Procedure for Company Certification to CSA Standard W47.1

What is CWB W47.1 Certification?

CSA W47.1 is a company level certification established on the standard issued by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) designated as “Certification of companies for fusion welding of steel.”

CSA W47.1 is a needed certification for fabricator and erector companies seeking to use steel welding to complete buildings or other applicable structural welded products within Canada. Additionally, some U.S. companies choose to complete this certification as an indicator of quality in welding personnel and procedures due to the internationally recognized and reputable certification program.

CSA W47.1 Certification is issued by the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB), which administers the entire certification process comprised of examining supervisors, welders, welding engineers, welding procedures, and performing a full company audit to ensure personnel and procedures are consistent with national welding standards.

Steps to apply for W47.1 Company Certification

Make a Formal Application to CWB

W47.1 specifies “Each company applying for certification shall make formal application to the Bureau”. The application is signed by the CEO and applies only to the plant or site identified in the application.
The company must indicate in which division it wishes to be certified:
1. Division 1: the company shall employ a welding engineer on a full-time basis
2. Division 2: the company shall employ a welding engineer on a part-time basis.
3. Division 3: the company is not required to employ or retain a welding engineer.
It should be noted that a full-time qualified welding supervisor must be employed by all divisions.

Designate Key Personnel for the company seeking Certification

The company CEO shall designate engineering, shop, and field supervisory and quality control personnel, giving them the authority to act and be responsible to the company in their respective work areas. These persons shall be designated on a form signed by the CEO.

Designated Welding Engineer and Welding Supervisors

Work Experience Required by Welding Engineers: A minimum of five years of welding-related experience is required. When the engineer responsible is retained, he/she shall report in writing through the company to the Bureau on his/her effective participation in the company’s welding operations.
Work Experience Required by Welding Supervisors: A certified company (for all divisions) shall have at least one full-time welding supervisor. Each supervisor shall meet the following criteria for work experience:

1. The welding supervisor shall have a minimum of five years of welding-related experience, thorough knowledge of the company’s welding procedures, be able to read drawings, interpret welding symbols, know weld faults, quality control, and inspection methods.

Educational Requirements – Engineering Personnel: Each engineer shall be a member of a professional engineering association. The educational requirements for the engineering personnel include the academic background and tangible evidence of additional courses of study involving examinations on a number of welding-related areas. Briefly, the additional courses of study would include subjects such as:

1. Weldability of metals; fatigue and brittle fractures; welding procedures and practices; welded joints and connections; welding processes, equipment, and materials; weld faults; and methods of control of quality.
2. Additionally, engineers shall have knowledge of the applicable welding codes and standards.

Educational and Practical Requirements – Welding Supervisors

Educational Requirements: Each welding supervisor shall have knowledge of applicable CSA welding standards (e.g., CSA W47.1 and CSA W59) pertaining to his/her normal work.
Additionally, each supervisor shall have a knowledge of weld faults, quality control, and inspection methods, and be able to read and interpret drawings, all pertaining to his/her normal work.
Practical Requirements: Each welding supervisor shall have practical welding-related experience; and shall have a thorough knowledge of the company’s welding procedure specifications and related welding procedure datasheets. The supervisor shall be familiar with the operation of the various types of welding equipment related to his/her work with the company.

List of Welding Equipment and Any Quality Control System Used

The equipment list will define the welding scope of the company’s operations and will assist the Bureau when assessing the qualifications of designated welding personnel.

Provide a List of Welding Personnel

This list refers to the welders, welding operators, and tack welders. Before company certification can be granted, each welder, welding operator, and tack welder shall be qualified for the welding process(es) and welding position(s) in which he/she welds.

Provide a File on Company’s Welding Standards

The company shall prepare a set of Welding Standards, including Welding Procedure Specifications (WPS), and related Welding Procedure Data Sheets (WPDS), which shall be submitted to the Bureau for acceptance/approval.
Welding procedures, using joints designated as prequalified in the applicable governing standard or code, and which satisfy procedural stipulations as they apply to the welding process, shall be accepted by the Bureau.
Welding procedures that do not meet the aforementioned conditions, and for which sufficient testing information has not been accumulated, shall undergo procedure qualification testing in accordance with the provisions of the W47.1 Standard. Welding of the test assemblies shall be witnessed by the Bureau’s representative.

Qualification of Welders and Welding Operators

W47.1 describes specific plate test assemblies for the qualification of welders, welding operators, and tack welders. There is also a pipe test assembly for welder qualification.
Qualification by welding non-standard test assemblies may be allowed where special welding conditions exist due to equipment or plant operations. Qualification is governed by classification, welding process, mode of process application, and position of welding (see the following paragraphs).
The Bureau’s representative shall witness all welding personnel qualification tests, and shall issue a record showing each person’s welding qualification. The welding qualification issued for a welder/operator is subject to special validating conditions and is recognized only while the welder/operator or tack welder is employed by a company certified under CSA W47.1.
After certification, the company shall report to the Bureau, showing names and qualifications of all welding personnel (tack welders, welders, and welding operators).

Welding Processes

CSA W47.1 addresses the following welding processes:
1. shielded metal arc welding (SMAW)
2. flux-cored arc welding (FCAW)
3. metal cored arc welding (MCAW)
4. gas metal arc welding (GMAW)
5. submerged arc welding (SAW)
6. gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW)
7. electroslag welding (ESW)
8. electrogas welding (EGW)

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