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Throughout the life of IIW, the scope of its
technical programme has been continually
expanded to include new technologies. Such
have included more recently, the joining of
plastics and composites, the capabilities
of computers in design, process control,
inspection and information handling, weld-
ing in a variety of environments and under
remote control, new concerns for the health
and safety of those working in industr y and
the education, training, qualification and
cer tification of personnel and companies.
International Authorisation Board (IAB)
An impor tant innovation of the IIW was the
formal establishment in 1999 of an inter-
national programme for the qualification of
personnel involved in welding operations.
Through the IAB, this scheme allows the IIW
Authorised National Bodies (ANBs) in mem-
ber countries to deliver, under the control of
the IIW, Diplomas of International Welding
Engineers (IWE), Technologists (IWT), Spe-
cialists (IWS), Practitioners (IWP), Inspec-
tors (IWI) and Welders, amongst others. The
Diploma holders for IWE, IWT and IWS are de
facto recognised as able to be Responsible
Welding Coordinators according to the ISO
Standard ISO 14731 “Welding coordination;
Tasks and responsibilities”.
Thir ty-five IIW members actively par ticipate
in the IAB and through their ANBs, over
30,000 IIW Diplomas have been issued
since the programmes star ted in 2000.
The Instituto de Soldadura e Qualidade in
Por tugal provides the Secretariat for the IAB
and its two working groups, A: ”Education,
Training & Qualification” and B: “Implemen-
tation & Authorisation”.
With the ever-growing global use of the
ISO 3834 “Quality requirements for fu-
sion welding of metallic materials” and ISO
14731 “Welding coordination – Tasks and
responsibilities” standards, more and more
countries are using the IIW International
Programmes.
Since Januar y 2008, IIW through the IAB,
has also introduced programmes for the
cer tification of personnel and cer tification
of companies to ISO 3834.
National Delegations
People can be appointed to be members of
their national delegation. The appointment
process varies from one countr y to another
but generally the main criteria are:
• to be known by the relevant national au-
thority responsible for the appointment of
the countr y’s delegation;
• to be an exper t in a subject dealt with by
an IIW Commission or other Working or
Administrative Unit;
• to have the motivation and energy to par-
ticipate in the co-operative work of the unit
which may meet not only at the Annual
Assembly, but more frequently in order
to maintain progress (often in Paris in
Januar y each year);
• to have an interest in working with peo-
ple of other nationalities whose basic as-
sumptions and habits of thought may well
be quite unfamiliar.
For those committed to co-operation, there
are many oppor tunities to contribute to, and
learn of, work which will be valuable to them
professionally and to their employers, to
make the acquaintance of fellow exper ts
from other countries, to gain, through per-
sonal contacts and technical documents,
advance knowledge of impending develop-
ments and, in some cases, to influence the
content of international welding standards.
Some Achievements of IIW
Technical Management Board
The groups of exper ts in the Technical Com-
missions and other units under the Techni-
cal Management Board have achieved many
outputs useful to industr y, both nationally
and globally:
a) Technical Papers
Each year about 400 papers emanate from
the IIW working units of which about 60 are
published in the IIW journal “Welding in the
World “. A plan of action has been developed
in order to meet the requirements of the
Science Citation Index which includes the
implementation of a peer review procedure
for the research papers and IIW Database.
In addition, a total of some 100 books deal-
ing with recommended practices or the re-
sults of international enquiries have been
published mainly in two or more languages.
b) Terms and IIW Database
IIW has compiled a number of works of
reference such as the Multilingual Collec-
tion of Terms for Welding and Allied Proc-
esses (9 volumes mostly containing 16 or
more languages), the International Weld-
ing Thesaurus developed over 30 years in
conjunction with the TWI bibliographic da-
tabase Weldasearch, the Index of Welding
Standards and a collection of radiographs
illustrating weld defects. More recently the
IIW Database, referencing all IIW technical
documents since 1950, has been made
available online through the IIW website. All
these works were approved for publication
by international groups of exper ts and so
are authoritative. IIW’s vir tual librar y con-
stitutes one of the world’s largest online
sources of welding information available
today. IIW Members can consult and share
technical documents, white papers, publi-
cations and ar ticles through a database of
around 15,000 documents, of which more
than 4,300 may be downloaded from the IIW
web site http//www.iiwiis. org. Bibliographic
reference to documents can be searched by
all visitors to the website, and hard copies
acquired through the IIW Secretariat.
c) ISO Suppor t
With regard to the objective of formulat-
ing international standards, the working
units of the IIW have supplied the techni-
cal basis of the great majority of welding
standards issued by the ISO over the past
35 years. Members of these working units
and their employers have therefore had a
major influence over the content of such
standards. Since 1989 the IIW has been
authorised by ISO to prepare the final texts
of international welding standards as an
international standardising organisation.
This work is coordinated by the standardi-
sation staf f within the IIW Secretariat and
an increasing number of ISO Technical Re-
por ts are being produced.
d) Promotion of National Industr y,
IIW has also been successful in promoting
the organisation of national welding associa-
tions. Such associations have been formed
with a view to their becoming members of
IIW, thus enabling exper ts from their respec-
tive countries to par ticipate in IIW activi-
ties. The IIW has taken steps to increase
the promotion of membership in develop-
ing countries and economies in transition,
which could benefit greatly from the collec-
tive knowledge of the IIW in many areas, in
par ticular welding education and training,
appropriate welding science, technology
and practice, and the health and safety of
welding personnel. Before becoming full
members, countries can join as Associate
Members.
e) Annual Assemblies
IIW Annual Assemblies have been taking
place since 1948 and take place on the
invitation of one or other of the member
countries and last for a week. Three days
are normally devoted to parallel sessions of
the Commissions and other working units.
In addition, two days are normally devoted
to an international Conference on a speci-
fied theme. The papers presented at this