Welding Qualification Workshop – Best Practices 2022

April 11-13, 2022

Houston, Texas

Republic Testing Laboratories


Miller Electric
15331 Vantage Pkwy E
Houston, Texas 77032

AWS Contact
Martica Ventura

• Each attendee will receive a hard copy of the 2021 edition of ASME’s Section IX Welding, Brazing, and Fusing Qualifications and AWS D1.1 Code Book
• Attendees will earn 24 PDHs upon completion


Many laws require fabrication and construction to be performed in accordance with construction Codes, such as AWS and ASME codes, most of which require welders and the welding procedures they use to be qualified. The Welder Performance Qualifications (WPQs) and Welding Procedure Specifications (WPSs) generated are an important part of any organization’s quality management program. This workshop will explore that role and guide the participants through the process of qualifying both welders and welding procedures in accordance with the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section IX. This includes classroom lecture in addition to live demonstrations of the welding of the coupons; test specimen removal and preparation; tension, bend, and charpy testing; evaluation of the test results; and generation of the WPQs, procedure qualification record(s) (PQRs), and WPSs.

Topics include:

  • Why do welders have to be qualified?
  • Who is responsible for qualifying welders?
  • What is a welder performance qualification (WPQ)?
  • What is a WPS?
  • Why are WPSs necessary and who cares about them?
  • How various industries and codes address welding procedure qualification
  • Understanding essential “variables”
  • What comes first? The WPS or the PQR?
  • How to qualify multiple welding processes and/or filler metal classifications using a single test coupon
  • When and how to amend an existing WPS to extend the qualification range(s)
  • Addressing heat-input control for WPSs qualified with toughness
  • Sources for reasonable and meaningful ranges for variables on the WPS
  • Avoiding the common mistakes in WPS qualification
*Registration is limited to 40 students


Richard Campbell
Richard D. Campbell

Bechtel Fellow & Welding Technical Specialist


Read Bio

Richard Campbell is a Bechtel Fellow with Bechtel Corporation’s Construction Welding and NDE group. He is an AWS SCWI, a CWB Level 2 Welding Inspector, and an ASNT NDT Level III Visual Testing Inspector. With a BS degree in Welding Engineering from LeTourneau University and a PhD in Materials Engineering from RPI, he has worked for more than 40 years in the welding industry, including construction, structures, pressure vessels, piping systems, and government projects. For 9 years he was chair of the AWS D1K Subcommittee on Stainless Steel Welding, responsible for publication of the AWS D1.6:2017 Structural Welding Code – Stainless Steel. He is also a member of the AWS D1 Committee on Structural Welding, the D1H Subcommittee on Sheet Steel, the AWS A2 Committee on Definitions and Symbols, and the AWS A2C Subcommittee on Symbols. Rich is vice chair of the ASME B31.3 Process Piping Code section committee, and member of numerous other ASME and AWS codes and standards committeees, including Section IX’s subgroup on Qualification.

He has taught AWS CWI classes for over 25 years and has presented several seminars on welding codes, stainless steel welding, and welding symbols for AWS. Dr. Campbell is author of over 30 technical articles on welding or metallurgy. As an expert in stainless steel welding, he authored AWS’s The Professional’s Advisor on Welding of Stainless Steels, has penned several Just the Facts articles and a series of articles on welding symbols in the quarterly AWS publication Inspection Trends.

Organizer Placeholder
Mike Rice

Retired Senior Corporate Welding Engineer

Nooter Corporation

Read Bio

Mike Rice retired as the Senior Corporate Welding Engineer for Nooter Corporation. A graduate in Welding Engineering from LeTourneau University. He has been in the welding industry for 39 years. His first job after graduation was in the R&D laboratory for Newport News Shipbuilding developing an electro slag welding technique to join 11-inch-thick strut arms for aircraft carriers. He also developed and introduced to the shops and ships orbital pipe welding for both nuclear and non-nuclear piping applications. Later he managed the welding activities in the nuclear and non-nuclear pipe shops. In 1990 he started working for Nooter Fabricators as a welding engineer on various pressure vessel projects and developed techniques for internal tube to tubesheet bore welding and hot-wire plasma arc overlay. As the Chief Welding Engineer, he represented Nooter Fabricators in a joint venture with a company in Malaysia.

In 2002 Mike became the project manager for Bechtel for the Waste Package Closure System at the Yucca Mountain Project. He was responsible for the design and building of a closure system requiring remote welding, NDE and material handling systems. After completion of the closure system project, he returned to Nooter Corporation as the Senior Corporate Welding Engineer leading the welding programs within the Nooter family. Mike has presented papers at national and international conferences dealing with applications of new welding materials and unique field repairs. He is a member of AWS and the US TAG for ISO/TC 44/SC 10, Unification Requirements and ISO/TC 44/SC 11, Qualification Requirements for Welding and Allied Processes Personnel. Mike is chairman of ASME Section IX, Subgroup Welding Qualifications, a member of Section IX, Welding, Section IX, Subgroup Plastic Fusion, Section VIII, Subgroup Fabrication and Inspection. He is a member of NACE and NACE STG 02 Coatings and Linings committee.

