Friday, April 8, 2016


Hey there Paul,

Had a message sent to me from a former employee, they wanted to share with me that "because I was certified by the AWS through the SENSE program my Level 2 certification (QC11) never expires." 

Was curious if you're ever heard anything like this before?

Correct, when certified through SENSE QC11 it never expires (QC10 expires after 1 year, see 9.1).  Keep in mind, this is certification to a level of education and skills training.

I received my “Degree of Occupational Proficiency – Welding” from Duluth Area Vo-Tech in 1980, it never expired.  It simply was proof that I completed the program.  An employer who understood the Minnesota Education System for “Degree(s) of Occupational Proficiency” understood the minimum requirements. So they understood what they were getting in potential employees (skill-wise anyway).  Like the vast majority of Welders I was never a “Certified” Welder, I was simply a “Welder” who was “qualified” by my company per AWS (or ASME or API…).

QC10 & QC11 were developed to create a standard for Welder Education.  Prior to the SENSE program, I could have a certificate in Welding from my local trade school, but if I moved out of my local school district, Lord knows what it meant. The SENSE program puts a clear, understandable meaning to “Entry Level” and “Advanced Welder”.

An employer is still required to administer a qualification test and maintain a continuity log.  Hiring a Welder out of a SENSE program simply helps the employer understand who they’re hiring.

Don’t get a “SENSE Certified” Welder confused with an “AWS Certified” Welder.  One is certified to a level of education, the other is certified to a Process, Position, Electrode…  The later requires the Certified Welder to maintain continuity through the AWS.

Hope that helps.