As previously reported, the implementation method of the Common Welder Certification Scheme (CWCS) for Asia, which has been a longstanding goal of the Asian Welding Federation (AWF) since its formation, was decided at the 11th AWF Task Force Meeting and General Assembly held in Bangkok, Thailand on November 12 of last year.

As part of this project, the AWF has worked continuously towards the establishment of a common certification system for welding professionals in Asia and has aimed at providing welding-related knowledge, skills, and qualifications to people in Asia in order to support Asian countries and help them to develop. The task force concerned with the CWCS has examined the prevailing conditions and viewpoints of each member country and has conducted extensive discussions taking these into consideration. In this report, we examine the progress of the CWCS implementation scheme in various individual countries (as of December 2012).

Malaysia (Institute of Materials Malaysia: IMM)
In Malaysia, a manpower optimization system (MOS) is already in effect. A total of eight organizations serving as authorized testing centers (ATCs) have entered into contracts with the national oil company, Petronas, in relation to the scheme. Currently, a quality manual for external auditing created by an authorized certification body (ACB) has been submitted and is now being examined by the AWF.

Indonesia (Indonesian Welding Society: IWS)
In addition to implementing training of auditors and evaluators, the IWS is preparing to establish an ACB and ATCs. The next step will be promoting the scheme to companies.

Mongolia (Mongolian Materials Science and Welding Society: MMSWS)
CWCS documentation is being translated into the Mongolian language, and the MMSWS is now ascertaining what Mongolia needs to do while simultaneously forming alliances with other countries. The translation is expected to take one to two years.

Thailand (Thai Welding Society: TWS)
The implementation scheme is being introduce through various meetings with stakeholders. An explanatory meeting regarding the CWCS and MOS with joint participation of the Singapore Welding Society (SWS), TWS, and government officials is planed.

China (Fundamental Industry Training Centre of Tsinghua University, Beijing University of Technology)
China has adopted the International Institute of Welding (IIW) system, so the situation is complex. Although its current skills certification system is different, there is also interest in the CWCS because it offers the promise of lower costs. There is a desire to start the CWCS n a trial basis with small-scale examination centers and training centers.

The Philippines (Philippines Welding Society: PWS)
While the PWS has recently undergone a personnel restructuring, it is also studying the adoption and operation of this scheme. There is a particularly acute need for welders on the island of Mandanao.

Japan (Japan Welding Engineering Society: JWES)
Work has already begun to establish the CWCS within the next two years, if possible. In order to compare and comprehend the differences between the CWCS and Japan’s Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) welding skill examination, which has been used to implement International Organization for Standardization (ISO)9606-1 testing, as well as collect data for implementing ISO9606-1, testing, the certification committees of nine JWES districts conducted their first test trial last year. Within the same fiscal year, a second test trial was conducted. Through these trials, a skills examination is expected to be worked out in detail.

Myanmar (Myanmar Engineering Society: MES)
While the development of welding technology is still immature, there is a large amount of welding-related work ongoing within the country, for example in pipeline laying projects. Currently, the skill level of welders is a problem, so the Ministry of Industry has set up the National Skill Development Authority (NSDA) and has launched a training and certification system for welders. The country has been slow to take up the CWCS initiative, but it is now looking towards creating a plan to promote the CWCS and it is seeking assistance from other countries on the matter.

Singapore (Singapore Welding Society: SWS)
Currently, Singapore has already established examination centers where it conducts welding skill examinations, and the SWS is now looking at the possibility of transitioning welders to the CWCS qualification by means of a transition arrangement (TA). In addition, it is creating a quality manual, and preparing to establish an ACB. It is also encouraging companies to participate in the scheme.

Apart from the CWCS task force, the first meeting of standardization task force was also held at the last Task Force Meeting and General Assembly. The head of the JWES Welding Consumables Division, Tadashi Suzuki, conducted presentations on “establishing common welding standards for AWF members through the introduction of ISO standard” and on “a summary of a welding materials survey in 2012.” In addition, it was officially decided that the task force would be named the “AWF Task Force on Standardization,” with the purpose of providing a forum for jointly holding and managing information on welding-related standards along with the mission of compiling the views of Asia and submitting them to the ISO. Other concrete task force goals include understanding the contents of ISO standards and clarifying any differences between these and the standards of each AWF member country, as well as indentifying issues that may arise when incorporating ISO standards into the domestic standards of each country.

At the next Task Force Meeting and General Assembly (July, 2013), the AWF Task Force in standardization plans to commence the specific examination of ISO 20560:2009 (coated electrodes) and to present reports on the current situation of participating countries with respect to domestic standards for welding materials.

In any case, we can  say that we have taken a solid first step towards fulfilling the AWF mission of (1) establishing and spreading a certification system for welders, welding engineers, welding inspectors, and other welding professionals that is unified and consistent throughout Asia; and (2) towards formulating unified, consistent welding standards throughout Asia that reflect the viewpoints of Asia towards international standards.

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