Walter J. Sperko, P.E.


Sperko Engineering Services, Inc.

Read Bio

Walter J. Sperko, P.E., has worked in the welding industry since 1969. At the suggestion of Glenn Ziegenfuss in 1995, he volunteered to be an ISO observer to CEN/TC 121/SC 2. Since then, he has attended meetings of ISO TC44 and many of its Subgroups representing ANSI as Head-of-Delegation and as Technical Expert.

He is chairman of TC44 SC11 on personnel qualification and TC44 SC10 WG5 on qualification of welding procedures.

He continues to seek common ground between CEN, ISO and US standards to bring those standards closer together.

Mike Rice
Lynn Sturgill


Sturgill Welding & Code Consulting

Read Bio

Owner/Operator of Sturgill Welding & Code Consulting, Ellettsville, Indiana
BS in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, 1979
MS Level Course Work in Welding Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines
AWS SCWI, ASNT Level III VT, 3-A Certified Conformance Evaluator (CCE)
Adjunct Instructor for the AWS
Member of numerous AWS and ASME welding committees
Chairman of ASME Section IX SG on General Requirements
Vice Chairman of the Committee for BioProcessing Equipment (BPE) Certification
Member of ASME’s Board on Pressure Technology Codes and Standards

Scott Witkowski
Scott Witkowski

Vice President

Republic Testing Laboratories, LLC

Read Bio

Scott Witkowski is currently the Vice President of Republic Testing Laboratories. He has 30 years of experience in welding industry. He was the President & Founder of Maverick Testing Laboratories, the largest Independent Welder & Materials Testing Laboratory in the United States. Scott is a member of the following associations American Welding Society (AWS), ASME and API.





Full Day
7:30 am – 5:00 pm (CDT)

7:30 am Registration & Breakfast
8:00 am – 5:00 pm Sessions
12 noon – 1:00 pm Attendee Lunch



Full Day
7:30 am – 5:00 pm (CDT)

7:30 am Breakfast
8:00 am – 5:00 pm Sessions
12 noon – 1:00 pm Attendee Lunch



Full Day
7:30 am – 5:00 pm (CDT)

7:30 am Breakfast
8:00 am – 5:00 pm Sessions
12 noon – 1:00 pm Attendee Lunch

Day 1

View Day One’s Program

The workshop will begin with a discussion of the functions served by WPSs and welder qualifications, the data the documents should contain, and why they are an important part of any fabricator’s quality control program. Various industries, and sometimes countries, are governed by different codes, most of which have differing qualification rules. This section is an overview of the most commonly used qualification codes, their structures and interrelationships. AWS codes, as well as other recognized codes, will be discussed. This will point to Section IX of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) as the most commonly used qualification code.

Attendees will learn how to use Section IX for the qualification of both procedures and personnel. The essential, supplementary essential and nonessential variables applicable to both qualifications will be discussed. Guidelines for the proper selection of welding processes, base metals, filler metals, and other variables for efficient and economical qualification will be presented. The mechanical tests required for the procedure and performance qualification coupons will be discussed and demonstrated.

We will go into the weld lab, divide into groups and observe/participate in the welding of carbon steel PQR coupons to support four different process combinations: (1) GTAW + FCAW, 1 ¼ inch thick plate, with traditional heat input control, (2) GMAW-S + GMAW-P (with waveform control), ½ inch thick plate, power/energy heat input control and (3) SMAW using E6010, < 3/8 inch thick plate, heat input control by volume of weld metal deposited per unit length of electrode, and (4) a weld overlay procedure qualification. For the first three of these, it will be possible to generate PQRs qualified both with and without toughness. The result will be a total of seven PQRs.

Opening Remarks
a. Safety Protocols
b. General schedule, lunches, and transportation stuff
c. Introductions

Why are WPSs and WPQs Important?
a. Welding process & quality control
b. Code compliance
c. Instructions to the welder and the foreman
d. Typical contents
e. Federal laws

Structural Welding to AWS D1.1
a. State laws for structural work point to AWS D1 codes
b. Qualified vs. prequalified WPSs
c. Overview of AWS D1.1 rules

Which Code Applies?
a. Federal laws
b. SWPSs
c. Cross-country pipelines use API 1104
d. ISO standards used in Europe
e. Boiler, pressure vessel, piping, tank rules all point to Section IX


Where to Start?
a. Section IX – the most commonly used qualification code
b. Code of construction issues
c. How to read Section IX – organization and structure
d. WPS vs. WPQ – which side of the wall are you on???
e. Dealing with the WPS “variables”

    • Addressing essential variables
    • Addressing nonessential variables
    • Addressing supplementary essential variables
    • Upgrading a WPS

f. Review the critical variables for these processes

    • SMAW
    • FCAW
    • GMAW-S and GMAW-P [waveform controlled (WF)]
    • GTAW

g. Filler metal considerations
h. Base metal thickness considerations in QW-451.1
i. Selecting the test coupon
j. Special Process variables for overlay welding

