that you seek validation with WQ-iC Ltd should you ever need recognition of compliance with the Directive in the future.

Previously as an EU member we had automatic recognition; however, since the implementation of Brexit we had to seek an alternative agreement.

For further information and steps to obtain approval, please use the link to the information at: www.bindt.org/Certification/pressure-equipment-directive

Third-party accreditation and how it relates to BINDT’s Personnel Certification Scheme

What is third-party (central) certification?

Third-party (or central) certification is an independent certification that complies with European and international standards ISO 9712 and ISO 18436. Independent certification means that personnel are required to pass examinations that are devised and set by professional examiners authorised by a Certifying Body, which has overall control over the certification process it operates.

The main advantage of such a system is that independently awarded verifiable certification carries wider recognition and acceptance. The Personnel Certification in Non-Destructive Testing (PCN) Scheme offers a system whereby certification of non-destructive testing (NDT) and condition monitoring (CM) personnel can be carried out in accordance with European and international standards by an Authorised Qualifying Body (AQB). An AQB is defined as: ‘A body, independent of any single predominant interest, authorised by the Independent Certifying Body to prepare and administer examinations to qualify NDT personnel.’

Types of accreditation:

One of BINDT’s key propositions is personnel certification, which it provides through the PCN Scheme, covering programmes that include NDT and CM across a number of industry and product sectors. BINDT is a Personnel Certification Body (PCB) accredited to ISO 17024 ‘Conformity assessment – General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons’, accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS), reference: 0030 (accredited to ISO/IEC 17024:2012 to provide certification of persons against EN ISO 9712:2012).

PCN is a central (or third-party) certification scheme, as opposed to an employer-based (or second-party) certification scheme, which means that a certificate issued under the scheme indicates conformance to an international standard and competence to undertake certain prescribed NDT or CM tasks.

Ultimately, the aim of personnel certification is to provide assurances to those who rely on the tests being undertaken (for example end-users, regulators, insurers, etc) that they have been carried out competently and that is what PCBs and diligent employers set out to do. However, there are some misunderstandings that keep cropping up around personnel certification that can lead to unrealisable expectations being set, which in turn can lead to damage being done to the respective certification scheme’s reputation and, indeed, damage being done to the reputation of the whole NDT/CM profession.

To certify students, professional organisations such as BINDT have two options in terms of accreditation: second- or third-party.
  • Second-party certification (employer-based):
    Employer-based certification schemes are systems in which the employers are responsible for the administration of the training and qualification examinations of their own employees, as well as the documentation of the required training, examinations and experience in accordance with an employer-based standard or recommended practice. Most employer-based schemes do allow the employer to accept training and examination services provided by outside agencies provided it is properly documented and the employer has determined that the content of those services meet their own company requirements as described in the employer’s Written Practice.
  • Third-party (central) certification:
    Central certification is when an independent accreditation body has provided assessment to assure that the organisation’s scheme conforms to the relevant standard they are certifying to. This independent third party provides recognition that a prescribed standard of performance has been achieved. To do so, the independent third party reviews processes, systems, organisations, personnel, etc, and when a suitable standard has been achieved provides that organisation with written assurance or certification that it confirms to the specified standard.
    BINDT’s PCN Scheme is a third-party accredited training scheme and has been independently approved by UKAS. In terms of certification UKAS has accredited BINDT to be able to authorise training and exams with its AQBs and ATOs. Working alongside its AQBs and ATOs, which provide training that BINDT has approved, it is able to provide the certification that industry needs.
    This third-party accreditation allows for BINDT to provide its world-renowned certification with the assurance that it will be of the same quality no matter where you received your certificate.

Role of personnel certification

The reliability of an NDT or CM system can be thought of as a function of the reliability of three elements of the system: the equipment, the procedure and the personnel. All three of these elements need to be considered when specifying NDT or CM.

The whole NDT or CM system needs to be qualified or validated by the end-user and, although personnel certification has an important role in the qualification process, it is just one part of the qualification process.
Personnel certification (whether central or employer-based) cannot be used as an accurate indicator as to how an individual will behave when at the workplace.

Role of third-party (central) certification Central certification, when provided by PCBs that are accredited by a national accreditation service (such as UKAS in the UK), has the benefit of independence and impartiality, and a certificate issued by such a body provides assurance that the holder conforms to a European and international standard.

For example, a certificate covering an NDT method may demonstrate conformance with ISO 9712 and a certificate covering a CM method may demonstrate conformance with ISO 18436.

When searching for your next certification choice you should ensure that your provider has the UKAS logo, or local equivalent, as this provides reassurance that the certification/product you are receiving has been thoroughly reviewed and approved. Some examples of other third-party accreditation services are the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ).

