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Ewan McKenzie: Certifying a Career in Inspection

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Thu, 07 May, 2020

It was in the final year of his apprenticeship, that Ewan McKenzie developed an interest in non-destructive testing (NDT) and welding inspection. After completing his apprenticeship and working for a year as a welding lecturer, he decided he wanted to pursue a career in NDT and welding inspection.

Now, over 35 years since that initial decision, Ewan is working as an Offshore Inspection Engineer for Oceaneering International Ltd. Based in the UK North Sea sector, on a floating platform storage and offloading vessel, the Voyageur Spirit, Ewan is responsible for the supervision and inspection of piping corrosion circuits, the management of the TOFD/phased array and rope access inspection teams, as well as a variety of other inspection and integrity management activities.

But, what did he do to get here? Ewan tells us that he self-sponsored his first certification, in ultrasonics. He said that, prior to this certification, his qualifications were only basic, but he developed a curiosity and interest in NDT, which only grew the more he learned. This was compounded upon his successful completion of the training and examination for his certification, when Ewan knew that this was the career path for him. His next steps were to find the right employer, so that he could begin what he classed as his “real training into NDT and inspection,” and gain his future CSWIP certifications.

Reflecting back on a career that spans over 35 years, and a myriad of high profile companies such as Lloyds Register, Eagle Star (now Zurich) and AHT Wood Group (now Wood), Ewan tells us that “without any hesitation that gaining a CSWIP [certification] formed the foundations of [his] career.” Not only this, but he believes that CSWIP certificates acted as “stepping stones for [his] career and will continue to allow [him] to develop even further.”

Even though he left the role of lecturer a long time ago, Ewan still takes the time to recommend a career in NDT or welding inspection to the next generation. He recommends that young people seek out an apprenticeship first and set some realistic targets for themselves. Then, taking a planned approach to your learning will enable you gain confidence as your competence grows.  

Ewan also sees the benefits for employers, when their staff have CSWIP certifications, as it enables them to not only to prove their competence to clients, but also to regulatory bodies such as the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS).

Ewan’s professional journey was far from over, having gained his initial certificate, he went on to gain his CSWIP Welding Inspector and CSWIP Plant Inspector Level 2; now, he’s planning on studying for an Open University degree in engineering and begin progressing into further management roles.

We wish Ewan the best of luck and we are sure that the dedication and determination he showed in getting his CSWIP certifications will ensure he achieves his goals.

If you are interested in gaining a CSWIP or BGAS-CSWIP certification like Ewan, please see our certification page for the variety of certifications available to you.

If you are interested in pursuing an apprenticeship, we are pleased to say that the following apprenticeship schemes can award CSWIP certifications upon completion: Nuclear Welding Inspection Technician, NDT Operator and NDT Engineer.