Inspectioneering Journal

Follow-Up: Status of the Texas PE Board Initiative on "Guidelines for Minimum Laboratory and Staff Qualifications for Nondestructive Testing Services"

By Russel T. Mack, Chairman of the Board at National Association of Inspection Companies (NAIC). This article appears in the May/June 2001 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.
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In a previous edition of Inspectioneering Journal, we alerted readers to a proposal to the Texas PE Board that would require NDT inspector certification according to CP-189 (instead of SNT-TC- 1A)-which would effectively eliminate limited-scope certifications. The proposal would also require that every inspection service company have- on full-time staff-a registered PE who is also an ASNT-certified NDT Level-III.

NAIC opposed the proposal on the grounds of greatly increased expense to providers and customers of petrochemical industry inspection service, without any reason to believe that inspection quality would be enhanced (since customers provide the engineering work separately in current arrangements). Besides the editorial in the IJ, NAIC wrote an official letter of objection to the Chairman of the Texas PE Board, we published an editorial on our website, and we made several calls to the PE Board staff to determine the status of the initiative and how we might become involved in the debate.

After we began dialog with the PE Board staff, we found them very cooperative and helpful. I was invited to their offices in Austin for a meeting to discuss the initiative (March 5, 2001). The PE Board Executive Director Ms. Victoria Hsu, PE, hosted the meeting. The result was that we are now officially informed that the “Guidelines for Minimum Laboratory and Staff Qualifications for Nondestructive Testing Services” initiative has been refused by the General Issues Committee, and has been dropped from PE Board Agendas!

When new inspection laws or regulations are proposed, there should-must-always be a battle, in order to expose both the positive and the negative sides. Only then can a just decision be reached. Regrettably, hard feelings are the inevitable result. We want to apologize for any misread motives (or otherwise hurt feelings) resulting from this activity. Based on conversations with the author of the proposal and with the PE Board Staff, it appears that the proposal was intended only to insure that actual engineers do the work where engineering is needed.

(To paraphrase)-the reason the General Issues Committee decided to refuse the proposal was that they did not think it appropriate for the Board to become involved in “gray areas”-that may or may not be engineering. NAIC agrees, and our thanks are officially extended to Inspectioneering Journal, the PE Board Staff, the General Issues Committee, and everyone else who aided or supported our effort.

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