The British Institute of NDT

BINDT offers certification marketed under the PCN Scheme. BINDT has built an international reputation for the certification of personnel in the testing, inspection and condition monitoring fields, indicating that the certificated personnel demonstrate conformity to the relevant documents when performing the defined tasks:


  • Condition Monitoring: ISO 18436 for vibration analysis, infrared thermography, acoustic emission and lubrication analysis, with ultrasound currently under development.
  • Non-Destructive Testing: ISO 9712 for ultrasonics, radiography, magnetic particle, liquid penetrant, visual, ultrasonic phased array, time-of-flight diffraction, eddy current, radiation safety and more.

BINDT actively encourages members to become registered with the UK’s Engineering Council. More than 80% of new members identified engineering registration and professional development opportunities as the main reasons for joining BINDT. BINDT is committed to providing both guidance and support for members to manage their professional development and to assist members in their preparation for registration.

BINDT has also provided the framework for a very successful series of apprenticeship schemes and these not only produce more members and registrants, but they also help to address the skills shortage and in some cases the age profile issue within the industry.

The Institute must help to advance the skills that its members and prospective members need to meet the existing and future demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) and to provide support to employers and industry partners too.

Training is conducted at a network of ATOs, which are listed in the approved training list that is available at: www.bindt.org/education-and-training/bindt-approved-trainers 

PCN Appendix E3.1 – Revised Basic Radiation Safety (BRS) certification and Advanced Radiation Safety (ARS) certification

PCN is proud to announce a significant redesign in radiation safety training produced in partnership with NDT MainCal. The revised radiation safety appendix document and associated training package now encompasses the revised requirements of the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17) and further guidance and reference to the approved code of practice published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), see:

  • Work with ionising radiation – Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 – Approved Code of Practice and guidance.

BINDT Approved Training Organisations (ATOs) are now in possession of PCN’s revised radiation safety appendix document PCN Appendix E3.1 Issue 10, which contains further clarification on the levels of radiation safety certification available. Many existing PCN radiation safety certification holders will already be familiar with the term ‘Basic Radiation Safety’ (BRS), which should be held by persons practising industrial radiography, demonstrating that they have been adequately trained in the hazards associated with ionising radiations, the precautions to be taken when employing ionising radiation and the methods of protection used. They will be aware of the content and importance of complying with any special requirements for permanent facility or site operations, as well as possible accident or emergency situations that can arise and the actions to be taken in the event of such occurrences.

What the candidate will not be familiar with is a new level of radiation safety certification that has now been introduced for Advanced Radiation Safety (ARS). This new level of certification has been introduced to allow an employer to make a judgement when appointing persons to the role of Radiation Protection Supervisor.

By achieving success in a PCN ARS examination, candidates will have demonstrated that they possess the knowledge, skills and characteristics for appointment as an RPS under Regulation 18 of the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 Approved Code of Practice guidance document for work with ionising radiation. A candidate for PCN ARS certification will have been adequately trained in the requirements for appointment to the post of Radiation Protection Supervisor by the employer and, in addition, will have been assessed for knowledge and understanding of the requirements to assess dose, carry out hazard assessments, implement contingency plans and emergency procedures, arrange for the provision of dosemeters and the keeping of dose records, etc.

The revised scheme documents also contain syllabus details for both BRS and ARS and a selection of sample questions showing the complexity of potential questions a candidate may be expected to answer within any associated PCN radiation safety examination at the required level.

If you have any enquiries about this revision, please email our technical engineers at: technical@bindt.org

Introduction of limited PCN certification

BINDT’s PCN Scheme is an internationally recognised programme for the certification and qualification of NDT personnel satisfying the requirements of ISO 9712. It provides for a wide range of diverse qualification examinations covering NDT methods, techniques, products and industrial sectors for those individuals who can demonstrate that they meet, or have met, the minimum requirements for training, examinations and practical industrial experience. However, for those organisations employing persons within industry and/or product sectors where meeting the full requirements of ISO 9712 could be seen as being somewhat overburdensome and out of reach, the PCN certification scheme in its current guise could be said to lack breadth and provision in not meeting the allowable reduced requirements for limited certification present within ISO 9712; that is until 

ISO 9712 confirms that when the scope of activity is limited in application and/or in technique (and not covered in Annex F of ISO 9712), the training scope and duration may be reduced by up to 50%. Where the certification sought is limited in application 
(ie for such applications as thickness measurement or for use in automated testing, for example), then the experience duration may be reduced by up to 50%, but shall not be less than 15 days.
Examples of such limitations include those related to application (for example automated eddy current testing (ET), ultrasonic testing (UT) of bar, tube and rod or normal beam ultrasonic thickness and lamination testing of rolled steel plate) and to technique (for example leak testing only using a bubble test or yoke for magnetic particle testing).
PCN is pleased to announce that it will shortly be introducing new PCN Certification Scheme requirements documents for the limited certification of personnel engaged in the manual ultrasonic testing of manufactured wrought plate when testing for planar defects and thickness measurement using normal beam/zero-degree compression probe ultrasonic testing techniques only.
Those who are required to test manufactured wrought plate using limited certification currently issued against ISO 20807 should be familiar, and feel at home, with PCN’s new certification documents, which have been introduced to fulfil several employer requests for certification issued to meet the requirements of ISO 9712, enabling individuals to carry out those limited and defined tasks as indicated on the scope of their PCN certificate.   
In addition to the new certification offered for the testing of manufactured wrought plate, and after a period of establishment required to allow the bedding-in of PCN’s new product, it is hoped that other limited certification scheme requirements could be identified and captured for limited certification acceptance using standardised industry sector working group (ISWG) templates. This should allow for swift and efficient development of other limited certification requirements, where a request for certification is made to, and accepted for development by, BINDT’s Certification Technical Committee. 
Approved organisations wishing to explore the possibility of being authorised to conduct PCN Limited Level 2 examinations are encouraged to discuss the potential for this with BINDT’s Certification Services Division through Jennifer Cook, at: (jennifer.cook@bindt.org). Those organisations wishing to discuss the further potential to develop other limited certification requirements should contact a member of the BINDT technical team at: technical@bindt.org 

