Services of NDT Level 3

All special processes (and NDT especially) are governed by strict requirements for quality management and procedural base of the process. The person responsible for assurance of these requirements is the NDT Level 3 appointed and authorized by the Employer. 

Role of NDT Level 3

Level 3 controls the whole performance of NDT process on Employer side and he/she is its technical manager. He/she is fully responsible against the law and the Customer.

The described activities are not relevant only for the Employer certification systems as SNT-TC-1A or EN 4179 / NAS 410. It is applicable for all systems including independent qualification system ISO 9712.

ISO 9712 is different from the point of view of NDT Level 3 in using certification body for performance of the certification act. Nevertheless the duties and responsibilities of NDT Level 3 in operation of company NDT process are the same. Although the institution of Outside Agency is not mentioned in ISO 9712, the equivalent can be utilized through outsourcing of external NDT Level 3.

Supplier NDT Level 3 services

Level 3 controls the whole operation of NDT process and he/she is responsible to the authorities, certification or accreditation bodies and the Customer for the whole NDT process in given method. In case of absence of own Employer’s NDT Level 3, the Employer may nominate to fulfill all (or a part of) NDT Level 3 responsibilities to outsourced Outside Agency, which can substitute requested activities of responsible person for given special process and method (see ASNT Recommendation SNT-TC-1A or EN 4179 / NAS 410, which are the most important Employer certification systems). The Employer is responsible for right choice of this Outside Agency and therefore the ability of the Outside Agency shall be proved and documented. The Outside Agency shall be officially authorized in written form by the Employer, because the Outside Agency takes responsibility for given part of activities of Employer’s NDT designated Level 3 on the contractual base. 

ATG Group offers Outside Agency (or NDT Level 3) services for the whole NDT process in full range as follows:

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years of experience
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skilled NDT Level 3 personnel
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references in production and maintenance sectors in various industries

NDT personnel qualification

Correct execution of NDT process is mostly dependent on the quality of personnel qualification. Comprehention of the whole process including all its parts and all relevant requirements is vital for correct, properly documented execution of the NDT process.

NDT personnel qualification in aerospace is predominantly covered by qualification system defined by EN 4179 / NAS 410 (these standards are identical). The other production sectors are mostly supported through ASNT Recommended Practice No. SNT-TC-1A. 

Outside Agency of ATG Group shall prepare and define personnel qualification process of Employer’s NDT staff exactly according to his requirements and needs with respect to the obligatory requirements of EN 4179 / NAS 410 or SNT-TC-1A. All these conditions and requirements are defined in special procedure of the Employer, so-called Written Practice

The whole qualification shall be focused on the Employer’s production or maintenance program including use of Employer’s Written Procedures for specific and practical part of qualification. The training, for the Employer’s convenience, may be performed directly in his facility, on his NDT equipment and his samples.

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Written Practice, Procedures and Instructions

Every special process shall be controlled through the right, documented procedural base. This base describes and defines the whole process, beginning with personnel qualification requirements and finishing with calibration procedures. 

NDT Level 3 is responsible for qualification of own NDT staff of Level 1 and 2 especially. All requirements for such qualification must be defined in detail in so-called Written Practice document. This Written Practice is an implementation of general qualification standards to the Employer’s specific conditions. 

All NDT methods of the Employer must be performed according to specifications , such as Written Procedures and Instructions, which define all obligatory features and conditions for given method and follow production standards and codes used in the Employer’s production/maintenance process. NDT Level 3 personnel is responsible for creation, implementation, approval and supervision of these conditions that are defined in the Written Procedure. 

Outside Agency of ATG Group may substitute such activities for the Employer at all levels. The documents are produced according to standards and specific requirements, approved for correctness by Employer and their implementation and compliance can be supervised by the Agency on behalf of the Employer.

