The purpose of welder qualifications is to test the skill of the welder and the ability to follow a verbal or written instruction (WPS). The welder qualification test condition will give a range of qualifications dependent on the chosen test condition, the more difficult the condition (e.g. welding position, joint type, filler material) the greater the range of qualification given by the relevant standard.
The BS EN ISO 9606 series also identifies the possibility of the welder undergoing a job knowledge test – this is not mandatory unless otherwise specified in a contract/application standard.
Welding Operator Qualification
The purpose of a welding operator qualification is to ensure that they can follow a WPS and demonstrate the ability to operate the equipment they are using in production. Under BS EN ISO 14732 there is a mandatory functional knowledge test and optional job knowledge test.
The USA have their own qualification standards, these are ASME 1X for pressure related products i.e. piping and pressure vessels. For the structural industry they utilise AWS D1.1