The Responsible Welding Coordinator requirement – Meeting the needs
UKCA Logo or CE Mark under the Construction Products Regulations (CPR) and EN 1090 are legal requirements. The regulations for structural steel and aluminium became mandatory for products sold on the EU construction market as of July 2014. The regulations stipulate that companies manufacturing or supplying structural steel and aluminium must meet certain requirements. Those include, having an operational and documented welding quality management system and Factory Production in place. Consequently, they will need to employ or have access to a ‘Responsible Welding Coordinator’ or RWC. The role of the RWC is to control and supervise all welding activities. This is to ensure that aluminium and steel structures meet the appropriate levels of mechanical resistance, stability, serviceability and durability, and overall, safety.
The availability of a suitable trained RWCs is a significant hurdle for many Steel fabricators. All companies in this industry need to comply with the CE Marking or UKCA Logo. Unfortunately, there are still not enough people who have the qualification required to become an RWC. There is a training and qualification path to the RWC in place. To date, insufficient courses operate to satisfy the need across the industry.
The Responsible Welding Coordinator Course situation
- IWE (International Welding Engineer) or IWT (International Welding Technician) are the gold standard to fulfil the RWC requirements. This qualification standard meets the requirement for Execution Class 3 and 4. However, there are very few IWE or IWTs available.
- The shortage of IWE or IWT has led to the use of this class of qualification for external consultants. However. once again, there are few such consultants. So, this has led to a lack of continuity because the RWC’s are not available. In addition, consultant IWE and IWT can be expensive. Obviously, unsatisfied demand leads to agencies imposing high charges for consultants. Furthermore, the external RWCs must monitor ongoing operations. The higher level of monitoring involved increases onsite presence and, also, associated costs. At that same time that will add to the scarcity of available cover for work in progress.
- RWC Courses for Execution Class 2 have been created. They are normally a 2 day theory course. There is also an additional 1 day assessment on-site of the RWC’s application of the RWC role and responsibilities. Initially, the courses were set-up under certain Trade Bodies. For Fabricators, who are not Members of these Trade Bodies, this was a problem. However there are a few open or public courses, which are approved by at least one Notified Body.
Clearly, the lack of RWC’s is not a situation that will be easy to resolve, at least not in the short-term.
Responsible Welding Coordinator Course ensures candidate commitment
Training for any profession involves significant commitment. Candidates for the Responsible Welding Coordinator courses are no different. Appropriate candidates will have already gained significant achievement levels in their practical early career. Thus, they should bring considerable experience to the next stage. Candidates need all their experience to ensure that the appropriate standards are met for the technical and management requirements. So, competency is the key test. However, commitment is a key requirement.
A competent Responsible Welding Coordinator is a requirement of the UKCA Logo & CE Mark regulations covering ‘Steel Structures’ and meeting the Haronised Standard BS EN 1090. So, training must cover all the applicable quality and technical requirements for structural steel and aluminium welding. Courses that provide effective teaching at this level qualify candidates to work in companies in the UKCA Logo & CE Marking scheme.
Course content challenges candidates
The course provides a significant challenge to candidates. Necessarily, the scope is wide enough to encompass all industry situations. Consequently, the idea is to develop candidate knowledge to ensure they can supervise Structural Steel and Aluminium welding and jointing across all types of work situations in their Company.
The courses should deliver the essentials to meet the requirements of standards where structural welding apply. The duties covered by an RWC carry a wide range of responsibilities. As a result, candidates following the course will cover materials including…
- The fundamentals of welding.
- Welding processes, including planning, workflow and inspection.
- Welding standards.
- Procedures (including reading and writing quality and safety documentation).
- Writing/Reviewing welding procedure specifications. (WPS)
- Equipment condition.
- Production planning.
- Purchasing and supply as well as materials and consumables storage.
- Use of identification marks and traceability.
- Knowledge of the correct acceptance/rejection criteria.
- Coordination of welding operations.
- Review of subcontractors where used.
- Welder and welding operator qualifications .
- Welding inspection and testing at all stages in the production process.
Candidate assessment during training uses a range of assessment techniques. Depending on the course they pick, candidates can proceed through self-study, structured teaching or supervised learning. So, the course can be practically taken by a candidates in a wide range of industry positions.
CHARTER4 offers help to companies
At CHARTER4 we have many years’ experience advising companies on international standards. The shortage of qualified staff for the Responsible Welding Coordinator position raises an issue. Critically, the need to maintain a qualified personnel base for all standards requires attention to training and training management.
Companies face a range of issues to meet operational and training standards. At CHARTER4 we understand those problems and have helped many companies deal with them. Therefore, we can help you to meet the needs of your management system and also, positively support your operations. In fact, in all aspects of our work we look to add value to your company. So, we help you make a return on your investment in management systems. Furthermore, we aim to “improve your business, rather than just comply” to a standard. This unique approach has helped our clients to get direct benefits from their management system.
We can also help you to better organise your training needs, or, to improve your management process overall. It is our business to help you improve your business. If you would like to know more, please click one of the buttons below.
Certification with Charter 4 – the Business Benefits
- Improve, rather than just comply.
- Full service and ongoing support to compliment your resources.
- Build on your Processes & Systems (no standard templates).
- Help defining your Best Practice.
- Certification by independent UKAS accredited Assessors.
- 100% Success & guaranteed support until Certification.
- Help to get Government Grant (when available).
- Flexible support to complement your resources.
CHARTER4 – Partners you with the experience and insight to help you grow using management Standards. We will help you improve your business, rather than just comply with the Standards.