What certification should a reputable NDT company have?

With our industry being as highly regulated as it is, it is unlikely that you will come across non destructive testing companies that are cowboys here in the UK! 

However, we are all part of the global economy, and not all countries hold to such rigorous practices as we do. What certification should you be insisting on when contracting an NDT company, either within the UK or abroad?

The question is also valid for those of us working within the sector. We often have to partner with other companies when working abroad and need to ensure we are working with like-minded businesses so that we can deliver work that is of the highest quality. 

Here are the basic requirements for UK-based non-destructive testing companies that you should be aware of when working with NDT business partners. 

1. BINDT membership

In the UK, you should expect an NDT company to be registered with BINDT. They are the British Institute for Non Destructive Testing. According to their website, the Institute’s aim is to “promote the advancement of the science and practice of non-destructive testing (NDT), condition monitoring (CM), diagnostic engineering and all other materials and quality testing disciplines.” 

BINDT operates an approval scheme for an establishment that runs NDT training. It also assesses and then surveys the quality management systems of those organisations approved to conduct PCN examinations and provide PCN-approved training. 

Ensuring your NDT company is registered with the BINDT or one of its partner Institutes around the world will give you the assurance that you are engaging the services of a company that trains its technicians to an internationally recognised standard.

NDT Group holds BINDT membership, This means that we are able to train technicians on-site and that our technicians have the necessary qualifications and accreditation. 

2. PCN 

In the UK, NDT technicians must hold a PCN (Personal Certification in NDT). There are 3 different levels of PCN qualifications. Our NDT Technicians are all qualified for PCN Level 2. 

This means each team member has demonstrated that they have the competence to perform and supervise non-destructive testing for established or recognised procedures. They also have the competence to determine the drawbacks of any testing process and to carry out each process efficiently.

A PCN is the bare minimum qualification for any technician performing NDT on your site. Make sure any company you work with has technicians who are qualified in this way. 

3. British Safety Council

NDT can be dangerous work. Technicians are often required to access difficult-to-reach components or conduct tests in potentially dangerous environments such as oil rigs. As such, any reputable company should be actively working to keep their team as safe as possible. 

NDT companies should be members of the British Safety Council, The Council helps organisations develop and maintain effective policies and processes to keep workers safe. 

We are a British Safety Council member, as we are committed to keeping people safe and healthy at work. Our Health and Safety policy is written in line with their guidance and outlines our general objectives and arrangements as required by section 2 (3) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This ensures we safeguard the health, safety and welfare of all our employees whilst at work. 

Our commitment to ensuring everyone is safe extends beyond our own organisation. We also have an Anti Slavery Policy. This holds us to account but also means we are reporting any third party who we suspect might be engaging in illegal practices in this area. 

4. QMS Certification

Although this certification is not essential to the running of an NDT company, those who possess it normally produce a higher standard of work as they have to adhere to a more stringent quality control process. 

BINDT is accredited to offer assessment and certification of the Quality Management Systems (QMS) of organisations involved in providing NDT services, whether they be training on-site, testing in a laboratory or on-site, or the provision of level 3 services.

NDT Group holds a QMS Certificate, meaning our processes are more efficient, helping to reduce cost and disruption for our clients. We currently hold the ISO 9001 management system and are working towards ISO 14001 and ISO 45001.

5. Optional memberships

We enjoy working with other professional bodies. It sharpens our skills and helps us to better understand the industries we are serving. Good NDT companies will probably be connected with other professional bodies related to our industries. 

We are a member of the Welsh Nuclear Forum. It helps us make sure that we are up to date with any new research or techniques to ensure our clients are receiving the best, most accurate testing and results. 

6. Insurance

This may well be an obvious one and is relevant for any business operating in the UK, but all NDT companies should hold the significant, relevant insurance to make sure we are covered if the worst should happen. This includes employers’ liability, public liability, product liability and professional indemnity insurance.

7. CSWIP certification

The Certification Scheme for Personnel (CSWIP) is UKAS-accredited to ISO/IEC 17024 (the international standard for personnel certification). They cover a range of disciplines, including weld inspection and non-destructive testing. 

Our Managing Director, Matthew Conway, holds a CSWIP 3.1 Welding Inspector qualification, and he ensures a high level of work across the team. 

The CSWIP certificates provide assurance to employers that personnel are competent and can deliver the job role.

Not the end of the story…

Certification and qualifications are not the only things that you should care about when finding a new non-destructive testing company. Company values, work ethic, communication and support are all factors that separate the excellent from the average. Certifications are not a measure of a company’s quality; they’re the bare minimum that you should expect from your NDT company!

For more information about our company’s values, check out our story here.  

Responsive testing that delivers assurance that your equipment is safe.

Contact us for a quality testing service with a fast report turnaround. We can respond to any challenge.

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