EU/International Recognition of PCN certification (UKAS Accreditation) from 1st January 2021

22/10/2020

BINDT has become aware of rumours circulating suggesting that PCN certification will no longer be recognised from the beginning of 2021 (i.e. end of the Brexit transition period), which will impact upon the acceptability of certificates issued. There appears to be some confusion about the areas where recognition will cease, and we wish to clarify the situation, as follows.

The PCN Scheme is an international programme for the certification of conformance of non-destructive testing personnel which satisfies the requirements of a number of European and international standards.

ISO 9712 is the internationally recognised and widely accepted standard for qualification and 3rd party certification of NDT personnel and the UK's departure from the EU does not affect the validity of PCN certificates issued – PCN certification will continue to be widely accepted and highly respected throughout the industrialised world.

Brexit may have an impact on some UKAS activities, for example in relation to CE marking, however this will not affect PCN and UKAS will remain a full member of European and International Mutual Recognition Agreements (such as the European cooperation for Accreditation, International Accreditation Forum and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation), which means that all UKAS accredited certificates and reports (with the exception of those related to EU Regulations/Directives and Schemes) shall continue to be recognised within Europe and around the world.

There will be no impact on ISO standards including ISO 9712 as ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies (ISO member bodies) and has no different affiliation to Europe or any other country including the UK.

PCN will thus continue to be an acceptable certification scheme meeting all the necessary requirements to be accepted in any country that recognises ISO standards.

European Pressure Equipment Directive (PED)
Please note that the following statement only applies to personnel using their PCN ISO 9712 certification to carry out non-destructive tests on permanent joints for pressure equipment in categories III and IV in accordance with section 3.1.3 of schedule 2 under the European Pressure Equipment Directive (PED).

PCN scheme accreditation covers certification according to international standard ISO 9712:2012 - Non-destructive Testing: Qualification and certification of NDT personnel and the British Institute of NDT is a Certification Body accredited to ISO 17024.

ISO 9712 is the internationally recognised and widely accepted standard for qualification and 3rd party certification of NDT personnel and the UK's departure from the EU does not affect the validity of PCN certificates issued – PCN certification will continue to be widely accepted and highly respected throughout the industrialised world.

In addition, PCN continues to be a signatory to and registered under the International Committee for NDT (ICNDT) international Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) and also the European MRA that is managed by the European Federation for Non-Destructive Testing (EFNDT).

During the time that the UK was a member of the European Union (EU), BINDT was appointed as a Recognised Third-Party Organisation (RTPO) under regulation 20 of the European Pressure Equipment Regulations 1999, which implement the provisions of Directive 2014/68/EU of the European Parliament concerning pressure equipment.

The scope of the appointment was for the approval of personnel to carry out non-destructive tests on permanent joints for pressure equipment in categories III and IV in accordance with section 3.1.3 of Schedule 2 to the Regulations.

Amid the continuing negotiations about the UK's future relationship with the EU, there is one thing we know for sure: the UK will no longer be part of the EU and unless there is a specific agreement or further transition period, UK bodies will not be in a position to perform conformity assessment tasks pursuant to Union product legislation. At the time of writing, the outcomes of the current UK-EU negotiations are eagerly awaited, particularly given the added challenge of the current Covid crisis.

Please refer to the UKAS weblink for clarification.
https://www.ukas.com/news/eu-recognition-of-ukas-accreditation-from-1st-january-2021/

Please watch this BINDT website and NDT News for further announcements.