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. 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.
Candidates wanting to obtain a Certificate of Competency must complete the appropriate application form and hold the minimum qualification required for that certification.
ABSA issues four Pressure Welders Certificates of Competencies: Grade B, Grade C, Machine Welding Operator and Pressure Tack Welder.
Pressure Welders or Machine Welding Operators have a number of responsibilities under the Safety Codes Act and Regulations. Some of these responsibilities are:
- perform welding within the limitations of your performance qualification card
- perform welding in accordance with a welding procedure registered for use in Alberta
- perform welding under a valid quality program for construction, modification or repair of pressure equipment
- ensure that your certificate of competency and applicable performance qualification card are available when performing welding on pressure equipment
- renew your certificate of competency or performance qualification card before the expiry date
- identify your weldments by assigned symbols except for Pressure Tack Welders
Under the Safety Codes Act, current standards for pressure welding in Alberta are defined in the Pressure Welders Regulation (AR 169/2002), available from the Alberta King’s Printer. The Regulation establishes several requirements related to the welding of pressure equipment, which owners and pressure welders should be aware of:
- no person shall weld a boiler, pressure vessel, pressure piping system, or fitting by any method, unless the person is named on a Pressure Welding Certificate of Competency and has a valid Performance Qualification card that specifically authorizes the person to weld the pressure vessel, boiler, pressure piping system or fitting (pressure equipment), and authorizes the method used by the person
- no person shall direct a person to weld a boiler, pressure vessel, pressure piping system, or fitting by any method, unless the person who welds holds a certificate of competency, including a performance qualification card, that specifically authorizes that person to weld pressure equipment, and authorizes the method used by that person
- welding of pressure equipment must be done in accordance with a welding procedure that has been registered by ABSA
- welding performed as part of construction, repair, or modification of pressure equipment must be done in accordance with a quality control program that has been registered by ABSA
The full text of the Pressure Welders Regulation (AR 169/2002) is available on-line from the Alberta King’s Printer. The Regulation includes:
- definitions related to pressure welding
- information on the different classes of Pressure Welding Certificates of Competency, and the certification requirements for each
- information on the Welding Examiner Certification program
- pressure welder employers’ obligations regarding welding performed on pressure equipment
- responsibilities of pressure welders