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Qualifying Work Experience for NDT Certification

Individuals who want to become certified in non-destructive testing need a combination of appropriate training and work experience. This page describes the required work experience.

Experience requirements for certification levels

The minimum requirements for experience to be gained prior to certification are as specified below. The employer, supervisor and referee must verify documentary evidence of experience on pages 3 and 4 of the Application form for Non-destructive testing certification. The candidate must submit the completed form to the NRCan Non-Destructive Testing Certification Body (NDTCB) as part of the certification application. See “Quick downloads: forms and guides” in the Find out more section below to download the form.

Minimum Industrial Experience

NDT Method Experience in days (hours)
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
with Level 1 direct access higher education, with Level 2 with Level 2 direct access with higher education
ET, RT, UT 45 days
(315 hours)
135 days
(945 hours)
180 days
(1260 hours)
270 days
(1890 hours)
450 days
(3150 hours)
540 days
(3780 hours)
MT, PT, VT     60 days
(420 hours)
180 days
(1260 hours)
240 days
(1680 hours)
360 days
(2520 hours)


  • ET = Eddy Current Testing
  • RT = Radiographic Testing
  • PT = Penetrant Testing
  • MT = Magnetic Testing
  • UT = Ultrasonic Testing
  • VT = Visual Testing


  1. One day duration is at least seven hours, which can be achieved on a single day or by accumulating hours. The maximum allowable hours in any one day is 12 hours. Experience in days is achieved by dividing the total accumulated hours by 7.
  2. For Ultrasonic Testing Phased Array (UT-PA) Level 2, the candidate must be CGSB UT2 certified and a minimum of 45 days (315 hours) of additional UT-PA specific experience is required.
  3. When seeking certification in a method with multiple levels, the total amount of experience required is calculated by adding the lower-level experience and higher-level experience together. For direct access, the total amount of experience required is listed in the table above.

    Example 1. When applying for UT2 with a UT1 certification, the total experience required is 180 days (1260 hours), that is 315 hours from UT1 application + 945 hours from UT2 application.

    Example 2. When applying for PT3 with a PT2 certification without higher education, the total experience required is 300 days (2100 hours), that is 420 hours from PT2 application + 1680 hours from PT3 application.

In the event that any part of the experience is obtained following successful examination, the results of the examination are valid for five (5) years.

Minimum industrial experience prior to examination

For written and practical examinations:

  • Level 1: 0%
  • Level 2: 0%
  • Level 3 direct access with higher education: 40%

Note: The NRCan NDTCB encourages candidates for all Levels of certification to gain and submit proof of some amount of industrial experience prior to attempting examinations.

Additional experience requirements for Level 3 candidates

Level 3 responsibilities require knowledge beyond the technical scope of any specific NDT method. This broad knowledge may be acquired through various combinations of education, training and experience that must be documented and provided to the certification body in the form of a curriculum vitae (CV).

Minimum experience requirements when adding an additional sector/technique in the same method

A candidate adding an additional sector (example: RT Aerospace sector) or technique (example: UT Phased Array technique) to an NDT method certification will need to obtain and submit proof of at least 25% of the minimum required experience for the specified method, with this experience being specific to the applicable sector/technique

Reductions in qualifying work experience

A 25% reduction of minimum required industrial experience when adding additional methods will be applied to:

  1. Level 2 - Surface methods: MT2, PT2, VT2;
  2. Level 3 - All methods: PT3, MT3, VT3, UT3, ET3 & RT3.

Note : To be eligible for the reduction, candidates must be actively certified in at least one of the above certifications applicable to the level in which they are seeking certification.

No reduction in experience when adding an additional method for:

  1. Level 1 - All methods (UT1, ET1, RT1)
  2. Level 2 - Volumetric Methods (UT2, ET2, RT2)

Reduction in Experience for Higher Education for Level 3

General guidelines of acceptability: An engineering or materials science (post-secondary) degree or diploma will be considered for acceptable higher education to qualify for a reduction of minimum required experience hours for Level 3 certification. Verifiable proof of this education in the form of a copy of the degree or diploma issued by the educational institution is required to be submitted to the NRCan NDTCB. The candidate must include this with their work experience submission. The NRCan NDTCB will review these documents and determine the candidate’s eligibility for this reduction.

Accelerated Experience Credit Program (AECP)/Structured Experience Program (SEP)

Five (5) days maximum for each method, level, and sector, equivalent to 25 days of experience maximum for each method, level and sector, so long as the total days of experience acquired does not exceed 50% of the required experience for the applicable method/level/sector. AECP/SEP can only be offered by participating NRCan NDTCB Recognized Training Organizations (RTOs).

Example: For a Level 1 application (volumetric – UT, ET, RT) (which requires a minimum of 45 days of experience) only 22.5 days of experience gained via the AECP/SEP can be counted towards total experience.

  • AECP/SEP are provided in the format of practical workshops that meet NRCan NDTCB requirements.
  • The duration of experience gained from Accelerated Experience Credit Programs may be multiplied by a factor of 5 when calculating qualifying work experience (e.g. if you complete a 2-day practical workshop, you may multiply that by five to count for 10 days of qualifying work experience).
  • To submit experience gained from an AECP/SEP to count towards total qualifying work experience hours, candidates shall submit a copy of the “certificate of completion” issued by the RTO to NRCan NDTCB for review.

Sample Calculations of experience credits

Situation 1: Level 3 direct access with higher education QWE requirement prior to examinations

An NDT candidate is applying for Level 3 Radiographic Testing (RT EMC) examination eligibility, which requires 540 days (3780 hours) of experience, working 100% of the time in RT inspection.

Percentage of time required: Radiographic Testing 40%
Calculation of required minimum days prior to examinations: 540 days x 40% = 216 days experience
Calculation of required minimum hours prior to examinations: 3780 hours x 40% = 1512 hours experience

Situation 2: Reduction in experience for applying for an additional method

A candidate actively certified in PT2 (and/or VT2) is applying for Magnetic Testing Level 2 working 100% of the time in MT inspection.

Required experience for MT2: 60 days (420 hours)

25% reduction in experience due to PT2 (and/or VT2) certification

Calculation for total MT2 experience with the reduction:

60 days x 75% = 45 days experience

420 hours x 75% = 315 hours experience

Completing the Qualifying Work Experience portion of the application

When completing the qualifying work experience (QWE) section of the application, you must identify each employer/company and provide a complete and thorough description of your work experience specific to the NDT method(s) in which you are requesting examination eligibility.

You must also clearly identify the period of employment for each employer/company and the acquired NDT experience in hours in the pertinent NDT method(s) you are applying for.

The application and supporting documentation dealing with NDT experience must be supported by the appropriate signatures. Incomplete QWE reporting may result in delays.

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