Essentials of a Successful Welding Certification Audit

Certification by the CWB Group means your welding operations have been independently reviewed to ensure they meet the requirements of critical standards and codes, and your welding personnel, inspectors, and engineers are competent and qualified to do the work your customers want.

If you have a certification audit on the horizon, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible.

This article aims to help welding professionals and shop forepersons prepare for successful certification or recertification audits by detailing the essential components of the process, including administration, technical review, welder qualifications, and procedure adherence.



When a customer service representative (CSR) visits your shop, here’s what you should have on hand:

Administration and Paperwork: Ensure your scope correctly reflects your welding operations and provide documentation of your welders’ qualifications, your engineers' reports, and any letters of validation for subcontractors you use.

Technical Review and Drawings: It's vital to have drawings that include appropriate weld symbols and are signed off by an engineer with the necessary details as per the code.

Weld Sizes and Materials: Demonstrating the use of appropriate materials as per CSA Standard W59 or other governing standards is key. This helps ensure that everything fabricated meets the specifications and quality requirements.



What happens if something isn’t up to the client’s spec? You need to document not just the complaint from your customer but also the corrective actions taken. This documentation is crucial for maintaining quality and trust, and can help improve your business operations though increased client satisfaction.



When it comes to recordkeeping, you should hang on to records like your mill certification/material test reports for at least five years. This ensures you have proof of compliance and quality control over a significant period.



Your company’s welding procedures must be approved by the CWB, and it's important that your welders know how to use them and can access them when needed. 



On the day of the audit, CSRs will check several things:

  • Drawings: Looking for suitable drawings for the fabrication.

  • Qualifications: Ensuring that the welder has the necessary qualifications to work on the specific drawings.

  • Storage of Materials: Proper storage of filler metals and adherence to specifications for storing stick electrodes and filler gas combinations.

  • Equipment Maintenance: Regular maintenance logs for your equipment to ensure everything operates as it should.

  • Visual Weld Quality: Randomly checking in-progress and completed welds to ensure compliance with the governing standards.



You can find all standard forms and the audit preparation checklist on the CWB website at This checklist is thorough and will provide you with guidelines to prepare for your next audit. 

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact your local CSR.



Typically, the audit cycle occurs every six months, but it might be sooner. This guide should help you understand the essentials of preparing for and navigating through the audit process. 

Remember, being prepared is the key to a successful audit!

Watch the video version of this article:


The information provided is intended for general interest, to educate and inform our audience. The CWB and those providing feedback to the questions do not take any responsibility for any omissions or misstatements that could lead to incorrect applications or possible solutions that industry may be facing.

How-It Works content is submitted by Industry experts to the CWB Association and does not necessarily reflect the views of the CWB Group. When testing for CWB Certification or CWB Education, please refer to CWB Education textbooks or CSA standards as the official source of information.