If you ask an average person to think of the association to the word “Welding”, you will most likely hear the “arc” and “Paton”.
Borys Paton, the head of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the Institute of Electro-welding, which bears the name of his father, not only became a kind of symbol of the industry, but also made a lot of effort to bring it to the international level. It was he who helped to add Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute to the international community of professionals and experts in connection technologies and processes with which these technologies are inextricably linked.
And it happened so.
About 25 years ago, the European Welding Federation (EWF) and the International Institute of Welding (IIW), organizations which purpose is to share knowledge and best practices worldwide, have joined efforts to develop a fully harmonized training system, certification of personnel for the needs of the welding industry. and related to it. Those who wish to become part of the system i.e. attestation bodies, training centers, potential qualified and certified workers – now have to confirm compliance with certain requirements. Instead, the system offered a high level of trust in the world. For example, diplomas and certificates issued by local attestation bodies do not require legal confirmation in other countries, which greatly contributes to the processes of globalization in the industry and facilitates the mobility of its representatives.
In the late 1990s, Ukraine became an equal participant in the training and certification system of the personnel. Such a decision was taken by the Coordinating Council for the country's representation in the EWF and IIW, led by Borys Paton. It should be noted that much attention was paid to bringing training programs for specialists in welding and related technologies in Ukraine in line with world-leading practices even then, including EWF and IIW programs. The “old” Bachelor of Welding, the standard by which all welding chairs of Ukraine were preparing in the late 90's, was almost three quarters harmonized with the program of the International / European Welding Engineer, and its development was carried out in close cooperation between the specialists of the Kyiv Polytechnics and the Institute, led by Borys Paton.
About 10 years ago, the administration of the welding department of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute made a strategic decision to become part of the system of training and certification of EWF and IIW personnel, which in Ukraine was then presented exclusively by the educational and attestation center of the B.Paton Welding Institute, which worked simultaneously as a training center and as a certification body. The Coordinating Council, headed by Borys Paton, responded positively to the initiative of the ZF representatives, as the second recognized training center would significantly improve the system's performance in the country.
The process of preparation for licensing was not easy. The development of curriculum and course materials was the easiest to do because higher education standards, on which the departments of the faculty worked, were largely offset by the requirements of the EWF and IIW equipment. This, in particular, made it possible in 2012 to achieve the right to significantly reduce the program of training for holders of bachelor's degrees in the direction “Welding” with the right to re-calculate a third of the course in the case of training programs for the preparation of works coordinators and modules for welding technology within quality assurance programs.
It was more complicated to develop from scratch a system of quality assurance that should be provided by each training center. This has forever changed the faculty, since such a system should really work, and not simply remain a bunch of papers.
In addition, the system provides for independent certification – representatives of training centers do not have the right to vote in the examination commission.
Nevertheless, in 2008, the ZF was officially named as the recognized EWF and IIW training center, the second in Ukraine and the first among the higher education institutions units, according to the results of the audit by the Ukrainian Certification Body.
In 2009, this status was additionally confirmed by the EWF and IIW audits, when the international audit team received a lot of positive impressions from the visit to Kyiv Polytechnic.
To date, our training center continues to keep the reputation: during the years of work we have let out 12 groups in the field of “International welding engineer”, three groups in the field of “International welding technologist”, conducted a number of individual programs on request from the first training center. We have learned to use constructive results of independent certification to optimize our learning activities.
Our lecturers are part of the EWF and IIW commissions related to science, production, training and certification, and since July this year we also have a representative in the audit team.
Thanks to participation in the implementation of the best international practices in Ukraine in particular, the development of the standard of training in the profession “Welder” and a package of documents in the Ukrainian Welding Certification Committee system (the organization that coordinates the certification of welding personnel in Ukraine) two of our employees became State Prize winners in the field of education in 2018
We have passed 10 audits at the national level and 5 at the international level. Over the past years, we have personally been checked by President of the European Federation of Welding, H. J. Bodt.
Here's how he commented on his experiences with working with our faculty.
To ensure the harmonization of IIW and EWF, a number of tools are actively used:
- The formal system IIW and EWF, which has the ability to control all its members.
- Guidelines with detailed information on activities aimed at training and certification of staff.
- Harmonized system of exams under direct control of IIW.
- Developed ANB and ATB activity checking system.
Visiting and testing of training centers is an integral part of the program of audit of the Authorized Entities. Audit teams IIW and EWF have visited the welding department since its accreditation as a training center in 2008. The faculty successfully integrated the activities according to the rules and the gadgets IIW and EWF into its original work. A significant number of documents of the quality management system – a mandatory requirement for training centers, are the internal rules and regulations of the university. Thus, they have reduced the quantity of documents that need to be developed, implemented and subtracted. The faculty has added a part of the course “International welding engineer” to the curricula for undergraduate students. Thus, students, attending classes according to the schedule, simultaneously study according to the IIW program, therefore they will save time and money in future if they receive international qualification. It should also be noted that the qualification exams for the International Engineers for Welding is carried out by an independent commission that has no relation to the faculty and the university as a whole. In this way, the faculty receives a kind of feedback regarding the quality of the educational process and has the opportunity to adjust it. In addition, the faculty must constantly review and update course materials, as this is one of the requirements for IIW and EWF training centers.
Of course, during audits in the activity of the training center on the basis of the faculty, there are certain disadvantages. However, each training center has some shortcomings in its work, and it would be strange if the audit team did not comment on the activities of the center. It should be noted that the Faculty is making significant efforts to eliminate such shortcomings and throughout the period of its work in the IIW and EWF system meets the requirements and rules that are put forward to the training centers.