But I’m already a CWI
Yes I am. I have actually taken the exam 3 times. I passed all three but the last was 12 years ago. I have never had any “Inspector Training”of any type other than what I have learned as a welder.
Why take a class?
Recently, I have been working on developing a course for “Welding Inspection” that is to be offered 2 nights a week for 10-12 weeks. This course is intended to help people learn how to perform welding inspection.
My boss supports this endeavor but also wants it to be a “CWI Class”. Since I’ve never been to such a class, I wanted to go to one. I wanted to see how the content I used for years before testing is crammed into a week. I also enjoy teaching and any time I can watch someone else teach, I learn something about the subject and something about teaching!
Both my boss and AWS jumped through hoops to get me enrolled in a class only 3-1/2 hours from home. I am VERY glad to be here!
About the class
This course started on Sunday morning (not a fan) and goes through Friday afternoon. The 1st 2 days are “Code Clinic” days, then “Fundamentals” and then the “Practical” using the AWS CWI Book of Specifications. Though the subject matter is something I am familiar with, the class will be well worth attending.
A little slow getting started
On the 1st day, the morning was a little slow getting started. A few stories were told by the instructor, confirmation letters were observed, and books were verified. Since I was here for the class and not the test, I wasn’t really learning much other than the instructors concern for the students having everything they “need”. He definitely showed concern for things being in order which could make a big difference on “test day”. Something gained here for sure!
- For those people with code books from printed from .pdf files, make sure you have everything in order!
- Make sure your confirmation letter addresses the specific code that you are going to use for the test!
What We did-Listen
We got started into the actual D1.1 code book around 10:00 ish. There were a couple of people there for API 1104 training but it was suggested they leave as to not get “confused”.
The training essentially consisted of the instructor reading through various code paragraphs and stressing specific items with a statement such as “This will probably be on the test” and “You will probably see this again!” Maybe, everyone “knew” how to use the code but just needed to know what parts to mark to make the test easier…I don’t know.
There was an “AWS D1.1 Code Clinic” Handbook that was provided by AWS which contained some commentary on various code paragraphs that seemed interesting but I loaned mine to one of the other students that didn’t have one and it was not referred to during class. There was a Powerpoint Presentation but it was only used for a couple of the D1.1 clauses.
As far as the paragraphs addressed by the instructor…they were the ones in the study guide but as far as any commentary or application instructions, not much was discussed. I probably interfered a bit with the class since I tried to throw in a few real worlds “hows and whys” but probably used up the time for reading the code aloud. Sometimes I have a hard time suppressing the “teacher” part of me!
I actually had a few questions myself but felt it better to not tie up the reading time with discussion that may very well confuse some not comfortable with the code. I tried to clarify the fact that the instructor was the person to listen to for “passing the test”.
My Best Takeaway
The instructor did a fine job reading through the code. When questions were presented, they were answered. It is not how I would teach someone to use a code since they could read it from cover to cover and insert their own page numbers. One of the concepts I did like was the instructors suggestion to place page numbers next to paragraph/table/figure references. This would have saved me some time in my exam days but will also come in handy when I actually use the code. Its much easier to “jump” to a page number than a paragraph number!
All in all, I can see the code portion of the training help someone pass the test by making them mark and highlight concepts in their book and thus make things a little easier to find during the test. I do not see it as a course that helps an individual gain “skill” using the code or understand it deep enough to actually apply it on the job without a little mentoring or practice. From what I understand from the instructor, he has a passing percentage of 70% and that is pretty good.
I have enjoyed the class thus far and have some ideas about how I want to teach this type of content. The concept of telling a student what may be on the exam does help them pass a test, but may not help them be a better welding inspector. In my opinion, 10ish hours is just a drop in the bucket of time compared to what I spent years ago in the code trying to become a better inspector.
I think the instructor is doing a great job getting people prepared to pass the test in a short amount of time.
A little extra
The amount of material that is required to be covered for someone to pass the test is pretty large. I was pleased to see the instructor stay over well beyond the 5pm class time. Closer to after 730 when he finished to allow time to cover D1.1 more. He is scheduled to do the same for the API people on Wed.
2 thoughts on “CWI Training Course Observations-Day 1 and 2 Code Clinic”
You mentioned the instructor was careful to make sure that students had everything in order. This is one thing that I feel every inspector should have ” an inspection plan” or a method of performing inspections that ensure all possible aspects of the job will be covered, including the CYA issue.
One thing I found helpful with exams was making the connection between the question and the clause the answer would be in eg. does it pertain to Design (2), Inspection (6), Fabrication (5), etc. This way I could look in the correct clause first (fastest), I have been able to use this with all exams I’ve taken AWS and API.
I feel you might have missed the point, slightly. The AWS seminar for the CWI exam is not a class that teaches you how to be an inspector, which is what it sounds like you’re planning on doing. The AWS seminar is just that, a seminar. It teaches you how to navigate the code better, some subjects that might be on the fundamentals exam that people might not have thought of, and how to navigate the hands on section. If I hadn’t already had 25 years experience in the welding industry, and knowledge of the D1.1 code, I don’t think I would have passed on my first try. Others in my class who had welded for decades, but didn’t have experience in inspection, codes or other welding processes then are normally performed in a Job shop, had a much more difficult time, and more often than not failed at their first attempt. If you are not well prepared, and have the experience necessary, then just taking the AWS seminar will not substitute. I agree that if you are going to teach a class on inspection, and to become a CWI, then you must delve deeper into the subject at hand.