BINDT training and examination status

All up-to-date contact details for Authorised Qualifying Bodies (AQBs)/examination centres can be found at: www.bindt.org/downloads/PSL4.pdf 

All up-to-date contact details for Approved Training Organisations (ATOs) can be found at: www.bindt.org/education-and-training/bindt-approved-trainers

Verification of PCN applications

A large number of verification checks are carried out on information submitted in support of PCN applications. In the event that a deliberate attempt to deceive is detected, severe penalties will be applied; please refer to document CP27 ‘Code of ethics for PCN certificate holders’, available at: www.bindt.org/downloads/cp27.pdf

If in doubt about the validity of the information you are providing, seek the advice of BINDT Certification Records Office staff at: pcn@bindt.org or tel: +44 (0)1604 438249.

Code of ethics for PCN certificate holders

Individuals certificated within the PCN Scheme must recognise that personal integrity and professional competence are the fundamental principles on which their testing activities are founded.

Accordingly, it is a condition of PCN certification that certificate holders shall abide by the PCN Code of Ethics (PCN document CP27). All certificate holders agree to comply with this Code of Ethics at the point of application for examination, recertification and renewal.

Complaints and appeals, which are handled with extreme discretion and impartiality, can be submitted using PCN form CP21.

The process for whistleblowing can be viewed by visiting: www.bindt.org/membership/for-individuals/guidance-on-whistleblowing

Approved PCN stamps

BINDT offers candidates the opportunity to purchase an approved form of stamp, which, when used in support of the usual signature, will positively identify the PCN certificate holder reporting the results of tests or authorising NDT instructions and procedures.

Details can be found here.

Lost/stolen or withdrawn certificates

Certification for the following PCN numbers has been withdrawn, with a five-year ban on attempted at PCN examinations and certification:

  • Jarred Thomas, PCN number 307289, withdrawn from 12 September 2019
  • Erik Aulin, PCN number 212770, withdrawn from 28 July 2020
  • Mohd Ismail Dollah, PCN number 315893, withdrawn from 28 July 2020
  • Mohd Nasir, PCN number 304873, withdrawn from 11 February 2021
  • Mark Jeffry Celis, PCN number 332973, withdrawn from 7 June 2021.
  • Rohith Tadakala, PCN number 336997, withdrawn from 8 December 2021.
  • Shahrilahzam Bin Maraideen, PCN number 306704, withdrawn from 4 March 2022.
  • Salim Agus, PCN number 301251, withdrawn from 4 March 2022.
  • Mohamas Mohaizzat Bin Mohktar, No PCN number, withdrawn from 21 July 2022.
  • Daniel Danczyszyn, No PCN number, withdrawn from 6 April 2022.
  • Ruslan Moh, No PCN number, withdrawn from 15 February 2022. 
Certification for the following PCN numbers has been withdrawn, with a 12 month ban on attempted PCN examinations and certification:
  • William Walls, PCN number 333789, GMT Level 2 (certificate number F016S22120254), withdrawn from 17 September 2021
  • Jackson Laga Anak Daud, PCN number 331369, WUT Level 2 (certificate number F016S62427144), withdrawn from 24 September 2021
  • Thandayuthapani Rethinam, PCN number 335446, WRI Level 2 (certificate number P017S63429854), withdrawn from 15 October 2021.

    The following individuals have been given a permanent ban on attempts at PCN examination/certification:

    • G Venkataraman – PCN number 309672
    • Francis Regis Joe – PCN number 302284
    • Biju Pappu – PCN number 325842
    • Venkaiah Vanka – PCN number 329274
    • C Thangachariman – PCN number 333686
    • Andrew Harvey (aka A J Lourdes) – PCN number 327730
    • K Kumaran – PCN number 317701
    • R Ganesh – PCN number 329206
    • G Narayanaswamy – PCN number 329278
    • K V Sivaramakrishnan – PCN number 313268
    • P Muthu Kumar – PCN number 328063
    • Suman Dey – PCN number 300332
    • Lalitha Venkatesh