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Certificates Of Competency

To ensure public safety, pressure welders are required to demonstrate specific skills and knowledge before they are allowed to weld on pressure equipment in Alberta. ABSA administers four Pressure Welders Certificates of Competency:

  1. Grade B Pressure Welder Certificate of Competency
  2. Grade C Pressure Welder Certificate of Competency
  3. Machine Welding Operator Certificate of Competency
  4. Pressure Tack Welder Certificate of Competency

Each qualification includes two components: a Certificate of Competency and a Performance Qualification (PQ) card.

The Certificate of Competency authorizes the holder to weld on pressure equipment, subject to the limitations prescribed in the Pressure Welders Regulation and described on the PQ card held by the certified person. All Certificates of Competency for pressure welders are issued by ABSA. The Grade B, Pressure Tack Welder and machine welding operator certificates are permanent certificates, whereas a Grade C certificate is a temporary certificate up to a maximum 24-month certification period.

A PQ card is issued on successful completion of a performance qualification test conducted by a Safety Codes Officer or an authorized welder testing organization.

All PQ cards have an expiry date. To be legally entitled to weld on pressure equipment in the province of Alberta, the certificate holder must have a current PQ card that authorizes the holder to perform that type of welding.

How To Obtain A Certificate Of Competency

Candidates wanting to obtain a certificate of competency must complete the appropriate application form and hold the minimum qualifications required for that certification.

Pressure welders transferring from another Canadian jurisdiction may qualify for reciprocal recognition and not be subject to testing in order to obtain a certificate of competency.  However, there are minimum qualifications required of the pressure welder relative to the applicable certificate of competency.

For detailed information on certification criteria and application procedures, see the Pressure Welders Regulation (AR169/2002), available from the Queen’s Printer.

Grade B Pressure Welder Certificate of Competency

Candidates for the Grade B Pressure Welder Certificate of Competency can find detailed information on the examination procedure, ABSA office locations, cancellation policy, and failure policy in the Grade “B” Pressure Welder Certificate of Competency Examination Reference Syllabus AB-61.

To take a Grade B Certificate of Competency examination, a candidate must complete ABSA Application Form AB-68 and submit with a copy of their Journeyman or Red Seal Certificate, a copy of government issued photo ID and examination fee to ABSA at least 21 days before the performance qualification test.

An Alberta 3rd year Welding Apprentice may also apply to take the Grade B Certificate of Competency examination providing the apprentice is completing the last term of schooling and has completed the final practical examination. The candidate must complete the ABSA application form AB-248 with the Education Institution and submit this to ABSA along with the examination fee. Successful candidates passing the examination will not be issued a Grade B Certificate of Competency or the initial performance qualification card until an Alberta Journeyman Welder Certificate of Competency is submitted to ABSA.

A pressure welder transferring from another Canadian jurisdiction may apply for this certification without testing provided the welder’s certification is equivalent to the Alberta Grade B.  The welder must have all the following minimum qualifications:

  • Interprovincial Red Seal Journeyman Welder Certificate or Welder Trade Certificate
  • Valid Pressure Welder Certificate where the test is identical to the Alberta initial test and conducted by the jurisdictional inspector
  • Valid Performance Qualification issued by the jurisdiction

To apply for the certification, the candidate must submit a completed application form (AB-129(a)) with the fee indicated, copies of the qualifications listed above and government issued photo ID.

A pressure welder from a Canadian jurisdiction who is not equivalent to the Grade B requirements may apply for a temporary Grade C Pressure Welder Certification.

Grade C Pressure Welder Certificate of Competency

1) Welder that Required Testing

This is a provisional welding certificate. The person who earns this Certificate of Competency is only permitted to weld at the work site of the employer named on the certificate. Employer’s work site(s) will be listed on the certificate and the certification will be valid for a maximum of 24 months.

A candidate may be required to provide proof of work experience for his/her application to be considered. To take a Grade C Certificate of Competency examination, the employer must complete ABSA Application Form AB-69 on behalf of the employee. The employer should submit the form and examination fee to ABSA at least seven (7) days) before the performance qualification test. The performance qualification test may be carried out at an authorized testing organization’s facility or at the employers shop or field site.

2) Pressure Welder Transferring from another Canadian Jurisdiction (No Testing Required)

A certified pressure welder transferring from a another Canadian jurisdiction may apply for the Grade C Certification without testing. The certification is valid for a maximum of two years and a separate application is required for each performance qualification being transferred. To continue pressure welding in Alberta beyond two years, the welder is required to successfully challenge the Alberta Grade B Pressure Welder Certificate Examination. The performance qualification issued will be restricted to the expiry date and the scope of the original performance qualification.

The certified pressure welder must have the following minimum qualifications:

  • Interprovincial Red Seal Journeyman Welder Certificate or Welder Trade Certificate
  • Valid Pressure Welder Certificate
  • Valid Performance Qualification

To apply for the certification, the candidate must submit a completed application form (AB-129(b)) with the fee indicated, copies of the qualifications listed above and government issued photo ID.

3) Renewal

If a Grade C Certificate of Competency holder applies for renewal of his/her certificate, renewal will not be granted if he/she is qualified to take a Grade B Pressure Welder Certificate of Competency examination. For detailed information on certification criteria and renewal restrictions, see the Pressure Welders Regulation.

Machine Welding Operator Certificate of Competency

To take a Machine Welding Operator Certificate of Competency examination, a candidate must be employed by a company that has one or more welding procedures, for automatic welding processes, approved by a safety codes officer. The candidate must complete ABSA Application Form AB-70 and submit the form and the prescribed fee to ABSA at least seven (7) days before the performance qualification test. The performance qualification test will be in accordance with a registered welding procedure for a machine welding process that is to be used for production welding by the candidate at the employer’s work site

Last modified: February 9, 2016