Published on 06-Oct-2020

What is SNT-TC-1A? What is EBC Program??

What is SNT-TC-1A? What is EBC Program??


The first edition of SNT-TC-1A was published in 1966 – its title is derived as follows:

SNT - Society of Nondestructive Testing

TC – Technical Committee

1A – 1 st Committee was given this title

  • Recommended Practice No. SNT-TC-1A: Personnel Qualification and Certification in Nondestructive Testing was the "first document" widely used for the Qualification and Certification of Nondestructive Testing (NDT) personnel.
  • Qualification and certification of NDT personnel, based on some standardized approach that is recognized and agreed to by buyers and sellers of NDT-related inspections, is widely practiced throughout the industry.
  • ASNT's Recommended Practice No. SNT-TC-1A provides the guidelines for an employer to follow when preparing their Written Practice (WP) for the qualification and certification of their NDT Personnel.

EBC Program

EBC - Employer-Based Certification [In-House Certification]

  • SNT-TC-1A establishes the industry's minimum expectations for an Employer-Based Certification (EBC) program and describes the stipulated documentation needed to show compliance when the EBC is specified in Codes, Standards, Contracts, and Purchase Orders.

“...SNT-TC-1A is published to serve as a guideline to employers in establishing their own Written Practice for the Qualification and Certification of NDT personnel. It is not intended to be a strict specification. The intent is to provide guidelines for proficiency levels required for personnel involved in nondestructive testing…”

Materials Evaluation, July 1980

History of SNT-TC-1A

Recommended Practice No. SNT-TC-1A: Personnel Qualification and Certification in Nondestructive Testing was first published in 1966 as the main document comprising just four pages.

In 1961, the Society (ASNT), through its Technical Council, assigned a Task Group to study the feasibility of preparing a document that would deal with the training requirements and the documentation thereof for the qualification of nondestructive test personnel ... the Task Group endeavored to prepare a recommended practice which could contain the consensus of expert opinion regarding the training of personnel and an average of requirements for formal education, time for on-the-job training, and documentation.

The resulting SNT-TC-1A is a recommended practice for the qualification and certification of nondestructive test personnel. It provides a format which industry can follow in writing an individualized procedure for the qualification and certification of personnel which meets the needs and requirements unique to each segment of the industry.

Introduction to SNT-TC-1A

SNT-TC-1A provides guidelines for employers to establish a written practice that conveys the intent of SNT-TC-1A, stated in the Foreword of that document:

“This recommended practice is not intended to be used as a strict specification. It is recognized, however, that contracts require programs which meet the intent of this document. For such contracts, purchaser and supplier must agree upon the acceptability of an employer’s program.”

In the absence of contractual or other mandated requirements, employers voluntarily applying the recommendations of SNT-TC-1A have more flexibility in the preparation of written practice.

Structure of SNT-TC-1A

The general structure of the SNT-TC-1A document has not changed since the first edition:

  1. Scope => Defines the main purpose of this document.
  2. Definitions => Details the terms included in this document.
  3. Nondestructive Testing Methods => The NDT Methods recognized by ASNT in that particular edition.
  4. Levels of Qualification => Explains the various levels of personnel qualification.
  5. Written Practice => Importance and contents of a Written Practice (WP) for the qualification and certification NDT Personnel of any employer.
  6. Education, Training, and Experience Requirements for Initial Qualification => Detailed Recommendations for Education, Training and Experience.
  7. Training Programs => The structured training program(s) meeting the requirements of the Training, Experience and the guidelines of SNT­-TC­-1A.
  8. Examination => Physical and General-Specific-Practical Examination requirements.
  9. Certification => Responsibilities of the Employer related to Certification.
  10. Recertification Process => Methods of continuing Certification including Technical Performance Evaluation (TPE), Interrupted Services, Termination, Reinstatement, etc.

Benefits of SNT-TC-1A

SNT-TC-1A offers the industry a number of benefits. The significant benefits include:

  • It requires employers to analyze their position on certification and the documentation of their certification program.
  • Through the Written Practice, the employer has an implied responsibility to train and formally examine NDT personnel.
  • It implies customer responsibility to review and evaluate the Written Practice to ensure its adequacy with respect to the Terms and Conditions.
  • It provides a basic certification approach that can be referenced in contracts or purchase orders.
  • If the qualification concept is followed, it will result in significant training activity and personnel development in preparation for certification.
  • It offers the employer the flexibility to modify (i.e., by either increasing or reducing) the certification requirements to meet specific needs.

Limitations of SNT-TC-1A

The significant limitations include:

  • SNT-TC-1A is a recommended practice. As such, an employer can apply the recommendations of SNT-TC-1A in its entirety, or increase/reduce the recommendations to suit the company’s purpose. The result is that most companies have different Written Practices for the certification of their NDT personnel. This can cause difficulties for organizations that purchase NDT services and requires careful evaluation by the purchaser.

The Written Practice is key in determining the level of competency of the personnel performing NDT. "Unfortunately, many companies that require the services of an NDT provider do not adequately review the Written Practice and personnel documentation" to determine if the company’s needs will be met.

  • It is the new employer’s responsibility to recertify new personnel. This can be an expensive undertaking for a small company that may employ NDT personnel on a short-term contract basis.
  • Since SNT-TC-1A is an employer-based certification system, the individual’s certifications are terminated upon leaving the company.
  • A review of the definitions of each certified level indicates that the Level III individual is responsible for the administration of the NDT program within a company. Therefore, the strength of the company’s NDT program is greatly dependent on the competency of the Level III.

"...Employer is the Master & Technicians are Slaves sometimes (When EBC abused by Employers). An office boy can be a Level III if an Employer decides to do so..."


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Application Notes

Application Notes