Harmonisation of EN473 and ISO 9712 (Rev A)
The worldwide industry has for some years sent strong messages to the ISO and CEN Technical Committees (TC) requesting that harmonisation between the two standards dealing with certification of NDT personnel be undertaken in order, if possible, to provide industry with a unique standard, resulting in a unique system of NDT personnel certification being applied worldwide.
After consultation, the two TC chairmen have decided to initiate such a harmonisation process. The following proposal has been adopted:
  • creation on the ISO and CEN side of relevant groups (namely ISO/TC 135/SC 7/WG 3 and CEN/TC 138/AHG 9) in order to study the differences between the two standards and make proposals for a unique text.
  • “common” meetings of these two groups for this study (two meetings have already been held - in September 2009 in Madrid, and in September 2010 in Vienna).
These two meetings have resulted in the drafting of a proposal for a common EN ISO standard, which would be named EN ISO 9712 if the application of the Vienna agreement is approved (see below).
Both TCs have formally agreed that any further work on this document should be done jointly by the above ISO and CEN relevant groups in order to ensure that a full consensus is achieved and that all opinions are considered.
 
An enquiry has been launched on the ISO side for adoption of a NWI for revision of the standard ISO 9712. This enquiry finished on 29 September 2010, and it showed that some countries agree to go directly to the DIS stage, while other countries would prefer to go to the CD stage. Consequently the following process has been agreed:
  • On the ISO side: launching of the CD enquiry on the basis of the document prepared by the two groups (see above)
  • On the EN side: launching of a NWIP enquiry for revision of EN 473, with proposal of application of the Vienna agreement with ISO lead. This enquiry will be done simultaneously with the ISO CD enquiry.
Taking into account the amount of effort already invested in the preparation of the proposed document, the TC chairmen strongly recommend that comments (both editorial and technical) be avoided at the stage of the above enquiries, and be kept for the next stage which will be the parallel vote as ISO/DIS and CEN enquiry. If comments are made at the ISO CD stage or at the CEN NWIP stage, they will have to be dealt with before any further stage, thus delaying the entire process by several months without bringing additional value to the harmonisation effort.
 
Editorial and technical comment can be made at the next stage (DIS/CEN enquiry) and will be considered in the appropriate way during a joint meeting of ISO/TC135/SC7/WG3 and CEN/TC138/AHG9. This will definitely ensure that the opinions expressed by any member of the one or the other organization are considered cautiously and that the final document will represent the best achievable consensus.
 
The recommendation by the TC chairmen is as follows:
  • For the ISO CD enquiry, agree to process the document to the DIS stage without making comments
  • For the CEN NWIP enquiry, agree on the revision of EN 473, with application of the Vienna agreement under ISO lead, and agree to progress the document to the CEN enquiry stage without making comments.
If there are no comments at the ISO CD enquiry and the CEN NWIP enquiry, then the parallel vote (CEN enquiry and ISO DIS enquiry – which, if positive, would result in the issue of a Draft International Standard) could then be launched shortly after the closure of these enquiries, and the next meeting of the joint WG (composed of CEN/TC 138/AHG9, ISO/TC 135/WG3 and ISO/TC 135/SC7/WG2) intending to discuss the comments to the parallel vote could be held in Cancun (Mexico) at the beginning of October 2011 (in conjunction with the Pan-American NDT Conference). Otherwise the comments will have to be discussed, and consequently the schedule will be delayed by several months.
 
It is vital that all concerned fully understand the importance of the process for the benefit of our industry and NDT community, and to support the common goal of moving quickly to the DIS stage, when we can then carefully study the DIS EN ISO 9712 and compile comments and proposals for amendment of the draft at the national level, submitting these through our respective standards organisation to the Joint WG.
 
Given that there are no (or insignificant) comments are received from the ISO CD enquiry and the CEN NWIP enquiry, it is expected that the DIS EN ISO 9712 would be released for its five month enquiry during February or March (concluding July 2011), and it is proposed that BSI Panel, WEE/46/-/4 (steering committee on NDT personnel certification), be tasked with reviewing any UK comments submitted to BSI during the period March to June 2011. It is envisaged that the first meeting of WEE/46/-/4 could be held during June or early July, and the meeting would most likely be hosted by BINDT in Northampton, UK. At this stage we are seeking expressions of interest from individuals that would like to participate in this process as a member of BSI Panel WEE/46/-/4. Please send your positive response to Sarah Meagher.

John Thompson
Director, International Affairs, BINDT
Member, ISO TC135 SC7 WG3
Member, CEN TC138 AHG9