The Answer Is

The Answer Is
November 2023

Q: Your last article stirred up a firestorm at our facility. We need to know whether or not our Level III can fulfill the requirements of NAVSEA standards with regards to training, qualifying, and certifying our nondestructive examination (NDE) personnel; providing welder workmanship training and written examinations; developing NDE procedures; and signing documents that require approval by an Examiner.

A: I’ll respond to your inquiry the best I can. I’m not holding myself as an expert, so I preface my response with the disclaimer that you should check with your customer to verify exactly what they are looking for because you may be working with a contract that was signed many years ago that invoked military standards or NAVSEA standards that were enforced at the time. If your procedures (i.e., your written practice, welding procedure specifications, nondestructive examination [NDE] procedures, and more) were approved, they are valid until the contract is fulfilled or completed. Should the customer issue a new contract for the same or similar product, the purchase order may invoke more recent NAVSEA standards and additional requirements that differ from the previous contract.

To respond to your concerns with regards to the Level III currently providing services to your employer, I will clarify the requirements using my words and not exact quotes. The statements I make are based on my understanding of the standards.

Currently, NAVSEA T9074-AS-GIB-010/271, Requirements for Nondestructive Testing Methods, Rev 1, applies to new and recent contracts. It is moving toward the terms NDT Operator, Inspector, and Examiner to differentiate between personnel qualified and certified in accordance with the requirements issued in September 2014 and NDE personnel qualified and certified in accordance with ASNT SNT-TC-1A, Personnel Qualification and Certification in Nondestructive Testing, or ASNT’s Central Certification Program (ACCP). Let’s say the terminology is in transition.

The initial certification and recertification of the NDE-qualified person must be performed by an Examiner. NAVSEA T9074-AS-GIB-010/271, Rev 1, does state that the NDT Operator is equivalent to the Level I, the Inspector is equivalent to the Level II, and the Examiner is equivalent to the Level III. However, there are differences for an NDE-qualified person performing NDE in accordance with NAVSEA T9074-AS-GIB-010/271, Rev 1, or ASNT’s SNT-TC-1A and ACCP. The written practice developed by the activity (contractor) must incorporate the modifications included in Rev 1. Those modifications stipulate that the recommendations regarding training, hours of relevant experience, etc. are considered minimum requirements. Another requirement is the questions for the examinations be based on standards that are applicable to the work performed for the Navy (i.e., NAVSEA and United States Military Standards [MIL-STDs]). In many cases, the fabrication documents would include NAVSEA technical publication S9074-AQ-GIB-010/248, Requirements for Welding and Brazing Procedure and Performance Qualification; T9074-AS-GIB-010/271; S9074-AR-GIB-010/278, Requirements for Fabrication Welding and Inspection, and Casting Inspection and Repair for Machinery, Piping, and Pressure Vessels; MIL-STD-22D, Department of Defense Design Criteria: Welded Joint Design; and MIL-STD-2035A, Department of Defense Test Method: Nondestructive Testing Acceptance Criteria. Projects that involve building hull sections would need to include questions on NAVSEA T9074-AD-GIB-010/1688, Requirements for Fabrication, Welding, and Inspection of Submarine Structure, or MIL-STD-1689A, Department of Defense Manufacturing Process Standard: Fabrication, Welding, and Inspection of Ships Structure. These requirements are not invoked when the candidate is qualifying to SNT-TC-1A or ACCP.

Another requirement of NAVSEA T9074-AS-GIB-010/271 is that the certified individual must be recertified by examinations that are of equal difficulty as the initial examinations. NDT Operators and Inspectors must be recertified every three years, and the NDT Examiner must be recertified every five years. NDE personnel certified to SNT-TC-1A:2020 can be recertified at five-year intervals by their employer through continued satisfactory performance or by taking one or more examinations as deemed appropriate by the Level III.

The bottom line is that an individual qualified and certified to SNT-TC-1A (without the inclusion of the modifications required by NAVSEA T9074-AS-GIB-010/271) or ACCP is not qualified to NAVSEA requirements. The Level III qualified to SNT-TC-1A or ACCP is not qualified to approve or sign for the welder workmanship training or NDE procedures or qualify and certify NDE personnel if NAVSEA T9074-AS-GIB-010/271, Rev 1, is invoked by the customer. Only an NDT Examiner who has been qualified by another NDT Examiner can qualify or certify NDE personnel. The Examiner must be qualified and certified for the NDE method before qualifying and certifying another individual for that NDE method

The Society is not responsible for any statements made or opinions expressed herein. Data and information developed by the authors are for specific informational purposes only and are not intended for use without independent, substantiating investigation on the part of potential users.

ALBERT J. MOORE JR. ( is president and owner of NAVSEA Solutions/Marion Testing & Inspection, Burlington, Conn. He is an AWS Senior Certified Welding Inspector, an NDT Examiner per NAVSEA TP271, and an ASNT SNT-TC-1 Level III. He is also a member of the AWS Qualification & Certification Committee and the B1 Committee on Methods of Inspection.