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(namely for the welder level) with the EQF, the
European Qualification Framework Guidelines
regarding the ECVET, European Credit for
Vocational Education and Training.
4. Longer Term Challenges
The transfer of most of the qualification and
cer tification schemes from EWF to IIW has
prompted EWF to review and revise its whole
strategy. This review began in 2007 with the
organisation of four regional strategy consul-
tation group meetings designed to seek the
views of all the members of EWF. This was
an extremely wor thwhile process: the vast
majority of members par ticipated actively
and there was an overwhelmingly optimistic
view about the future of EWF.
In January 2008, the EWF General Assembly
approved new Mission and Vision statements
to capture the spirit of optimism and enthu-
siasm that had emerged from the strategy
consultation meetings:
To provide world class, European focused,
value added products and suppor t services
to its members and their communities in the
field of joining, welding and related technolo-
gies * on an international basis.
To be an essential global network in the field
of joining, welding, cutting and related tech-
nologies*, indispensible to members in the
achievement of their strategic objectives
*cutting, sur face treatment, mechanical fas-
tening, adhesive bonding
The hundreds of ideas, that were identified
in the strategy consultation meetings as war-
ranting fur ther attention, were divided into
six subject groups and a ‘Champion’ was
appointed to lead each group:
Each Champion produced an action plan for
their subject area and these were discussed
fur ther and finalised during 2008. Implemen-
tation of the plans will also star ted during
2008 and will continue during 2009.
It is clear that there is much that EWF can do
to add value to its members and significant
progress has been made in realigning its
activities in order to take EWF forward.
5 Conclusions
Welding and joining technologies are key to
a signification propor tion of Europe’s manu-
facturing output.
Welding is a special process that requires
careful attention and control in order to avoid
problems such as failures and overspends.
Control of welding can only be properly exer-
cised through the implementation of special
measures before, during and after produc-
tion, and through the competence of the peo-
ple involved. Adoption of an ISO 9001 system
alone will not necessarily achieve this.
European standards, in some cases backed
by EU Directives; International standards;
and client specifications are placing increas-
ing emphasis on the proper control of welding
and on the competence of welding personnel.
EN ISO 3834 for companies and EN ISO
14731 for people provide a basis for proper
control of welding. Many product standards
and client specifications require compliance
with these two standards.
The harmonised international EWF/IIW train-
ing, qualification and cer tification systems
described in this paper provide manufactur-
ing companies world-wide and their workforce
with a convenient, comprehensive and con-
vincing way of demonstrating compliance
with EN ISO 3834 and EN ISO 14731. These
systems have achieved considerable maturity
and recognition, and are being continuously
To companies that make products by welding
it is recommended to:
i) Consider the global market place.
ii) Get people trained, qualified and cer tified
for maximum competence and recogni-
For a company using welding of metals/
plastics or other processes like thermal
spraying/ or adhesive bonding, the way to
assure the quality of the work is by train-
ing, qualifying and cer tifying its personnel
through the EWF/IIW System.
Figure 10. EWF Manufacturers Cer tification System, Cer tificates data.
Bodt, NE