ASNT Statement Regarding ASNT Certification Integrity

August 2017

ASNT wants all ASNT certificate holders, clients of certificate holders, industry sector stakeholders, NDT suppliers, and the public to feel confident that ASNT certifications, despite the problems plaguing PCN certifications, have not been compromised and are issued with the highest degree of validation and integrity.

The British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT) made ASNT immediately aware of the recent breaches in security and malpractice at a few training and examination facilities administering the PCN certification program. ASNT is taking this matter seriously and is staying vigilant through consistent updates from BINDT and proactive inquiries in mitigating any subsequent impact to ASNT.

ASNT has always maintained strict testing site standards. This is the reason why ASNT has, historically, only allowed certain organizations to schedule and administer examinations in approved locations. Approximately 2 years ago, ASNT began an online platform focusing on integrity, increased security, scheduling flexibility and convenience to our members and certificate holders.

To stave off any possibility of impropriety or security breaches, ASNT implemented computer-based testing (CBT) as the only means of examination. The U.S. roll-out was in summer of 2016. The international roll-out was completed in December 2016.

ASNT is the first - and remains the only - NDT society to make online applications, credential submissions, examination scheduling, and secured CBT an operating model; thus, the most globally respected and accepted NDT certification in the world.

CBT security benefits:

  • Consistent examination experience
  • Strict identification standards including a photo taken of test taker
  • Video monitoring of testing room
  • Dry-erase board, digital calculator, and dictionary provided eliminating all outside materials from testing environment
  • Noninvasive biometric scanning is an additional layer of security and identification at some test centers

ASNT is currently reviewing all PCN certificate holders that may also hold an ASNT certification. Each one is being rigorously checked and identified to ensure that all experience and training can be verified to ASNT’s high standards. ASNT’s Certification Management Council (CMC) has an Ethics Committee to review any circumstances or allegations that may arise concerning any ASNT certificate holder that is also a PCN certificate holder who may have used his or her PCN certification as any part of justification for experience qualifications. Certificate holder records are being actively reviewed in the most robust way. If we find any certificate holder with questionable qualifications, this will be referred to the ethics committee for review and adjudication.

To respect BINDT’s ownership of their situation, ASNT advises persons interested in updates specifically regarding the BINDT organization to visit http://www.bindt.org/Certification/pcn-news/ for the most current information.

Please know that ASNT is in active communication with BINDT to quickly assess any potential impact to ASNT and stakeholders. We endeavor to be transparent and respect your interest and stake in ASNT certifications.

For questions regarding the security of ASNT’s certifications or ASNT’s response to PCN certification issues, feel free to contact ASNT Executive Director Arny Bereson at abereson@asnt.org or ASNT Chief Technical Officer James Bennett at jbennett@asnt.org.

FAQs regarding ASNT’s certifications in light of BINDT’s recent concerns

How does BINDT’s situation impact ASNT operations and services?

ASNT is continuing to provide the same high quality service the NDT industry has come to expect over the 75 year history of the organization. The ASNT Executive Director and Chief Technical Officer remain in close contact with the CEO of BINDT to stay ever aware of any updates and immediate issues that may impact the Society.

What is ASNT doing to make sure its examinations are secure?

All certification examinations are administered through ASNT’s computer-based testing. CBT has several layers of security to ensure the integrity of the examination environment. Live, trained proctors and video camera surveillance of testing are standard with at test locations. No outside implements such as phones, calculators, dictionaries, or scratch paper are permitted. Dry-erase boards are provided during the examination as are a dictionary (available in 5 languages) and digital calculator.

What is ASNT doing to ensure the applicant is the person taking the examination?

There are strict name matching requirements for acceptable identification. Also, a photo is taken of each tester to have as a matter of record. Noninvasive biometrics is an additional layer of security and identification in some test locations.

Is ASNT at risk for the discovery of a breach similar to BINDT’s?

ASNT is confident that the selected Pearson VUE test centers and two NSO’s meet the highest standards for an examination environment. They are constantly being monitored and reviewed to maintain the highest quality possible. ASNT holds absolute control over the creation, content, and administrative dissemination of each ASNT examination. ASNT does accept or recognize examinations created by outside organizations such as authorized qualification body (AQB) purporting to act on behalf of ASNT certification.

ASNT has no reason to believe there are any security concerns prior to the implementation of CBT that require any present or future investigation.

What should I say to my clients about the BINDT situation?

If you are asked about the BINDT situation specifically, please direct them to the official statement by BINDT at http://www.bindt.org/Certification/pcn-news/. That is the place for the most current status. You may also contact the ASNT Executive Director or Chief Technical Officer at 614.274.6003.

What relationship will ASNT have with BINDT moving forward?

ASNT maintains strong relationships with sister NDT societies around the world to provide the ASNT members and stakeholders global resources and an international network of NDT expertise. BINDT remains a partner is this vast network.