AWS-CWI vs. CSWIP vs IWIP Certification

Where are various welding Inspectors’ Certifications?

  1. Are you a Welder, welding supervisor, or welding professional?
  2. Do you wish to upgrade your skills with AWS-CWI or CSWIP certification?
  3. Do you wish to secure a lucrative job?
  4. Which certification is most suitable for your country?

It’s very common confusion for many aspirant & they found dilemma over:

  1. Which certification to go?
  2. Which have more value?
  3. Which will land me a good job easily?
  4. Which certification is easy to pass?

After figuring all these obvious queries for a welder, supervisor, or engineer’s mind. I have tried to elaborate detailed information regarding these both courses.

We must know that both certifications are for welding inspectors. A person having a certified welding Inspector can land easily a job in construction, structural fabrication, railroads, manufacturing, oil & gas, and many other similar areas.

Certification Bodies AWS and TWI

The American Welding Society (AWS) is a non-profit organization based in the USA & having a regional reach around the world. The AWS codes are very well-known for welders, welding supervisors, QA-QC personnel, and engineers.

TWI (The Welding Institute) is UK based certification body and having regional offices and authorized training centers in various countries. TWI deals with the different types of certificates but the most well-known for certification of personnel.

For welding, CSWIP, or called Certification Scheme for Welding and Inspection Personnel is the personnel certification program by the TWI UK. 

Subjects of study for CWI & CSWIP Certification

Candidate has to demonstrate his/her skills as a Visual Welding Inspector and knowledge of Welding processes, base materials, Welding & cutting safety, Duty and responsibility, Welding symbols and drawing, Welding procedures, Destructive tests, NDT (RT, UT, MT, PT, VT, etc.), Weld defects, welding metallurgy, and Inspection & reporting, etc.

While AWS-CWI follows American codes and standards for the exam, CSWIP certification is based on the ISO standards. For example, in AWS-CWI, welding symbols are based on AWS A2.4, and in CSWIP, it is based on ISO 2553 standard. Similarly, it’s a different code for welding qualification & inspection.

Both the certifications have theoretical and practical exam.

Examinations & Pass out Criteria of CWI

For getting AWS – CWI certificate, the candidate has to clear 3 examination.

  1. This part is known as the Part A exam and it is a welding theory exam consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions. It is a closed book examination. The candidate is not allowed to take any study material in the examination hall. To pass the exam; 108 (Pass out criteria is ≥ 72 %) marks are required. The exam duration is 02 hours.

You can practice the Part A exam using our online full exam to boost your confidence, link below:

2. The Part B exam is a practical exam. AWS provides a code “Book of Specifications” to use during the exam. The candidate can be asked about WPS PQR WQR and material grade. Moreover, candidates are asked about NDT, Heat treatment, and welding. The welding specimen or destructive test specimen replicas can be given to measure and inspect and then choose an answer in a multiple-choice paper.

To pass this exam, the candidate has to get 34 (Pass out criteria is ≥ 72 %) right answers out of 46 multiple-choice questions.

Exam duration is 02 hours.

  1. The Codebook exam or Part C exam is an open book exam. Candidate can choose code of his choice during the application from AWS D1.1 or ASME Section 9 or API 1104 is the most popular code chosen by most of the candidates, but the candidate is free to select any code which they are more familiar and comfortable with.

This is open-book exam and candidate is allowed to carry codebook with them while appearing in the exam but with restriction of writing anything in the codebook. The candidate is allowed to do marking, highlighting, or making the index in the codebook. The candidate is asked 60 multiple choice questions and has to get more than 44 (Pass out criteria is ≥ 72 %) right answers to pass this section for AWS-CWI certification. 

Exam duration is 02 hours.

You can practice the Part C exam using our online full exam to boost your confidence, link below:

Papers & Pass out Criteria-CSWIP

CSWIP 3.1 certification exam requires candidates to clear 5 below parts examination consisting of theory and practical.

The first two exams are of welding theory such as: 

Theory Part A2is about General Welding Theory, Product Technology, and NDT. Candidate will have30 multiple choicequestions. Time allowed 45 minutes. The candidate should get minimum 21 (Pass out criteria is ≥ 70 %) right answers to clear this exam.

Theory Part B2is about Specific Welding Technology. Candidate will have 60 multiple choicequestions. Time allowed 1hr 30 mins. Candidate should get a minimum of 42 (Pass out criteria is ≥ 70 %) right answers to clear this exam.

Practice these online examinations for General welding & specific welding theory to prepare for the CSWIP examination:

Remaining 3 parts of the exam are practical based:

Practical Part A2 is for the Inspection of a plate butt weld to a code provided during the exam by the examiner. Candidates have a time of 1 hourand15 min.

Practical Part B2is for Inspection of a pipe butt weld to a code provided during the exam by the examiner. For this candidate have the time of 1 hour and 30 min.

Practical Part C2is for Inspection of a set of destructive test samples to a code provided during the exam by the examiner (mostly two bends/two fractures/two macros). For this time is allowed45 min.

The pass percentage for all parts is minimum 70%.

Watch these animated videos to identify the welding defects replicas used for CSWIP examination.

Eligibility Criteria of CWI & CSWIP

Watch our YouTube video to learn more about the application process, qualification requirements, and vision test requirements, etc.


Content and objective wise there is not much difference, but AWS CWI is demanded in American base company while CSWIP is asked in European-based companies. You can select the appropriate exam as desired.

If you are working in a company where American standards are followed (like ASME, ASTM, and ANSI) then AWS CWI is the right choice for you.
While choosing the institution, it is advisable that you should look for the location and your suitability because you have to spend 6-7 days on training and exam.

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