The International Training Institute (ITI) Welding Certification Program, recognized and approved by the American Welding Society (AWS), has assisted many SMACNA Contractors in securing projects. The program has been so successful that demand for welding certification is far exceeding current available ITI resources.
To meet this overwhelming demand for welding certification, the ITI is embarking on a three-year plan to take its outstanding welding program to the next level, which in turn help SMACNA Contractors gain more of the industry’s welding market.
This restructured program will enable every sheet metal contractor with a signed collective bargaining agreement to have their own Certified Welding Inspector (CWI)/Test Supervisor to perform remote AWS welder qualifications and inspections.
Current Structure The ITI/AWS Certified Welder Program was originally developed by the ITI and AWS to enable joint apprenticeship and training committees (JATCs) to issue AWS certifications. Recognized worldwide, AWS certifications are typically accepted by engineers, architects, construction managers and other design professionals – with no questions asked.
There are currently 75 accredited test facilities (ATF) available for SMACNA members. Each ATF is required to have at least one AWS Certified Welding Inspector (CWI), who will be trained to become a test supervisor. In addition to the ATFs, there are currently five regional assessors covering the United States and Canada. These assessors have been trained by the AWS to accredit the local JATC welding lab.
In addition, the assessors also provide locals with a means of certifying their SMWIA members by actually performing performance certification for individual members. This fulfills an immediate need for qualified welders in locals that have not yet become accredited for testing. The assessor also assists the JATCs and contractors in writing specific welding procedure specifications and assists in qualifying the procedures when required.
New Structure Under the new structure, ITI assessors will accredit and audit test facilities, provide technical support to the ATF Welding Supervisor and teach courses on becoming a welding supervisor, test supervisor or a certified welding inspector.
Participating contractors may have an AWS Certified Welding Inspector/Test Supervisor on staff. This individual will perform remote AWS welder certifications and inspect production weldments. Contractors will also have the opportunity to become an AWS Welding Fabricator Shop.
The JATC/ATF will still have one or more CWI test supervisors as well as a welding supervisor on staff. After attending the ITI Welding Supervisor Course, the welding supervisor will also provide each contractor’s in-house CWI test supervisor with technical support, assistance in writing procedures and assistance in qualifying procedures. They will also performance test welders.
More details on the restructured ITI/AWS Certified Welding Program will be available in an upcoming SMACNA membership update. For more information about the ITI/AWS Certified Welder Program contact your regional ITI welding assessor at (703) 739-7200 or your local SMACNA chapter.