The use of standards in the welding industry has evolved over the past 100 years, paralleling the development of new welding processes and the ever expanding use of welding as an efficient and high quality joining method. Standards now exist for every aspect of welding including design, preparation, welder and procedure qualification, fabrication techniques and quality. Each of these critical elements working together ensures high quality welds - and a high quality weld ensures a safe structure.
The Canadian welding industry recognized the need to control and monitor the skills of welders early in the 20th century. Just like today, there is a critical need to ensure that those individuals involved in welding operations are adequately skilled and, furthermore, that those skills are maintained.
Canada’s approach under Canadian Standards Association (CSA) welding standards to welding quality and testing has been a key in protecting the safety of the public and ensuring a sustainable and reliable infrastructure. For over six decades, Canada has had an effective system for testing welders and retesting these same welders to ensure that the quality of our welded structures and product is maintained; thereby ensuring that public safety remains a key driver in Canadian society. Through its role as the national administrator of CSA welding standards and the only SCC Accredited welding certification body in Canada, the CWB plays an essential role in protecting the safety of the public.
Like almost every aspect of business, economic globalization has had an impact on the evolution of standards. As nations work together to harmonize standards, we must strive to ensure that the original focus of standards is not lost in the efforts to gain common agreement. The protection of the public must remain at the forefront of standards development; only by keeping focused on public safety can we maintain the excellent infrastructure developed countries enjoy and also continue to provide the foresight standards can give to the developing world.