FAQs – Inspection Agencies

With one exception, there are no specific requirements for personnel certifications in inspection agency accreditations.

The International Accreditation Service AC98 Accreditation Criteria for Inspection Agencies, Section 5 on Training and Supervision of Inspectors, calls for training and supervision / monitoring of inspectors, and documentation of same. However, specific qualifications or certifications are not required.

A2LA and other accrediting bodies for inspection agencies and laboratories do not address specifics of personnel, rather rely upon the inspection agencies to establish a written practice regarding personnel.

The International Code Council implemented a new accreditation for special inspection agencies, AC291, in 2005. More information on this program can be found here.

How does SSTC’s Welding Inspector Qualification Exam fit into AC291?

The following is required under AC291, Accreditation Criteria for Special inspection Agencies, June 2013, in Table 1, Minimum Qualifications for Special Inspectors, item 6.7.2 for Steel (Welding) special inspectors:

Required Experience: 5 Years Minimum or per AWS

Required Certification: AWS CWI or ICC Structural Steel and Welding

As such, AWS or ICC certification is required. Qualification to B5.1 by the employer is not addressed. However, the preface to the standard has the following statement:

“IAS may consider alternate criteria provided the proponent submits substantiating data demonstrating that the alternate criteria are at least equivalent to the attached criteria and otherwise meet applicable accreditation requirements.”

SSTC is actively discussing this issue with IAS staff.