Welder Qualification Experts

Welder Qualification Experts

Accredited Test Facilities (ATFs) play an integral part in the operation of the AWS Certified Welder (CW) program. The AWS Accredited Test Facility (ATF) program establishes minimum requirements that a facility, its personnel, and equipment must meet to be able to test and qualify welders for AWS CW certification. This program is open to all qualified locations that may be a part of an independent laboratory, manufacturing plant, educational institution, or other entity.

Step 1

Select an Accreditation Option
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Initial Accreditation

  • Application Submission
  • Quality Manual Review
  • On-Site Audit
  • Documents
  • Custom Program
  • Pricing
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Accreditation Renewal

  • First- and Second-Year Renewals
  • Application Submission
  • Self-Audit Review
  • Documents
  • Custom Programs
  • Pricing
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Accreditation Recertification

  • Third-Year Reaccreditation
  • Application Submission
  • Quality Manual Review
  • On-Site Audit
  • Documents
  • Custom Programs
  • Pricing
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step 2

Accreditation Details

  • Requirements
  • Process
  • Documents
  • Custom Programs
  • Pricing

The AWS Accredited Test Facility (ATF) program requires that a facility implement a quality assurance program that meets the requirements established in the AWS QC4-89, Standard for the Accreditation of Testing Facilities. The requirements include that the facility have a Quality Manual that controls the activities related to the testing of welders in the facility according to AWS QC7, Standard for AWS Certified Welders.

Not familiar with the AWS Certified Welder program? Learn more by clicking here.

NOTE: The facility must also have a CWI on staff or contracted to perform the welder qualification tests: This individual cannot be the same person who has trained the applicant.

Steps To Accreditation

Step 1: Submitting your application package:

To apply, submit the following 5 items:

  1. Your completed ATF Application
  2. One uncontrolled copy of your facility's Quality Manual with supporting documents
  3. Quality Manual checklist*
  4. On-Site Audit checklist*
  5. Application Fee or P.O. Request

Email your documents to accreditation@aws.org

* IMPORTANT: Make sure to carefully review all requirements printed on the checklists. They include more detailed information on what is required for your audit.

If paying fees by check please mail to:

American Welding Society
Attn: Certification Department
8669 NW 36 Street, # 130
Miami, Florida 33166-6672

Step 2: Preliminary Review of Quality Manual:

The Accreditation Department will conduct a preliminary review of the application, Quality Manual, and checklists. AWS will then schedule an on-site audit of your facility by a third-party auditor. Once the audit is completed, your facility will receive notification of results, including any deficiencies requiring corrective action. A final invoice will be sent to your facility for any auditor travel expenses.

Step 3: Receiving your Approved ATF Certificate

If your audit results are satisfactory, your facility will be issued a Certificate of Conformance. This now allows your facility to operate in accordance with the AWS QC4-89, Standard for Accreditation of Test Facilities for the AWS Certified Welder Program.

Audit

Following review of your application, AWS will schedule an audit with approved candidates. When the auditor arrives, an opening meeting with key personnel from your business will be held to discuss your work objectives as a CWF Facility. The auditor will then review your Quality Manual and inspect your shop. With the Audit Checklist filled out, the auditor will then hold a closing meeting where they provide a pass, fail, or pending status. In the event of a pending status, applicants will have one calendar month to fix any auditor-identified shortcomings, after which a follow-up inspection will take place to determine whether certification can be awarded.

Certification/Accreditation

Meeting all specifications and passing the audit, a unique-number certificate will be issued. The certificate will contain an expiration date and reference the welding code(s) or specification(s) that state that the applicant has met the AWS certification requirements.

Renewal and Recertification

After a year from the certificate expiration date, a self-audit Renewal Application will be needed. A Renewal Application will also be needed on the second year. Three years from the date of initial certification, your facility will require recertification. To obtain the third-year on-site audit that determines your renewal status, you’ll need to ensure your company’s address remains current with the AWS certification department and have your audit application postmarked at least three months prior to your initial certificate’s expiration date.

For larger organizations that have a number of testing facilities, AWS can work with you to create a custom ATF program that takes into account your organization’s specific needs and requirements. AWS currently supports the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers; the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association; and Intertek Moody International with these custom programs.

