AWS - Endorsement
Important Notice to CWI Candidates and Endorsement Candidates

Effective Saturday, July 19, 2014, all individuals who have applied for and are scheduled to test to the ASME Sec IX: B31.1 & B31.3 codebook exam (Part C of CWI exam or CWI endorsement exam) will be testing to the Section IX 2013 edition and B31.1/B31.3 to the 2012 editions during their exam.

Effective Saturday, July 19, 2014, all individuals who have applied for and are scheduled to test to the ASME Sec VIII & IX Exam codebook exam (Part C of CWI exam or CWI endorsement exam) will be testing to the updated 2013 editions during their exam.

To order a copy of the updated ASME editions, visit www.asme.org/shop or to order by phone, please call 1-800-843-2763.

Program Forms and Document Downloads

CWI/SCWI Endorsement Application (PDF)

Technical Documents
QC1:2007  Standard for the AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors
B5.1:2003  Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors

AWS Endorsement Supplements Criteria

Click here for specific criteria on each endorsement - including requirements, reference materials necessary, and other relevant information.

There has been much discussion about the purpose and function of supplemental inspection credentials, also known as “endorsements.” The AWS Certification Committee has always held and continues to hold the CWI as the internationally recognized best program for certification of welding inspection personnel. The CWI is considered able to inspect welds to any industry standard or code regardless of which open book code exam was used, provided the CWI is deemed capable and qualified by the employer or contracting parties to inspect to the requirements of the specific standard used for the job.

With that in mind, and to clear up any confusion about supplemental inspection credentials, the following questions and answers present some facts about the program. Please note that this summary is provided for information only. Refer to AWS QC1, Standard for Certification of Welding Inspectors, for specific requirements and additional information.


Q. What are endorsements?

  1. Endorsements are supplemental inspection credentials available to all AWS Certified Welding Inspectors (CWIs) and Senior Certified Welding Inspectors (SCWIs).

Q. As a non-CWI, may I take these examinations as stand-alone exams?

  1. The examinations offered as endorsements to the CWI/SCWI programs are also offered as stand-alone exams to non-CWIs/SCWIs who wish to enhance their educational background. Only a certificate of completion is issued to those who pass these exams as non-CWIs/SCWIs. Having passed any of these exams does not exempt one from having to take Part C (codebook portion) when applying for CWI certification.

Q. What effect does attaining an endorsement have on my status as a CWI or SCWI?

  1. Endorsements do not change a CWI’s or SCWI’s status (past or present) as a Certified Welding Inspector. If a CWI or SCWI does not wish to take any of these supplemental inspection exams to acquire such endorsements, that does not change his/her status with AWS as a Certified Welding Inspector.

Q. What is the purpose of endorsements?

  1. Endorsements enhance a welding inspector’s credentials not supplant them.

Q. Why were endorsements developed?

  1. Endorsements were created to broaden an inspector’s credentials, possibly permitting performance of inspections from which he/she was previously excluded due to customer or jurisdictional requirements.

Q. Which structural inspection certification does AWS offer to expand my credentials?

  1. AWS offers two structural inspection exams for individuals; these are the Structural Drawing Reading Endorsement and the Structural Bolting Inspection Endorsement. If you are a CWI or SCWI and work in structural applications, you should consider adding these certifications to your credentials.

Q. What benefit do endorsements have regarding nine-year recertification?

  1. Committee-approved endorsements are another means by which CWIs and SCWIs may satisfy the examination and/or continuing education requirements for CWIs and SCWIs at their nine-year recertification.

Q. How will endorsements be noted?

  1. Endorsements will only be listed on a card that is separate from the inspector’s CWI/SCWI card. It will only list the supplemental inspection exams that the individual passed to attain the endorsement(s). If an individual does not want such a card, none will be provided. A certificate for successfully passing the examination will also be issued.

Q. Is this concept of endorsements used by other certifying organizations?

  1. Endorsements are used by other organizations that offer certification programs. The American Petroleum Institute (API), the National Board of Boiler Inspectors, and the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) are some organizations that use the endorsement concept for some of their programs.

Q. Which structural inspection certification does AWS offer to expand my credentials??

  1. AWS offers two structural inspection exams for individuals; these are the Structural Drawing Reading Endorsement and the Structural Bolting Inspection Endorsement. If you are a CWI or SCWI and work in structural applications, you should consider adding these certifications to your credentials.

Q. What current endorsements are offered by AWS?

  1. Currently, the following examinations or certification programs may be considered as endorsements for CWIs and SCWIs if the candidate passes the exams. With the exception of AWS Structural Bolting Inspection exam, endorsement exams and the CRI count as full credit for 9-year CWI/SCWI recertification if obtained any time during the current 9-year cycle.
    1. AWS D1.1 Structural Steel *
    2. AWS D1.2 Structural Aluminum *
    3. AWS D1.5 Bridge Welding *
    4. AWS D15.1 Railroad *
    5. API 1104 Pipeline *
    6. AWS D17.1 Aerospace *
    7. AWS Structural Drawing Reading (Closed book)
    8. ASME Section IX, B31.1, + B31.3 *
    9. ASME Section VIII, Div. 1 and Section IX *
    10. AWS Certified Radiographic Interpreter (CRI) program (also a stand-alone program and credential)
    11. AWS Structural Bolting Inspection (Open book) - Earn 20 PDHs toward your 9-Year recertification
    12. * Indicates an open codebook exam

Important Note: AWS QC1 defines endorsements as "Indication of an additional skill documented in writing and added to one's certification credential(s)". In fulfilling the 9-year recertification requirement, endorsements cannot be taken to the codebook to which your CWI certification was attained.

Q. What future endorsements will be offered by AWS?

  1. The following examinations are planned and will be offered in the near future:
    1. AWS Penetrant Testing exam (Beta Testing for this exam is now complete and qualifying participants have received their endorsement certification. While this exam is not yet available to the public, we hope to release it by the end of the year. More information on this endorsement certification will be posted on the following page in the near future: http://www.aws.org/certification/endorsement/criteria.html)

This article was prepared in cooperation with the AWS Certification Committee.



The standard application processing time is four weeks and applicants will be notified by an exam confirmation package.

Please note:  AWS cannot guarantee space at an exam site if the application has not been processed and/or approved by the Certification Department. When circumstances do not permit meeting the registration deadlines, fast track processing is available at an additional fee.

Please send all applications to the following address:

American Welding Society
Certification Department
8669 NW 36 Street, Suite 130
Miami, Florida 33166-6672


PLEASE RETAIN A COPY OF YOUR COMPLETED APPLICATION FOR YOUR RECORDS.

All checks and money orders should be made payable to AWS. Payments must accompany your application.