How Does the New AWS QC1 Affect CAWI, CWI & SCWI Certification, Pt. 3

Welcome to the final part of our three part series on the major revisions to the latest edition of AWS QC1 Specification for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors. Make sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t done so already. In this article we will look at the major revisions to clauses 11 through 16. If you would like to follow along as we move from clause to clause, click here to download your own copy of AWS QC1.


Subclause 11.2.3
New language in subclause 11.2.3 specifies that no SCWI, CWI, or CAWI will use the certification stamp or number connected to a lapsed or terminated SCWI, CWI, or CAWI status. This is an important ethical matter which directly affects a person’s livelihood. In accordance with QC9: Administrative Procedures for Alleged Violations of AWS Certification Programs, a recent AWS Ethics Committee Hearing Panel ruled against a CWI for falsely representing his or her current status as a CWI. The penalty included having the person’s CWI status revoked (it was active at that time) for a significant period of time.

Subclause 11.2.5
Previously, subclause 11.2.5 stated that an inspector should only sign for work that he or she has inspected, or for work over which the inspector has personal knowledge through direct supervision. In the current edition of AWS QC1, “direct supervision” has been replaced by “active supervision” as defined in clause 3 and described in subclause 4.4.

Subclause 11.4.4
New language in subclause 11.4.4 states that all affected parties must be “notified” when a public official with administrative jurisdiction over a project is going to work on that project as a SCWI, CWI, or CAWI. As before, this subclause stipulates that a public official can only do this if it is expressly dictated by a job description or specification.


Subclause 15.1
Subclause 15.1 reaffirms and specifies that the CAWI certification is only valid for “up to” a three-year period, and that a CAWI cannot renew as a CAWI. Subclause 15.1.1 states that a CAWI who wishes to apply for CWI certification or a CWI exam retest must follow the requirements listed in clause 6.2 of AWS QC1.

Subclause 15.2.2
Prior to the current edition of AWS QC1, a welding inspector could submit his or her SCWI or CWI renewal application “no earlier than 6 months prior to the expiration date of that certification.” Subclause 15.2.2 of AWS QC1:2016 extends that period of time to 11 months.

Subclauses 15.3 and 15.3.2
As before, subclause 15.3 allows for a 60-day administrative extension period if a SCWI or CWI fails to submit a renewal application before his or her certification expires. However, new subclause 15.3.2 allows for the submission of renewal applications after the 60-day grace period if the application is submitted within one year of expiration. This clause also stipulates that late fees may apply. SCWIs and CWIs are strongly advised to renew prior to the expiration of their certification because SCWI and CWI certifications are considered expired during the 60-day administrative extension period as well as the post-grace period described in subclause 15.3.2. This can severely affect a person’s means of support since a welding inspector cannot work as a CWI using an expired certification.

Subclauses 15.4
Previous editions of subclause 15.4 stated that a SCWI or CWI seeking recertification could not have been continuously inactive for more than two years. In the 2016 edition of AWS QC1, the word “work” was added to clarify that continuous inactivity refers to work inactivity.


Subclause 16.1
Changes to subclause 16.1 mirror those in subclause 15.2.2, extending the time period for the submission of the 9-year recertification to “no earlier than 11 months prior to the expiration date of the current certification.” Subclause 16.1 also allows for a 60-day administrative extension. However, in keeping with subclause 15.3, certification will be expired during this time.

Subclause 16.3.1
As before, subclause 16.3.1 states that a CWI may recertify by taking a Committee-approved endorsement. In the 2016 edition of AWS QC1, the same subclause adds that the endorsement need not be current at the time of application for CWI recertification. Obtaining a passing score on any AWS endorsement exam, except Structural Bolting Inspection, satisfies the CWI 9-year recertification requirement. For more information, see the AWSL blog post, All About Endorsements, and the AWS CWI/SCWI Endorsements webpage.

Subclause 16.4.2
Subclause 16.4.2 now specifies that when a SCWI or CWI seeks recertification by experience and continuing education, the course content must be must be “relevant” to one or more of the subjects or “job functions” defined in AWS B5.1 Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors.

Subclause 16.5.1
Subclause 16.5.1 now includes the word “any” to broaden the scope of learning opportunities when earning Professional Development Hours (PDHs) to satisfy recertification requirements. However, the same clause now more clearly specifies that the learning content must be in one or more “subject” areas “listed” in AWS B5.1, Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors.

Subclause 16.5.2
Subclause 16.5.2 deals with earning PDHs toward 9-year recertification by attending local section meetings of a professional society. In the latest edition of AWS QC1, the maximum number of PDHs that can be earned in this manner was increased from 20 to 40. In this same subclause, “or proof of attendance” was added to “section meeting announcement” and “certificate of completion” as a form of verification.

Subclauses 16.5.3 and 16.5.9
As before, subclause 16.5.3 states that a SCWI or CWI can earn up to 20 PDHs toward 9-year recertification by preparing and presenting a technical session at a local or national conference. The 2016 edition of AWS QC1 specifies that the technical session can be delivered at non-AWS sessions and conferences if they address the subjects in AWS B5.1, Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors. This subclause also clarifies that proof of participation from the host institution is required. Note, however, that subclause 16.5.9 provides a caveat about PDHs and the subjects in AWS B5.1. It states that “PDHs may be earned for items that are not directly listed in the B5.1: Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors, if approved by the AWS Certification Department.

Subclause 16.7
New language in subclause 16.7 allows applicants for CWI 9-year recertification to switch means of recertification as long as they do so by the expiration date of their current certification plus the additional 60-day administrative period. For example, an applicant may decide to recertify by endorsement instead of the Part B exam, or switch from one endorsement to another.

Subclause 16.7.1
New subclause 16.7.1 describes the instances in which all three segments of the CWI exam (Parts A, B, and C) are required for CWI 9-year recertification. These include failing to pass Part B of the CWI exam, failing to pass an endorsement exam, and failing to accrue the required number of PDHs before the end of the 60-day grace period that follows the expiration of certification. New subclause 16.7.2 reiterates that individuals who take the exams but fail to pass, are no longer certified once the certification expires. It also adds that these individuals “will be considered as a new applicants.”

This concludes our look at the major revisions found in AWS QC1:2016, Specification for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors. Remember that this series of articles doesn’t cover all of the changes that appear in this latest edition. Therefore, it’s important to review the document yourself to identify how these revisions might affect you. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the AWS Certification Department at 800-443-9353, extension 273.