Supervised collection of experience before certification (Structured Experience Program)

Personnel becomes proficient to perform NDT tasks by gaining sufficient knowledge and skills in the given NDT method (and technique). Training and collection of experience are the only two parts of the qualification process, that may serve for gaining and strengthening of knowledge and skills. Other parts (education, examination and vision acuity) are only entry conditions, or verification instruments to confirm acquisition of knowledge and skills at a particular level and they do not participate directly on reaching the proficiency.

Experience collection has by far the biggest impact on proficiency of the personnel to perform tasks. It ensures, that given person knows how to use gained knowledge properly and transform them into skills. Gaining particular skills cannot be achieved only by completing specific number of experience hours. It is necessary to ensure that the experience include in sufficient amount all key activities that become automatic skills. 

Supervised collection of experience has focus on gaining of following skills (example: NDT Level 2):  

for all techniques implemented in the given method by the customer, for which the personnel is certified.

ATG Group provides supervised collection of experience by NDT Level 3 personnel, that is focused to cover all key activities in sufficient amount, on equipment and parts from real production or operation, that are representative to the future performance activities the personnel will face in real operation. Process fully complies with the requirements of the customer´s Written Practice and may use his internal documentation. This service may be performed also on customer´s premises on his equipment.

Annual Proficiency Review / Technical Performance

The quality of NDT process has to be continuously supervised and inspected by responsible person and that is the NDT Level 3. Proficiency of personnel performing NDT tasks is not given by just satisfying the entry conditions for certification, it may be developing through time to the better or worse. Continuous (usually Annual) Proficiency Review (also called Performance Evaluation or Technical Performance) of all NDT staff by NDT Level 3 is not only a requirement of SNT-TC-1A or EN 4179 / NAS 410, but it is the most important task in Quality Management System of each NDT department. 

Outside Agency of ATG Group is able to implement and manage a detailed review process of technical proficiency of NDT personnel including implementation of corrective actions and by that to ensure NDT process execution at high quality on behalf of the customer. The process is set to satisfy the customer´s Written Practice and it is usually performed on customer´s premises, on his equipment, test samples and real tested parts.

Audits of NDT process

Quality management of NDT process is very important part of every production / maintenance process and the employer is directly dependent on its continuous improvement. Auditing allows the employer to continuously monitor and control the process and take actions depending on the result of the audit. 

Outside Agency of ATG Group can provide internal auditing for the employer or independent third party auditing for the customer by experienced and reputable auditors with strong background in the NDT process. 

ATG Group also provides own special qualification course for auditors working in NDT process. This course can be included in the employer qualification and certification system (Written Practice) to prepare own qualified and skilled auditors, who can increase reliability, quality and credibility of the customer’s NDT process.

Consulting of process and system audits (NADCAP, TPG, ASME)

Industries with increased requirements for safety during operation as e.g. transportation (especially aerospace and railways), petrochemical and power industry (especially nuclear) require thorough fulfillment of even the most strict requirements for the given special process (NDT, welding, heat treatment, chemical processing etc.). 

Common requirement of the End Users is usually a request to satisfy specific criteria for the given product or the End User. Suppliers of these End Users then have to satisfy detailed customer requirements and pass through a series of (often complicated) customer´s audits (Rolls Royce, GE, Embrayer etc.) or audits of a third party, which in a specific scope represents the customer (typical example is e.g. NADCAP in aerospace and defense industry, TPG in railways or ASME in manufacturing of pressure vessels). 

Preparation for such approval usually means requirement for reconstruction of the quality management system of the given special process and adjustment of this quality management system to the requirements of the customer, or the third party. That may usually include following activities:

Outside Agency of ATG Group provides support with preparation for End User audits and communication with End Users auditors or the auditors of the delegated third party (e.g. NADCAP) in order to maximize the chance of audit’s success. The service provides support for resolving of corrective actions and strategy to assure longtime sustainability and development. Outside Agency of ATG Group provides audit support to its customers not only in NDT, but also in other special processes, e.g. welding and heat treatment.

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