AWS/CWI (Certified Welding Inspector) Training & Certification Programs

What is AWS/CWI and who is a Certified Welding Inspector?

AWS/CWI means a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) program, and it’s administered by the American Welding Society (AWS). Welding Inspectors are responsible for inspecting and assessing the quality and strength of welding work. Their job is to use visual tools and electrical instruments to ensure the quality and safety of connections/welds as part of the device or structure. Welding Inspectors also inspect the equipment used and ensure welders adhere to company and international safety regulations.

In addition to working in the field completing their examinations of welding projects, inspectors spend time in an office setting compiling their reports. The majority of inspectors work on a full-time basis, primarily during business workdays.

What is a weld inspection?

A quality welding operation requires the establishment and control of a sound welding inspection program. With the proper technique, the right quality requirements and acceptance criteria, and experienced welding inspectors, you can build such a program.

Many characteristics of a weld can be evaluated during welding inspection – some relating to weld size, and others relating to the presence of weld discontinuities. The size of a weld can be extremely important, as it often relates directly to the weld’s strength and performance. For instance, undersized welds may not withstand stresses applied during service.

Depending on their size and/or location, weld discontinuities (imperfections within or adjacent to the weld) can prevent the weld from meeting its intended performance. Weld discontinuities are often referred to as welding defects, and they can sometimes cause premature weld failure due to a reduction of strength or added stress concentrations within the welded component.

The role of a welding inspector.

Welding inspection requires a wide variety of knowledge on the part of the inspector because the quality acceptance criteria can originate from several sources. The welding fabrication drawing or blueprint will typically provide sizes and other dimensional information, such as length and location of welds. These dimensional requirements are typically established through design calculations or are taken from proven designs known to meet the performance requirements of the welded connection. An understanding of welding drawings, symbols, and procedures; weld joint design; code and standard requirements; and inspection and testing techniques is required of a welding inspector.

For this reason, many welding codes and standards require that the welding inspector be formally qualified. There are several welding inspection training courses and certification programs available. The most popular

program used in the US is the Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) program, and it’s administered by the American Welding Society (AWS). Certification as a welding inspector typically requires that you demonstrate your knowledge through a welding inspection exam.

Welding inspection methods:

  • Visual inspection.

If performed correctly, a visual inspection is often the easiest and least-expensive method for many applications. However, a good-looking weld doesn’t always ensure internal quality, and discontinuities aren’t always visible to the naked eye. Thus, additional methods are available, including those listed below.

  • Surface crack detection.

Used to detect fine cracks, seams, porosity, and other surface-breaking discontinuities, surface crack detection is usually applied using one of two methods: liquid penetrant inspection or magnetic particle inspection.

  • Radiographic Testing (RT) and Ultrasonic Testing (UT) weld inspection.

In order to establish the integrity of a weld without destroying the welded component, these two nondestructive testing methods detect discontinuities within the internal structure of a weld.

  • Destructive weld testing.

As the name suggests, this inspection technique involves the physical destruction of the completed weld to detect various mechanical and physical characteristics.

Course Details:

– Candidates will register through the East African Institute of Welding and pay  for the complete exam.

– The candidates will be sent the authorization letters they need to register.

– Candidates take first Part B (Practical Exam) at the EA Institute of Welding.

– Each candidate has 60 days to schedule Part A and C (Theoretical and Code) exams at any Prometric center they wish.

– Once candidate finishes Parts A and C, results will be graded and combined with Part B exams results, then published.

  • Certified Welding Inspector Course :        6 days
  • Certified Welding Inspector Exam    :        1 day

The above training and certification Programs includes:

  • Qualified Instructor
  • Theoretical Training
  • Practical Training
  • Exams (including Prometric center sitting fees)
  • Certification

Eligibility :

Minimum of (1) years welding based work experienceBachelor or higher degree in welding engineering or welding technology – (4) years maximum substitution
Minimum of (2) years welding based work experienceAssociate or higher degree in welding or non-welding related engineering technology, engineering, or a physical science – (3) years maximum substitution
Minimum of (3) years welding based work experienceEngineering/Technical courses that can be applied to Bachelor or higher degree in Welding – (2) years maximum substitution
Minimum of (3) years welding based work experienceTraining in Welding – (2) years maximum substitution
Minimum of (4) years welding based work experienceTrade/Vocational courses – (1) year maximum substitution for successfully completed courses
Minimum of (5) years welding based work experienceHigh school diploma or approved high school equivalency diploma