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The American Welding Society

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What is an AWS Accredited Test Facility (ATF)?

The American Welding Society (AWS) Accredited Test Facility (ATF) program establishes minimum requirements for test facilities, their personnel, and equipment to qualify for accreditation to test and qualify welders (such as for the D1.1 welding certification).

Entrusting welder certification to ATF specialists makes good business sense for contractors and fabricators. Companies are increasingly realizing the shortcomings of self-qualification and are switching to AWS Accredited Test Facilities to test and qualify their welders. ATFs help them to save money, improve productivity, and reduce liability by entrusting their welder certification to the experts.

Arclabs ATF

Becoming an AWS Accredited Testing Facility was part of Arclabs’ original vision to not only train new welders at the school but to also upskill existing welders from local companies either at their facility or at our ATF. Seeing the need for continuous training, consulting, and up-to-date code certifications, Arclabs’ ATF is a resource appreciated by hundreds of companies in the area. Having an ATF keeps Arclabs’ school connected with the industry and up to date on what the market needs from our new welders.

Because a school cannot test its own students, the ATF runs independently and functions as a third party when testing Arclabs’ students.

“We are often asked to go to a company and train their welders,” says Steve Wheat, Arclabs ATF Director, and Authorized OSHA Safety Trainer. “They might have great MIG welders, but now need them to TIG weld on an upcoming project. We train them and get them certified for the welds they’ll be performing.”

ATFs can test welders to AWS Standard Welding Procedure Specifications (SWPS). ATFs can also test to company-supplied or non-code welding specifications, such as when organizations either have their own welding procedures or are following other applied welding codes.