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ISO 9712:2021 Non-Destructive Testing

ISO 9712:2021 Non-destructive testing

What is ISO 9712:2021 Non-Destructive Testing – Qualification and Certification of NDT Personnel?

ISO 9712:2021 Non-Destructive Testing pertains to the qualification and certification of personnel involved in non-destructive testing (NDT). Non-destructive testing is a suite of techniques used to evaluate the integrity of materials, components, or systems without causing damage to them. The standard outlines the criteria for the qualification and certification of these NDT professionals to ensure they meet internationally recognized levels of competence.

Key Aspects of ISO 9712:2021:

  • Scope: The standard applies to the NDT personnel who are responsible for executing, managing, or supervising tests in accordance with established procedures.
  • Qualification Levels: ISO 9712:2021 defines multiple levels of certification (e.g., Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3), each with its own scope, responsibilities, and competencies. These levels correspond to the complexity of tasks and the decision-making responsibilities vested in the NDT personnel.
  • Training and Examination: The standard specifies the minimum training hours and content as well as the examination processes for certification. Examinations typically cover both theoretical knowledge and practical skills, and they may be administered by authorized bodies.
  • Certification Body Requirements: The certification bodies that issue these certifications must meet certain criteria for impartiality, confidentiality, and management of the certification processes. This helps ensure that the certification process is rigorous and universally accepted.
  • Renewal and Recertification: Certification under ISO 9712:2021 is generally not for a lifetime. The personnel must undergo periodic re-evaluations and, in some cases, recertification to demonstrate continued competency.
  • Recognition and Transferability: One of the benefits of ISO 9712:2021 is its international recognition. This can facilitate the international mobility of certified personnel, as well as the mutual recognition of certification among different countries.
  • Application across Industries: The standard is applicable across various industries where NDT is crucial, including manufacturing, aerospace, infrastructure, and energy sectors, among others.
  • Compliance: Compliance with ISO 9712:2021 often complements other industry-specific standards and regulations, thereby offering a comprehensive approach to quality and safety.

In summary, ISO 9712:2021 is an internationally popular standard and it ensures that NDT personnel possess the requisite qualifications and competencies to carry out their duties effectively. It provides a structured pathway for their training, examination, certification, and recertification, ensuring a high level of quality and safety in the application of NDT techniques.

What are the Requirements for ISO 9712:2021?

The requirements set forth in ISO 9712:2021 for the qualification and certification of Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) personnel are comprehensive and designed to ensure that individuals meet a rigorous standard of competence. The standard stipulates requirements in several key areas:

General Requirements

  • Scope of Application: The standard specifies the sectors and NDT methods for which it is applicable. It sets out the fundamental prerequisites for the qualification and certification process.
  • Roles and Responsibilities: The standard outlines various levels of certification (Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3) with associated responsibilities, knowledge, and skill criteria for each.

Pre-Qualification Criteria

  • Education: A minimum educational level may be required depending on the certification level.
  • Experience: Prior experience in the relevant NDT method is generally required and varies depending on the level of certification sought.

Training Requirements

  • Training Curriculum: ISO 9712:2021 outlines the topics that the training should cover, which includes both theory and practical elements.
  • Training Duration: The standard sets minimum training hours required for each level and each NDT method.

Examination Requirements

  • Theory Examination: Includes questions that cover the fundamentals, equipment, operational factors, and application of the NDT method.
  • Practical Examination: Requires the candidate to demonstrate practical skills and decision-making abilities related to the specific NDT method.
  • Grading: Passing marks for both theoretical and practical examinations are defined.


  • Issuing Authority: Certification must be provided by an accredited body that fulfills the criteria for impartiality, quality, and administrative procedures.
  • Validity: Certificates are generally valid for a limited period, typically 5 years, after which renewal or recertification is required.
  • Certificate Information: The certification should include details like the level of qualification, the NDT method, and the sectors for which the certification is valid.

Surveillance and Recertification

  • Continuous Monitoring: Some form of surveillance or audit may be conducted to ensure ongoing compliance.
  • Recertification: Requirements for renewal, including re-examination or evidence of continuous satisfactory work experience, are stipulated.


Documentation related to training, examination, experience, and other relevant records should be maintained by both the certified individual and the certification body for verification purposes.

Code of Ethics

Ethical guidelines and penalties for misconduct are often part of the certification scheme, although these might be specified by the certification body rather than in the ISO standard itself.

In summary, the ISO 9712:2021 standard provides a comprehensive framework for the qualification and certification of NDT personnel, encompassing pre-qualification criteria, training, examination, certification issuance, and ongoing surveillance. This ensures that certified personnel meet an internationally recognized level of competence, thus upholding the quality and safety standards in various industries where NDT is applicable.

What are the benefits of ISO 9712:2021 Non-Destructive Testing ?