If you would like more information on the availability and requirements of custom programs, please contact AWS at accreditation@aws.org.

Step 2

Accreditation Renewal Details

  • Requirements
  • Process
  • Documents
  • Custom Programs
  • Price
The ATF program requires that the facility conduct a self-audit of the quality system in order to renew the ATF accreditation for the 1st and 2nd year following an on-site audit. Once the self-audit has been carried out, the steps described on the "Process" tab will need to be completed.

Once the self-audit has been carried out, the following steps will need to be completed:

Step 1: Complete and submit the following documents to AWS:

    1. ATF 1st and 2nd Year Renewal Application
    2. Any portions of the Quality Manual and supporting documents that have changed since the last audit (on-site or 1st year self-audit).
    3. Quality Manual checklist*
    4. On-Site Audit checklist*
    5. Application Fee or P.O. Request

    *IMPORTANT: Make sure you carefully review all requirements printed on the checklists when conducting the self-audit. They contain more detailed information on what is required for your Quality Manual.

    Mail these completed documents to:

    American Welding Society
    Attn: Certification Department
    8669 NW 36 Street, # 130
    Miami, Florida 33166-6672

Step 2: Following a satisfactory review of the facility’s application:

Checklist and Quality Manual, an invoice for the applicable fees will be issued to the facility. View current program fees under Prices.

Step 3: Program fees, along with a copy of the invoice must be mailed to:

    American Welding Society
    Attn: Certification Department
    8669 NW 36 Street, # 130
    Miami, Florida 33166-6672

Step 4: Once the program fees have been received:

    AWS will mail a new ATF Certificate of Conformance to your facility representative. The certificate allows your facility to operate in accordance with the AWS QC4-89, Standard for Accreditation of Test Facilities for the AWS Certified Welder Program.

For larger organizations that have a number of testing facilities, AWS can work with you to create a custom ATF program that takes into account your organization’s specific needs and requirements. AWS currently supports the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers; the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association; and Intertek Moody International with these custom programs.

If you would like more information on the availability and requirements of custom programs, please contact AWS at accreditation@aws.org.

Step 2

Accreditation Recertification Details

  • Requirements
  • Process
  • Documents
  • Custom Programs
  • Price
In the 3rd year of continuous accreditation, the ATF program requires that the facility undergo an on-site audit in order to be re-accredited. The steps described on the "Process" tab will need to be completed.

The following steps will need to be completed:

Step 1: Complete the following documents:

  • ATF 3rd Year On-Site Audit Application
  • One uncontrolled copy of your facility's Quality Manual and supporting documents
  • Quality Manual checklist*
  • On-Site Audit checklist*
  • Application Fee or P.O. Request

    *IMPORTANT: Make sure you carefully review all requirements printed on the checklists. They contain more detailed information on what is required for your audit.

    Mail these completed documents to:

    American Welding Society
    Attn: AWS Certification Department
    8669 NW 36 Street, # 130
    Miami, Florida 33166-6672

Step 2: Facility's Application:

Following a satisfactory review of the facility’s application, checklist and Quality Manual, an invoice for the applicable fees will be issued to the facility. View current program fees above under Prices.

Step 2: ATF program fees, along with a copy of the invoice must be mailed to:

American Welding Society
Attn: Certification Department
8669 NW 36 Street, # 130
Miami, Florida 33166-6672

Step 3: Once the program fees have been received:

  • AWS will schedule an onsite audit of your facility by a third-party auditor.  
  • Once the audit is completed, your facility will receive notification of results, including any deficiencies requiring corrective action. A final invoice will be issued to the facility for the auditor’s travel expenses.  
  • Step 4: If your audit results are satisfactory:

  • Certificate of Conformance will be issued. The certificate now allows your facility to operate in accordance with the AWS QC4-89, Standard for Accreditation of Test Facilities for the AWS Certified Welder Program.
  • For larger organizations that have a number of testing facilities, AWS can work with you to create a custom ATF program that takes into account your organization’s specific needs and requirements. AWS currently supports the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers; the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association; and Intertek Moody International with these custom programs.

    If you would like more information on the availability and requirements of custom programs, please contact AWS at accreditation@aws.org.