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Celebrating 50 Years of CSWIP Certification

Mon, 09 November, 2020

2019 marked the 50th anniversary of CSWIP Certification. Established in 1969 with just 24 certificates awarded to NDT professionals in the UK, CSWIP has grown to the point where over 60,000 certificates are held globally by around 40,000 people.

The foundation for CSWIP was first established in 1924 within the Institution of Welding Engineers’ First Annual Report of the Council, which stated, “The main objects of the Institution are… to establish Welding Schools and provide for the training, examination and certification of welders.”

By 1969, the Institution of Welding Engineers had become The Welding Institute, whose annual report noted that standards and quality control manager, Mr. J. G. Young, had been involved in, “the co-ordination of the efforts which are being made to establish a Certification Scheme for Weldment Inspection Personnel (CSWIP), which it is hoped will eventually receive nationwide recognition and acceptance by the insurance and classification bodies and large purchasers of welded constructions.” Just one year later, the 1970 annual report confirmed that CSWIP “was introduced at the end of February.”

These relatively humble beginnings saw an assessment of the proficiency of ultrasonic personnel being met with resounding success and starting the trend we still see today – organisations requiring individuals to have CSWIP certificates before being accepted into employment.

The role of CSWIP as a means of establishing proof of competence continues, providing compliance, reliability and integrity. This standing is underpinned by the recognition that has been built up within industry over the decades.

As the welding world developed, so too did the branding for CSWIP, changing from ‘Weldment Inspection Personnel’ to ‘Welding and Inspection Personnel’ before, in 2006, CSWIP took on its latest iteration to become the ‘Certification Scheme for Personnel.’

New technologies have caused the CSWIP portfolio to grow in order to provide certification for personnel engaged in welding, joining, materials integrity and inspection in manufacturing, construction, operation or repair of high integrity structures, plant or machinery. As a result, CSWIP has achieved a reputation as one of the preeminent certification bodies in the world for a variety of role-specific competences.

UKAS-accredited to ISO/IEC 17024, the international standard for personnel certification, the schemes developed by CSWIP assist in compliance with current standards and regulations, and provide assurance to companies that their staff are competent and can meet the required level of skill. 

This has helped establish trust across the global industry that CSWIP certified personnel have been assessed independently, with impartiality, and ensures that certification is delivered in accordance with international standards.

This impartiality and independence is upheld by TWI Certification Ltd (TWI CL), a TWI Ltd group company formed in 1993. TWI CL establishes and implements certification schemes, approves training courses and authorises examination bodies and assessors in accordance with strict criteria established by the Certification Management Board, which is made up of representatives from industry and other relevant stakeholders.

By understanding the importance of impartiality, TWI CL is able to manage conflicts of interest and maintain the objectivity of its certification activities in accordance with all relevant certification standards. This impartial, independent outlook also creates an atmosphere of client confidence and industry compliance on a worldwide scale.

Looking to the future, CSWIP will continue to grow as new developments in global industry align with the ongoing need for competent, certified, and fully trained staff.