Second- and third-party certification, which is the more appropriate approach to take?

Currently and historically, a person involved in NDT is trained in a method such as magnetic particle testing or ultrasonic testing and, depending on whether second-party or third-party certification is required, the training and examination will be in accordance with the company’s written practice or to a standard such as EN ISO 9712. The person will then be taught about a method and, again depending on whether second- or third-party certification is required, they may have more specific training on a particular component and application of the method. An advantage of the second-party approach is that it can be very specific to the work being inspected and the necessary equipment, but this can also be a disadvantage if the tester is often performing different and new inspections. Providing the third-party inspector has been given sufficient information, including procedures/techniques and sheets/data cards, they should be able to perform a satisfactory test, and if the company has a written practice and uses it correctly, things should work well.

So, in conclusion, with appropriate controls both options are acceptable and it’s horses for courses, as the old saying goes. 

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