The adoption of ISO 9712:2021 Non-destructive testing for the qualification and certification of Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) personnel offers numerous benefits for individuals, organizations, and industries at large. These benefits collectively contribute to higher standards of quality, safety, and efficiency. Below are some of the key advantages


  • Career Advancement: Certification according to ISO 9712:2021 enhances the professional credentials of NDT personnel, making them more competitive in the job market.
  • International Recognition: As an internationally recognized standard, ISO 9712:2021 certification facilitates the mobility of professionals across geographical boundaries and sectors.
  • Skill Validation: Certification serves as an independent verification of an individual’s skills and competencies, providing a standardized measure of their capabilities.

For Organizations

  • Quality Assurance: Employing certified NDT personnel helps organizations ensure the quality of their products or structures, thereby increasing customer trust and satisfaction.
  • Reduced Risk: Qualified and certified personnel are less likely to make errors, which translates into reduced risks related to safety, liability, and product recalls.
  • Regulatory Compliance: In many sectors, adherence to specific NDT standards may be mandatory. Employing ISO 9712:2021-certified personnel can facilitate compliance with these regulations.
  • Efficiency: Certified personnel are trained to follow standardized procedures, leading to more efficient and effective testing processes.
  • Competitive Advantage: Organizations that adhere to international standards are often viewed more favorably in tendering processes and are more competitive in global markets.

For Industries and Regulators

  • Standardization: ISO 9712:2021 provides a unified set of guidelines for NDT personnel, promoting consistency and uniformity across industries and countries.
  • Public Safety: By ensuring that NDT personnel are competent, the standard indirectly contributes to public safety, particularly in sectors like aerospace, automotive, and civil infrastructure where testing is critical.
  • Market Confidence: Standards like ISO 9712:2021 bolster market confidence by ensuring that products and services meet high safety and quality benchmarks.
  • Transparency and Accountability: The standard sets clear guidelines for training, certification, and recertification, making it easier for regulators and auditors to assess compliance.

Cross-Functional Benefits

  • Interoperability: A common standard allows for easier collaboration and interoperability between different organizations and sectors.
  • Continual Improvement: The standard encourages ongoing professional development, as certification is generally time-bound and requires renewal or recertification.
  • Cost Savings: Although there is an initial cost for certification, the long-term benefits such as reduced errors, increased efficiency, and lower risk often result in overall cost savings.

In summary, ISO 9712:2021 has wide-ranging benefits for various stakeholders, from individual professionals to organizations and the industry as a whole. Its adoption facilitates a culture of excellence, competence, and safety, underpinned by internationally recognized best practices in the field of Non-Destructive Testing.

Who needs ISO 9712:2021 Non-Destructive Testing ?

ISO 9712:2021 Non-destructive testing personnel is relevant to a variety of stakeholders, each with distinct needs and motivations for compliance. Below are the primary entities who may find this standard essential:

NDT Professionals

  • NDT Technicians and Operators: Those who perform the actual testing tasks generally require Level 1 or Level 2 certification, depending on their responsibilities.
  • NDT Supervisors and Managers: Often, these roles necessitate Level 3 certification, which includes a deeper understanding of NDT methods and the ability to interpret results and provide guidance.
  • NDT Trainers and Educators: Individuals responsible for training NDT personnel would also benefit from certification to ensure that they meet the international criteria for competency in their area.


  • Manufacturing Companies: Businesses involved in producing goods that require quality assurance tests would find employing certified NDT personnel beneficial.
  • Construction and Infrastructure: Firms engaged in the building of structures like bridges, buildings, or tunnels have a vested interest in ensuring the materials used meet safety standards.
  • Aerospace and Automotive Industries: Given the high stakes involved in terms of safety and performance, these sectors commonly require certified NDT personnel.
  • Oil and Gas Sector: This industry often involves high-pressure, high-temperature environments where material failure is not an option, making NDT crucial.
  • Energy Providers: Companies involved in the generation and distribution of energy, particularly nuclear and renewable energy firms, may also require certified NDT personnel.
  • Regulated Industries: In sectors where compliance with strict safety and quality regulations is essential, certified NDT professionals can play a key role.
  • Consulting and Inspection Services: Organizations that offer third-party testing and inspection services will also need certified personnel to conduct and oversee these activities.

Regulatory Bodies and Accreditation Agencies

  • Government Agencies: National and regional authorities that oversee industries requiring safety tests often recommend or require the use of certified NDT professionals.
  • Certification Bodies: Organizations involved in the issuance of NDT certifications should align their criteria with ISO 9712:2021 to gain international recognition.

Educational Institutions

  • Technical Schools and Universities: Institutions that offer NDT training programs may require faculty to be certified to ensure the quality of education.

Consumers and End-users

  • General Public: While not directly involved in the certification process, the public benefits from the increased safety and quality that comes from employing certified NDT personnel.

In summary, ISO 9712:2021 is relevant to a broad spectrum of individuals and organizations from industries where Non-Destructive Testing is critical for quality assurance, safety, and regulatory compliance. Its universal applicability and recognition make it a valuable standard for enhancing professionalism and competence in the field of NDT.

At last, Pacific Certifications is accredited by ABIS, you need more support with ISO 9712:2021 Non-destructive testing, please contact us at +91-8595603096 or support@pacificcert.com

Also read: ISO 17635:2016 Non-Destructive Testing of Welds

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