    • Addressing essential variables
    • Addressing nonessential variables
    • Base metal thickness range considerations in QW-453
    • Filler metal thickness range considerations

k. Welder qualification

    • Processes
    • Supervision and control
    • Variables
    • Testing

l. Overlay rules

Welding the PQR Coupons – (Classroom & Weld Lab)
a. PQR #1:

    • GTAW + FCAW, 1 ¼ inch thick plate, traditional heat input control

b. PQR #2:

    • GMAW-S + GMAW-P (WF), ½ inch thick plate, power/energy control

c. PQR #3:

    • SMAW using E6010, < 3/8 inch thick plate, heat input control by volume of weld metal deposited per unit length of electrode

d. PQR #4:

    • SMAW overlay coupon using E309L/E308L

Day 2

View Day Two’s Program

Procedure qualification welding will continue. Attendees will then have the opportunity to observe how the coupons are marked for specimen removal, how the specimens are removed from the coupons and how they are tested. This will include tension, bend, liquid penetrant, macroetch, and charpy specimens, as applicable, from the previously welded coupons. All the test data will be reviewed for conformance to Section IX requirements.

Students will then return to the classroom to generate PQRs from the test welds. Once the PQRs have been generated, they will be distributed to the entire group so that everyone has seven PQRs. This will enable the entire group to generate at least seven WPSs. Anyone interested in a challenge can combine select PQRs to generate specialized WPSs!

At the end of the day, a brief presentation will be given on a recently published AWS standard, AWS Best Practices for Performing a Welder Qualification Test. This document, as well as applicable ASME Section IX rules for performance qualification will guide the next part of the program.

Completing and Testing the PQR Coupons – Test Lab
a. Tension testing
b. Bend testing
c. Charpy V-Notch (CVN) testing
d. Chemical analysis
e. PT of overlay
f. Macroetches of overlay
g. Photomicrography

Create the PQRs from Test Results
a. Review all test data
b. PQR #1:
Essential variables plus bends and tension test data

    • Without heat input, CVNs or SEVs
    • With heat input, CVN data, & SEV included

c. PQR #2:
Essential variables plus bends and tension test data

    • Without power/energy limit, CVNs or SEVs
    • With power/energy control, CVN data, & SEV included

d. PQR #3:
Essential variables plus bends and tension test data

    • Without volume of weld metal deposited per unit length of electrode
    • With volume of weld metal deposited per unit length of electrode, CVN data, & SEV included

e. PQR #4:
Overlay essential variables plus bends, liquid penetrant tests, chemical composition and ferrite data


Create the WPSs
a. WPS #1

    • Combined processes
    • Separate processes
    • With and without toughness (heat input control)

b. WPS #2

    • Combined processes
    • Separate processes
    • With and without toughness (power/energy input)

c. WPS #3

    • Combined processes
    • Separate processes
    • With and without toughness (weld metal deposited per unit length of electrode control)

d. WPS #4 Overlay

Homework can be assigned as appropriate

Introduction to Welder Performance Qualification
a. AWS Best Practices for Performing a Welder Performance Qualification Test
b. ASME White Paper for Guidance for Meeting QG-106

Day 3

View Day Three’s Program

Back to the weld lab for Day 3. Welder performance qualification testing will also be demonstrated, using carbon steel plate, aluminum plate, nickel-alloy pipe and stainless steel tube or carbon steel supercoupon tests.

The attendees will return to the classroom and generate welder performance qualifications (WPQs) for the welders tested.

A group discussion will conclude the Program. Using the PQRs and WPSs generated, we’ll discuss how to amend a WPS to extend a qualification range, the proper use of nonessential variables, what is meant by “intrinsically addressed variables,” and other qualification issues.

Welding the WPQ Coupons – Weld Lab
a. WPQ in Pipe Super Coupon
b. WOPQ in Stainless Steel Tube
c. WPQ in Plate Super Coupon
d. WPQ in Nickel Alloy

Testing the WPQ Coupons – Weld Lab
Create WPQs from Test Data

Round Table Discussion
a. Further development of WPSs
b. How to amend a WPS to extend a qualification range
c. Proper use of nonessential variables
d. Intrinsically addressed variables
e. Common mistakes and how to avoid them
f. What’s new in the 2021 Section IX
g. Group Discussions

*Conference Schedule Subject to Change

registration & Pricing


Open: November 2022
Deadline: April 6, 2022

Registration Includes:
Morning and Afternoon Breaks
3 Lunches

Technical Program
24 PDHs Earned


All cancellations MUST BE IN WRITING. If you cancel 35 DAYS PRIOR to the school you will receive a refund of 50%. If you cancel from 34 DAYS to 3 DAYS PRIOR to the conference, you will receive a refund of 10%. NO REFUNDS will be given 3 DAYS or less prior to the conference.

Registrations are non-transferable.



Miller Electric
15331 Vantage Pkwy E
Houston, Texas 77032

Miller® is about building things that matter. We lead the welding industry in building advanced, solution-focused products and meeting crucial needs for welding safety and health.

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