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Before we explain further, first of all we want you to know that, these 3 terms will be used a lot. So for that, you need to familiarize yourself with these terms as an initial preparation to become a qualified welder.

The 3 terms are:

  1. WPQ – Welder Performance Qualification
  2. WPS – Welding Procedure Specification
  3. PQR – Procedure Qualification Record

Then, you need to remember this:

  • Performance – Welder
  • Procedure – Weld recipe

Next, what is the PURPOSE of a welder’s qualification?

A Quality Weld

A qualified welder using a qualified weld procedure with appropriate environment; result in a GOOD WELD.

Practical definition:

Qualified: One who has been approved by test (s).

Good: One which meets the weld procedure.

Welder Qualification Methods

  1. QW-300.1 – A welder or welding operator may be qualified by:

a. Radiography/UT of a test coupon.

b. Radiography/UT of his initial production weld.

c. Or, bend test on a test coupon.

2. Test Coupon – Bend Test (QW-302.1/3)

a. Number and Typed of Bends – at least 2 bends.

b. Specimen shape and locations – (QW-463.2 [a-h])

3. Test Coupon – Volumetric NDE (QW-302.2)

-Minimum length = 6″

-For pipe – Full circumference

4. 1st Production Weld – Volumetric NDE

-Welders – minimum length = 6″ (QW-304.1)

-Welding Operators – minimum length = 3ft (QW-305.1)

Welders – Know This!


Each welder shall be assigned a unique identifying symbol, number or letter to use when stamping or recording the work performed by the welder.


Welders may be qualified using radiography as allowed by QW-304 & QW-305.


When a welder fails qualification using radiography the entire section of the joint made by the welder be removed or completely radiographed and the defective areas repaired by a qualified welder.


a. Welders may be qualified using separate coupons for each process or by welding with multiple processes in a single coupon as long as all the requirements of Section IX are met.

b. Failure of any portion of a combination test in a single coupon constitutes failure of the entire coupon.

Expiration of Qualification QW-322.1

a. Welder has not used the Process for 6 months.

b. Reason to question welder’s ability.

Fail a Qualification Test QW-321.1/2/3     

a. Retest using same test – i.e. if failed bends, then must pass bends – can’t substitute RT.

b. Do twice as much – Originally 6” weld tested, now have to pass 12” weld.

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