WPS/PQR Explained


Welding procedure specifications (WPS) allow welders to consistently produce welds that meet desired requirements without any rework. However, the nature and use of a WPS, and its supporting procedure qualification record (PQR), are commonly misunderstood. This online course provides a comprehensive overview of these documents in an engaging and easy-to-understand multimedia format. Topics include: the format and function of a WPS and a PQR; the different types of WPSs; essential and nonessential variables for arc welding, oxyfuel welding, resistance welding, and brazing procedure specifications; the procedure qualification process; the information included on a PQR; and common nondestructive and destructive tests.


At a Glance



Member: $135
Non-member: $180
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Materials Access

Course: 30 days
Exam: 10 more days


Length & PDH / CEU

Approximately 4 hours
4 PDHs / 0.4 CEUs

Course Details

  • Who Should Take This Course
  • Prerequisites
  • Objectives
  • Student Learning Outcomes
  • Course Modules
  • Welding professionals seeking to better understand WPSs, PQRs, WQTRs, and other important documents
  • Welding professionals seeking to become welding inspectors
    • This student body may encompass many positions, including:
      • Welders
      • Welding Inspectors
      • Welding Supervisors

No previous knowledge is required. This course presents WPSs. PQRs, and related documents in clear, easy-to-understand language and easily digestible chunks of information. We will start at the beginning, explain every term and topic, and provide practice questions to ensure learners understand the material. However, students with no welding background whatsoever may benefit from gaining a general understanding of basic welding processes and welding terminology. This prerequisite knowledge can be obtained by: 

  • Taking the AWS Welding Fundamentals I online course 
  • Obtaining and reading a copy of AWS A3.0 Standard Terms and Definitions 

This course teaches students:

  • What welding procedure specifications (WPSs) and procedure qualification records (PQRs) are and how they are used in the welding industry
  • Essential variables commonly listed on WPSs and PQRs for arc welding, oxyfuel welding, resistance welding, and brazing
  • How to read and understand a WPS and PQR

Upon completion of WPS/PQR explained, students will be able to:

  • Explain the function and importance of a WPS
  • Explain the function and importance of a PQR
  • Identify different types of WPS
  • Differentiate between essential and nonessential variables
  • Read and comprehend the information commonly found on WPSs and PQRs
  • Module 1 – Introduction to WPS’s & PQR’s
  • Module 2 – How to Read a WPS, Pt. 1
  • Module 3 – How to Read a WPS, Pt. 2
  • Module 4 – Procedure Specifications for Oxyfuel Welding, Resistance Welding, and Brazing
  • Module 5 – PQR’s and Qualification Tests 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much do I need to know before taking this course?

    To get the most out of this course, it is helpful to understand the basic principles of welding, including terminology, joint design, electrical characteristics, discontinuities, and safety. These topics are covered in the AWS online course, Welding Fundamentals I.

  • Who should take this course?

    This course is designed for anyone who wants to familiarize themselves with the format, function, and use of a WPS and a PQR. This course is ideal for students and established welders who want to learn or reacquaint themselves with these vital documents. The course is also perfect for contractors, supervisors, quality assurance personnel, and other persons that deal with procedure specifications.

  • How long do I have to complete this course?

    Participants have access to the course content 24 hours a day for a period of 30 days from the date of registration. After this 30-day period, participants will have an additional 10 days to pass the completion exam. The exam can be activated before the end of the 30-day period if the participant has completed all the modules.

  • Does this course include a completion exam?

    Yes. Upon completion of the final course module, participants are prompted to take an exam designed to evaluate their comprehension of the subject matter. The completion exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within a 90 minute period. Participants who do not attain the 75% passing score may attempt to retake the exam a second time. Participants who attain a score of 75% or more on the completion exam earn an AWS Certificate of Completion and 4 Professional Development Hours (PDHs). The AWS Certificate of Completion can be downloaded and printed directly from the webpage.

  • Do I need to purchase any other materials?

    No. All the materials and resources necessary to complete the course objectives are included.

  • Do I receive Professional Development Hours (PDHs) for completing this course?

    Yes. Participants that receive a score of 75% or above on the Completion Exam will receive an AWS Certificate of Completion and 4 Professional Development Hours (PDHs).

  • Can I use these Professional Development Hours (PDHs) for recertification?

    Yes. Professional Development Hours (PDHs) earned through AWS online courses can be applied towards recertification provided the PDH’s are earned during the certification period.

  • Do I receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for completing this course?

    Yes. Participants that receive a score of 75% or above on the Completion Exam will receive an AWS Certificate of Completion and 0.4 IACET Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

    Learn More

  • Can I use these Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for recertification?

    Yes. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) earned through AWS online courses can be applied towards recertification provided the CEUs are earned during the certification period.

    Learn More

  • Will this course help prepare me for the Certified Welding Inspector Exam?

    Yes. The Certified Welding Inspector Practical Exam (Part A) contains questions concerning the topics covered in this seminar. This course is designed to help prepare participants for this section of the exam.

  • What platforms and devices can I use to view AWS Learning online courses?

    You must be connected to the internet to access AWS online courses. AWS supports the most recent versions of Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. Courses can be viewed on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Note, however, that a fast internet connection and a large screen offer better user experiences.





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