NORTHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - The SGS NDT Training & Examination Centre has successfully passed an audit by The British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT) as is now an Accredited Training Organisation (ATO). This authorises SGS to conduct both Training and Examinations in accordance with BINDT requirements, in China and around the world.

It is an essential and increasing requirement of safety and quality assurance, that engineers and technicians are able to demonstrate the necessary level of knowledge, skill and competence. Non-destructive testing and inspections are primarily operator dependent, this results in manufacturers, end-users and the general public relying on the skill, experience, judgement and integrity of the personnel involved, sometimes on critical inspections of components that the failure of such can have catastrophic effects.

The British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT) is an accredited Independent Certifying Body offering Certification Services around the world. BINDT manages the Personnel Certification of NDT (PCN) certification scheme which meets the requirements of many international standards, including ISO 9712 and EN 473. BINDT manages the certification scheme but outsources the pre-examination training to Accredited Training Organisations (ATOs) and the conduct of PCN examinations to Authorised Qualifying Bodies (AQBs).

BINDT has overall control over the certification process which it operates and enforces a high level standard of the training and examinations.

Both ATOs and AQBs are vigorously audited by BINDT on a continuous basis. An AQB is an establishment providing examinations; an ATO provides the required pre-examination training to be eligible to participate in the PCN examinations. The controlling documentation to become an ATO covers a wide range of requirements, this is not limited only to the NDT training material and necessary resources to conduct the training, but also covers customer focus, health and safety, logistics and the complete administration.

Often, these two services are separate businesses, cooperating with each other to coordinate training and examinations at pre-determined intervals around the world. However, SGS Training & Examination Centre has become the first permanent establishment in China to offer both the ATO and AQB services.

SGS is currently conducting a range of PCN training courses and examinations in Shanghai and around the SE Asia region, in both English and Chinese languages. Although China and the SE Asia region is the primary focus for SGS, they can also offer these services anywhere else around the world where there is a demand. Courses and examinations are available almost on a weekly basis at their premises in Shanghai, or alternatively, on the clients' premises should it be specifically requested.

Examinations are graded by Level 3 SGS examiners who are authorised by PCN; once the examinations have been graded an examination results notice is issued to the candidate, the candidate's sponsor and to BINDT in the UK.

On receipt of a results notice confirming success in the examination(s) attempted, BINDT will issue a PCN certificate, valid for 5 years, directly to the candidate. The SGS NDT Training & Examination Centre has already conducted more than 130 PCN examinations since its opening in July this year.