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WILKINSON COUTTS / MATTHEWS INTEGRITY HUB: an up-to-the-minute information mix designed to help you with your lifework and career development in the asset integrity, inspection and NDE industries.

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NDE Qualifications and Certification
NEWS from around the world

The hierarchy of the NDE world

For a hands-on technical discipline, the subject of NDE (or NDT if you prefer) is surprisingly well ordered in the way it is organised and administered around the countries of the world. If you tried to find something similar for metal machining or mechanical equipment design for example (equally detailed technical disciplines) you would find nothing like the organised network of organisations, qualifications and certifications that exist for NDT.


The worldwide ‘umbrella’ body is The International Committee for Non-Destructive Testing (ICNDT). It is registered as a legalised Association with its seat in Vienna, Austria and has member organisations in lots of countries around the world. It’s one of those ‘organisation of organisations’ type of bodies that some people get strangely excited about. It doesn’t issue qualifications or certify individual NDT personnel; its main purpose seems to be recognition of other countries’ own NDT bodies and organising a bit of high level research and discussion in the industry.




The European NDT body is the EUROPEAN FEDERATION FOR NDT (EFNDT). It’s another umbrella body, founded in 1998 and contains one-member NDT organisation per country. It’s not linked or restricted to the EU. You can see a list of members at the Like the ICNDT it doesn’t issue qualifications or certify individual NDT personnel, leaving that to its individual member organisations.




The American Society of Non-Destructive Testing (ASNT) is the main US organisation for the qualification and certification of NDT personnel. Its ‘headline’ document is Recommended Practice. SNT-TC-1A: Personnel Qualification and Certification in Non-destructive Testing. This gives guidelines for employers to establish in-house certification programs for the qualification and certification of their NDT personnel and is used as the baseline requirement by most of the NDT companies in the integrity industry.

As part of its structure it references several specific certification ‘programs’

  • The ASNT NDT Level II certification program. This gives examination guidelines for employers to use to certificate their own NDT personnel. There’s two types of exams covering general and specific NDT techniques. It gives compliance with SNT-TC-1A.
  • The ASNT NDT Level III program provides information for third-party certification NDT personnel i.e. not done by the employers themselves. It started in 1977 and is well recognised worldwide.Personnel who achieve certification under the Level III program results receive the ASNT certificate and wallet card attesting to the fact that the certificate holder has met the published guidelines in SNT-TC-1A.
  • The ASNT ACCP (Central Certification Program) Level II involves General, Specific, Practical, and Instruction Preparation examinations in five NDT methods (MT, PT, RT, UT and VT). The ACCP program provides a central certification system for NDT Level II personnel that meets or exceeds the training, experience and examination requirements of US standard CP-106: NDT–Qualification and Certification of Personnel. The purpose of developing this document was to provide an American National Standard that would incorporate the provisions of ISO 9712 while also recognizing the US way of doing things. There is also an ACCP Level III program.
  • The ARRSP program (Industrial Radiography Radiation Safety Personnel) is there to provide third-party radiation safety certification that meets the certification requirements of specific US Code Federal Requirements (CFRs) and other regulations. There are three examinations for X-ray, Gamma and combined radiography sources.


The Australian Institute of NDT (AINDT) is well recognised internationally. Its accreditation is based on the requirements of ISO17024 and so has influence on the qualifications of NDT personnel throughout the SE Asia region such as China, Australia, Japan, India, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Pakistan etc.

AINDT have a Mutual Recognition Agreement with the European Federation of Non-Destructive Testing (EFNDT) which recognises, in principle, the qualifications of personnel certified by AINDT and members of EFNDT. In addition, personnel who seek endorsements for nozzle and node connections can also seek recognition through an agreement with the British Institute for Non-Destructive Testing to gain approval to inspect complex weld geometries in accordance with the EU Pressure Equipment Directive (PED).

Latest PCN NewsUK: PCN

The PCN (Personnel Certification in Non-Destructive Testing) is an international scheme for the certification of NDT technicians and supervisors and meets BS EN ISO 9712 requirements. It is founded in UK but also has an influence over many near-European countries. There are 3 separate levels of qualifications (See BS EN ISO 9712 for full details)

PCN Level 1 qualifies personnel to carry out NDT operations according to written instructions under the supervision of a Level 2 or Level 3 qualified individual. A Level 1 qualified individual has demonstrated competence to:

  • set up equipment and carry out tests
  • record and classify the results in terms of written criteria

PCN Level 2 qualifies personnel to perform and direct NDT according to established or recognised procedures and has demonstrated competence to:

  • Choose the technique for the test method used
  • Perform and supervise the test
  • Interpret, evaluate and report results according to applicable standards, codes or specifications
  • Define the limitations of the testing method for which the qualification covers
  • Understand and transform NDT standards and specifications into practical testing instructions adapted to the actual working conditions

PCN Level 3 qualifies personnel to direct any NDT operation for which they are certificated and:

  • Assume full responsibility for a test facility and staff
  • Establish and/or validate NDT instructions or procedures
  • Interpret codes, standards, specifications and procedures
  • Designate the particular test methods, techniques and procedures to be used

API Inspector certification

API certificate examinations come under the general banner of the API Individual Certificate Programmes (ICP). This is a large and expanding suite of examinations servicing the inspection/integrity part of the engineering industry. Their scope covers some NDT subjects but extends much wider.

See our accompanying article API Certifications for more details

NDT career upskilling

NDT is a wide discipline with its own career structure but can become repetitive for some people.If you are interested in upskilling to more general inspection/integrity work, see our article NDT Upskilling;mid-lane career changing


If you want to check your knowledge for a specific job role in the integrity industry then try our trial technical interview.  Its purpose is to test you on the technical aspects of the job you are thinking of applying for.  There's no time limit on it but expect it to last at least 20 minutes.  After the discussion we'll give you honest feedback on how you did.  Just let us know the type of position you are going for; we'll do the rest and respond with at time slot for you to call us.

There's no charge, but we will expect you to call us at the allocated time and be ready to answer technical questions.

Remember your trial interview is on a purely technical subjects.  We are not interested in you personality traits, do-gooding activities or any wonderful extra-curricular interests you may have.

Technical Interview


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