Exciting Changes to AWS CWI Seminar Coming 2018

By Andrew Henderson

AWS has recently made some exciting changes to our live seminars offerings. While these changes have been made to better our program, they’ve led to several questions from those familiar with our longstanding seminar structure. This week, we’re here to clear away some of the fog surrounding these changes and tell you a bit more about how the new live seminar setup can benefit you! Let’s dive right in!

Why can I no longer buy a D1.1 Code Clinic or Visual Inspection Workshop from AWS?

Historically, the Education Services Department here at AWS offered a CWI Seminar that was designed to be modular. Specific content areas were addressed on specific days to allow folks to attend only the portions of the seminar that pertained to them. This ranged anywhere from half a  day to four days.

Beginning in 2018, the AWS CWI Seminar will only be available as a non-modular, full week offering. However, the seminar will continue to be available in the following formats:

  1. A standalone CWI Seminar
  2. A bundle with the CWI Exam
  3. A comprehensive program consisting of the Online Pre-Seminar, CWI Seminar, and CWI Exam

Why did AWS make this change?

You may be asking why we have opted to make this change. While there are many reasons for this change, the primary reason is that the vast majority of folks who register for an AWS CWI Seminar sign up for the entire week. In fact, a large proportion of those who sign up for a partial-week seminar do so in error,  intending to sign up for the whole week. Not only have our subdivided offerings confused welding inspector hopefuls, but they’ve also created logistical complications for AWS staff.

This structure is also disruptive to the seminar classroom. Each day of a seminar week, new students show up, receive their books, and meet an instructor who then repeats introductory information for the benefit of one or two new students.

Another critical pitfall of the present iteration lies in the fact that trying to structure content into whole-day increments massively limits AWS’s ability to adjust the program to keep up with changes in the standards and exams. This is key. We want to ensure that our seminars are up-to-date and offer students a rich learning experience.

What if I don’t need the whole seminar week?

The question of the hour! Here are some things to think about as you look for the best training option to fit your particular needs.

Exam Content Overlap – First, although you may not strictly need to review content related to portions of the exam you already feel confident with or have already passed, the different sections of the exam have more overlap than you might think. Because of this, reviewing areas where you’re already strong will make you stronger in areas where you’d like more practice.

Better Your Knowledge as an Inspector – Your attendance at an AWS CWI Seminar will help you become a better welding inspector and will help you score higher on the CWI Exam. Our expert instructors can answer your questions about various aspects of the welding inspector’s responsibilities. Spending some time with an AWS practice exam (that is only available for seminar attendees) will help get you in an exam-mindset and help you translate your welding inspection knowledge into exam success. Further, the books that come complimentary with the seminar will add to your library of reference materials that you will use throughout your welding inspection career.

Extra Study Time with Access to Feedback – Finally, should you decide to purchase the seminar week, you can feel free to devote your attention to the portions that interest you; when the instructor is spending time in an area you feel you’ve got covered, you can step out to do some homework, self-study, or even a practice exam. The best part is, should you have any questions, you can bring them to your instructor later and get the clarification you need just in time for the exam.

Are there non-live CWI training options?

Life commitments, like family and work, can make it difficult to attend a week-long live training seminar regardless of its location. We completely understand! Not to worry. For that very reason, we have plenty of alternatives for those of you who may find it tough to get away.

8-Week Online CWI Seminar – Our first option suits the student who wants a bit more time with the material. AWS recently piloted its very first 8-Week Online CWI Seminar, a version of our seminar that is entirely online. This semi-synchronous class called for attendees to meet online with the instructor twice a week for lessons and practice question review. This is a slower-paced review of welding inspector skills and knowledge that may better fit your preferred workload and lifestyle.

AWS Learning Online Courses – There are also a number of relevant online learning courses provided by AWS. These carefully researched programs are self-paced and cover a broad array of subjects. For example, folks new to welding inspection will benefit from our multifaceted CWI Pre-Seminar, a suite consisting of 80 hours of comprehensive coursework. However, if you’re only interested in getting some guided preparation for Part B of the CWI Exam, you might consider our WPS/PQR Explained online course. Alternatively, if you’re trying to cozy up to a codebook for work, an endorsement, or Part C of the CWI exam, our Online Code Clinics for AWS D1.1, AWS D17.1, or API 1104 may be a good option.

Published Resources – We understand, too, that some people don’t grasp concepts best with visual or aural content and prefer the familiarity of quietly pouring over written text. For these students, we recommend some of the many printed resources that AWS also offers.

If you’re prepping for Part A of the CWI exam, consider the following publications, which have plenty of information covered in this portion of the exam: Welding Inspection Technology textbook and workbook, AWS A2.4: Standard Symbols for Welding, Brazing and Nondestructive Testing standard, and AWS A3.0: Standard Welding Terms and Definitions standard. To prepare for Part B for the CWI, you’ll benefit from the free download of the Part B: Book of Specifications. If you’re exploring AWS D1.1 on your own in preparation for Part C, you can purchase the codebook here. D1.1 can be intimidating, so you’ll likely find it helpful to get a copy of our D1.1 study guide as well.

Where do I go from here?

Those are all the changes that have been made to the seminar! However, there are still other resources available to peruse. You can learn about how to get into the field of welding inspection here, or get a sense of your readiness for the CWI Seminar and CWI Exam by reviewing this guide. If you have any other questions, feel free to email our Education Services Department or you can reach us by phone: (800) 443-9353 ext. 455. We’re here to help and look forward to hearing from you!