Working Groups

Certification Services Division 

Industry sector working group: Guided Wave

The GWT working group has over the last year produced a certification scheme for personnel involved with GWT.

The working group comprised representatives from the three manufacturers of GWT equipment, service providers who use GWT equipment and end users who are generally asset owners who have recognised that GWT is a cost effective method of NDT primarily for finding areas of pipe which has suffered from in-service degradation, the most common being corrosion.

The GWT working group agreed and used the following objective:
“Industry requires an independent Guided Wave Testing third party scheme that gives industry confidence that technicians are properly trained, examined and ultimately can properly assess their assets”.

GWT is an effective tool for rapidly screening large lengths of pipe and identifying potential areas which can be more accurately inspected using other methods. This method does rely heavily on capable well trained operators. This method is still relatively new and although the first commercial equipment has been available for ten years it has really only been used widely for about the last 5 years.

All three manufacturers run training and examinations for their own equipment but there is no certification scheme that applies to all three. It was, therefore, a main aim of PCN to provide a common qualification.

There were three major issues to be resolved and agreed by the working group, the main ones being:
  • That GWT is an NDT method in its own right as its operation and frequencies used are quite different from all other NTD methods.
  • The qualification needed to be equipment specific as although the physics of the wave propagation and analysis of the reflections is similar, the equipment operation and software is quite different between the 3 pieces of equipment. All PCN certificates will clearly state the equipment that the qualification is valid for.
  • The need to split Level 2 into groups, as detailed knowledge and examination was considered necessary to meet the working group objective mentioned above.
  • The need for uniformity in training syllabus, preparation of tests and marking of exams.
  • For operational reasons Level 1 technicians will do much more than gather data they will be able report and classify features against written instructions on basic pipe.
The group agreed the certification requirements in November and proposed them to the PCN Certification Management Committee (CMC) and were accepted in principle. The documents have now incorporated some minor comments from CMC and are now ready for issue.

Initially the only certification available will be for Level 1, Level 2 Group 1 for advanced basic pipe and Level 3 only by appointment during the transitional phase.

The Working group are going to continue to develop other Level 2 group syllabuses and examinations.

Typically other Level 2 groups will be Road crossings and Buried Pipe, Monitoring and permanently installed, Steam raising applications, and Tube. Until these other groups are made available it will be necessary for operator ability to rely on the equipment manufacturers training and certification requirements.

The outstanding actions are for PCN to appoint the AQB’s, prepare examination test pieces and questions. It is anticipated that this will be completed and certification examinations will be available during the second quarter this year.

Should you require any further information please contact Jennifer Cook (

Industry sector working group: Underwater NDT
The working group was formed in the latter part of 2009 and has held regular meetings by teleconference since, settling into a programme of monthly meetings. The scheme scope document was first circulated in September 2009 followed by a more detailed proposal for the Level 1 and Level 2 standards for the scheme in March 2010.

The group went on to make decisions regarding:
  • Scope and levels of qualification, we are concentrating on getting the Level 1 certification up and running first followed quite quickly, we hope, by the Level 2.
  • Training and Examination format, it was decided that we would use BS EN 473 to guide us through the formation of this.
  • The scheme syllabus has also been largely agreed.
  • Documentation requirements, it was agreed quite early in the process that the scheme should use one centralised course manual for each level which would be approved by the members of the working group and once finalised would be available for use by any organisation wanting to conduct training and examinations under the scheme. The details of the working arrangements of this have yet to be decided upon, however.
  • Training and Examination samples, an outline plan for both training and examination samples has been agreed in principle.
  • Duration of Level 1 training course has been agreed including theory/practical training hour minimum standards, these are in accordance with BS EN 473 guidelines.
  • Duration of the Level 2 training has been discussed but not decided upon as we are still a little way off finalising the content but this will also be in accordance with BS EN 473 guidelines.
  • Course training material is now at the first draft stage and will be circulated amongst the members of the working group within the next week or two for their comments and recommendations. It was agreed that the scheme should incorporate an annual update review for course content in order to ensure course information was as current as practically possible. With careful management this should ensure that any relevant new techniques will be included in the training documentation within approximately twelve to eighteen months.
  • The examination question bank will start to form properly as soon as the course manual is accepted but has already begun, some members have sent in questions for consideration and approval. These will be cross-referenced with the finalised course manual and presented for inclusion in the bank as and when received.
Although not as swift as hoped the progress of the schemes’ development is moving along as quickly as practically possible.

The next teleconference is scheduled for 3 March at 08:00am to allow our Australian members the opportunity of conveniently attending. If any other interested parties would like to be involved please contact the PCN Certification Administrator.