PCN News

Certification Services Department – December 2022 


 
Qualifications & Certification Talk
 





PCN 2024: Certification scheme update

BINDT’s PCN certification scheme is an internationally recognised programme for the certification and qualification of non-destructive testing (NDT) personnel satisfying the requirements of BS EN 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.

Periodically, adopted standards such as BS EN ISO 9712 are required to be reviewed and updated to capture such things as revised working practices, the implementation of new technology and also to accommodate, where practical, requests for change that could be seen to be of benefit to all where adopted. Where these new features are adopted and written into standards, it is inevitable that these changes will almost always necessitate that additional changes are implemented within other requirements documents, such as those documents used by PCN, ie the PCN certification scheme documentation suite and its associated appendices documents.

To this effect, readers will be aware of the recent release for use of BS EN ISO 9712:2022 and, to this regard, PCN’s commitment to ensure that its certification scheme can be shown to be compliant with the latest version of BS EN ISO 9712.

Therefore, the purpose of this article, which will be the first in a series of articles, will keep the NDT News readership updated and informed on the progress of a major update to the PCN Scheme in line with those changes published in BS EN ISO 9712:2022.

PCN has committed to review the latest edition of BS EN ISO 9712 and implement the latest requirements contained therein, within a slimmed-down PCN certification scheme suite of documents, which will be non-repetitive, concise, easily navigable and suitable and sufficient to ensure the ongoing competence of today’s NDT engineers.

This article seeks to inform the readership that works have commenced and that PCN is committed to meeting the agreed timeline for the delivery of the new PCN certification scheme (PCN 2024). It is our objective to have a revised suite of PCN appendix documents accepted for use by the end of June 2023, with PCN’s ATOs and AQBs in a position to implement documents for use on 1 January 2024, hence PCN 2024. This is an exciting opportunity for BINDT to redesign the PCN Scheme, which will see a legacy move towards a modern certification scheme meeting the requirements of BS EN ISO 9712:2022 in its entirety to meet new policy, eradicate errors and build new-found trust and confidence in the revised scheme. It is PCN’s intention to share information with the NDT News readership by providing clear guidance on how the review process is progressing. 

Where you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact a member of the BINDT technical team at: technical@bindt.org, where your issues can then be directed to the process owner. 

 

 


 

 

UV LED Lighting Working Group: request for support

 

BINDT is interested in securing support from interested parties to assist in the development of an industry-wide information pamphlet/best practice user guide to ensure the continued safe use of ultraviolet (UV) lighting within all occupational environments. As we are all probably aware, the use of UV lighting is subject to UK and EU legislation (The Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010 and associated European Directive 2006/25/EC for the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to risks arising from physical agents (artificial optical radiation)), ensuring that users of UV light sources are not subjected to instances of overexposure. 

Reports have suggested that, with the development of new technologies (LED UV sources), overexposure in breach of regulations could possibly be experienced in a reduced time when compared to the more traditional UV light sources typically used for irradiation of the test surface during fluorescent penetrant and magnetic particle testing, where illumination of fluorescent dyes is required.

The energy-efficient environment of today has provided benefit to the NDT sector with alternative lower wattage, but higher-intensity, LED illumination systems that have the potential to breach legislation in a much-reduced time when compared to the previous generation of UV lighting equipment and, unless correctly controlled, UV exposure during NDT inspections could exceed limits for both skin and eyes more quickly. It has been envisaged that the production of a short guidance pamphlet highlighting the risks and associated best working practices to mitigate against risk would be of benefit to industry to ensure a greater understanding of UV hazards, relevant legislation, employer responsibilities and best practice for the continued safe use of UV within the world of 
NDT.

BINDT has been approached to assist in the production of this high-level guidance document required to raise awareness on controlling the hazard, which may include surveying, managing UV intensity and ensuring that the range of engineering and administrative controls and PPE are highlighted for implementation. These measures, combined with the suitable use of UV-filtering protective eyewear, can be used to mitigate against the risk of UV exposure to eyes and skin through the use of specific controls, ensuring inspection effectiveness is not compromised through such things as the use of potentially unsuitable eyewear, the intent being to provide some agreed core guidance on the selection of appropriate UV protective eyewear, PPE and safety measures to be adopted for NDT applications.

For those interested in finding out more, guidance can be found at:  
 
Anyone who would like to assist with this short-term project should contact Mr Peter Wood (email: peter.wood4@rolls-royce.com) or Patrick Boulton (email: patrick.boulton@bindt.org).

 

It is anticipated that work will commence in January 2023. The guide/information pamphlet will be published and made available to download for free on the BINDT website. 

 

 


 

 

Businesses to be given UK product marking flexibility

 

 

On 14 November, the UK government announced the following: “The deadline for when a business needs to use the UKCA mark has been extended. You can continue to use the CE marking and reversed epsilon marking on the GB market until 31 December 2024.”

This means that the date of the end of 2022 for changeover to the UK CA mark has been delayed. This covers the PED and UK PESR legislation. BINDT’s interpretation of this is that all certificates from Notified Bodies and recognised third-party organisations (RTPOs) valid against the EU PED remain valid for another two years in the UK market.

It is important to note, however, the following statement: “We will also allow conformity assessment activities for CE marking undertaken by 31 December 2024 to be used by manufacturers as the basis for the UKCA marking until 31 December 2027.”

This means that the end date by which NDT certification has to be supported by a UK RTPO has not changed. Therefore, certificates issued by an EU RTPO remain valid for UKCA certification for five years from the end of 2022 or until their normal expiry date, unless replaced by a new certificate from an EU RTPO within the dates 31 December 2022 to 
31 December 2024. Certificates issued within this period will also remain valid for UKCA until 31 December 2027 (ie not their full period of five years).

Information on using the UKCA marking can be found at: www.gov.uk/guidance/using-the-ukca-marking#full-publication-update-history 

 


Please contact BINDT at pesr@bindt.org if you require any further information. 





Six-week prior to expiry requirement for revalidation of certification
from 1 January 2023

 

 

BINDT is now reintroducing the six-week prior to expiry requirement for revalidation of certification via renewal or examination. 

It is the responsibility of the certificate holder to initiate the procedure required for revalidation.

Please refer to PCN GEN issue 19 and the relevant renewal/recertification forms at: www.bindt.org/certification/pcn-exam-requirements-and-document-download


 


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





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:
  • Darren Brownlie, PCN number 313014, certificate number F022S22129848 withdrawn from 7 September 2022 and 12-month ban.

    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