Welding QMS certification in 10 steps

Darren Donnison - WDC
16/06/2020 - by darren.donnison

In this post, we cover off the ten steps you need to follow to gain welding QMS certification – EN ISO 3834, BS EN 1090 and BS EN 15085.

Quality management systems (QMS) or business management systems (BMS) are well known to companies in the UK and worldwide. Some companies choose their own system like Toyota for example, whilst others may apply a generic QMS like ISO 9001:2015.

Welding and inspection are classed as special processes and often need control from a QMS that is specific to the industry a company operates in. This is where 3834, 1090 and 15085 should be considered and companies should be aware that BS EN 1090 is a construction product regulation, which means it is a legal requirement.

The Welding Development Centre have a generic ten-step guide on how to get there that covers the following key topics:

  1. Be clear on the need for certification
    Is it legal, customer requirements, industry standard or simply a badge of honour!
  2. Assess whether you have the resources and expertise to gain certification
    Do you have Welding Engineers, Responsible Welding Co-Ordinator’s (RWC), NDT inspectors or sub-contractors, Qualified welders or welding operators?
  3. Notify an accreditation body
    TWI CL or RINA are our recommended providers (others are available)
  4. Define the scope of the audit
    Be clear what do you need and why so that your QMS delivers what you actually need it to and scope doesn't creep.
  5. Carry out a gap analysis
    Where do we currently stand? Review welding documentation, procedures, welder qualification, shop floor activities and contact review process.
  6. Book the Audit and complete documentation associated sent by the auditor
  7. Stage 1 audit
    This is a 1 -2-day event where your system, paperwork and associated documents are reviewed
  8. Stage 2 Audit
    This is an assessment as to whether what you say is actually what you do in production. This stage will also include an RWC interview
  9. Certification recommendation
    Agree whether to recommend certification or not. If any major NCR’s are found, the company will have to fix the root cause and close the NCR out. The accreditation provider will come back to audit that action. If you have minor NCR’s, you can be recommended for certification providing the NCR evidence is provided in the agreed time frame. If nothing is found, well done!
  10. Certification time
    Once all the audit evidence is submitted and reviewed you will receive a certificate from the accreditation company. This can take up to 6-12 weeks.

The WDC can help you through this process to ensure both quality delivery and improve likelihood of achieving certification.