Pressure welder program and fee consultation
From May 21 through August 23, 2019, Technical Safety BC consulted with industry on the details of the new pressure welder program and associated fees. Over 200 individuals participated in this consultation, representing pressure welders, employers, educators, and test administrators, with many respondents participating more than once. Feedback was received through feedback forms (online survey), emails, phone calls, and online and in-person meetings.
Technical Safety BC has designed a nationally recognized pressure welders certificate of qualification program that will be in effect December 3, 2019. This program, which will also replace the BCP-100, ensures all pressure welders in BC have the capabilities that are required by the relevant codes and standards. The new program assesses a welder’s skills and abilities and allow apprentices to gain pressure welding experience prior to completing their apprenticeship, which will benefit the industry overall by having more available competent and skilled resources in the trade.
The final fees come into effect on January 3, 2020, allowing one month for new pressure welders to apply to the program for no fee. There are no fees for eligible pressure welders already working in the industry to transition into the new Class A certificate. To offset the new fees associated with renewal, Technical Safety BC is eliminating the fee to enter welding performance qualification tests into logbooks, as recognized test administrators will enter tests into logbooks beginning December 3, 2019. A $116 fee ($118 in 2020) still applies for requests to Technical Safety BC for logbook entries for tests performed on or before December 2, 2019.
Applicants can apply for the new pressure welder program on December 3, 2019.
Respondents were generally in favour of the requirements needed for pressure welders who have experience working in BC to apply to transition to a Class A certificate of qualification. 42% of feedback form respondents said that it was reasonable for eligible applicants to hold a welding qualification and have proof of a specific valid pressure welder test. Respondents also commented that most pressure welders currently working in the industry would be eligible for transition, and were also concerned that pressure welders working for ASME shops or other employers who do not use the specific test required in their operations may not be eligible to transition. It was asked to clarify the consequences for pressure welders who do not apply for transition by the December 3, 2020 deadline, and whether welding instructors are eligible for transitioning.
Response: Eligible pressure welders working in BC can apply for transition to a Class A pressure welder certificate of qualification at no cost, provided they meet all requirements, up to December 3, 2020. After December 3, 2020, no further transition applications will be accepted and all pressure welders would need to follow the application process for a new Class A pressure welder certificate of qualification in order to legally pressure weld in BC. Welding instructors can apply for a new certificate if they do not meet the eligibility requirements for transitioning. Technical Safety BC will continue to work with ASME shops to help them transition into the new program.
Recognized test administrators signing logbooks
Respondents were generally in favour of having recognized test administrators sign logbooks for recording welding performance qualification test completion. 68% of feedback form respondents agreed with this change in process. Comments were received that recognized test administrators required training to sign logbooks, and more testing locations are needed to meet the new needs.
Response: Recognized test administrators will be responsible for entering welding performance qualification tests into logbooks. Further guidance will be given on how to complete logbook entries and other duties of recognized test administrators.
Respondents were generally not in favour of the fees associated with the new pressure welder program. 62% of feedback form respondents said that the proposed fees were unreasonable, citing that fees are an additional cost to individual workers, considering the costs already paid through education, and welding performance qualification tests.
Response: The new program allows one month for new pressure welders to apply to the program for no fee, as well as no fees for eligible pressure welders already working in the industry to transition into the new Class A certificate. To offset the new fees associated with renewal, Technical Safety BC is eliminating the $116 fee to enter welding performance qualification tests into logbooks, as recognized test administrators will now be performing this duty starting December 3, 2019.
Respondents commented that renewal tests are additional work, and are redundant because of existing welding performance qualification tests at jobsites and continuity requirements.
Response: The current system has no standardized test for a pressure welder certificate of qualification nor any mandatory requalification requirement and depended solely on the performance qualification tests being entered into the welder’s logbook. The new program creates a centralized record system of all individuals who can do pressure welding work in BC, and maintains a high standard of skill in the trade through the three-year renewal and practical exam.
Interprovincial pressure welders
Respondents commented that standardizing certification and certification tests for renewal across Canada is beneficial.
Response: The new pressure welder certificate of qualification program will be nationally recognized and will replace the BCP-100 which will no longer be offered as of December 3, 2019. Pressure welders who hold a BCP-100 must transition to a class A certification before December 3, 2020.
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