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Let’s discover What has changed!

This new version was released by ISO in December 2021 and adopted by UNI and EN in the first half of 2022, initiating the transition period from the well-established 2012 edition.

This new version substantially changes the well-established practices in the use of the 2012 version.

This article aims to provide an overview of the main changes introduced in a broad sense, without delving into specific details. We recommend a thorough analysis of the standard for specific details.

Among the main changes introduced in the new UNI EN ISO 9712:2022 – Non-destructive testing are:

1. Referee: Who they are and their role?
2. Training requirements
3. Experience requirements
4. Visual acuity requirements
5. Examination content (quiz samples for practical testing)
6. Renewal procedures
7. New techniques and investigation methods


The new role introduced in the standard confirms industrial experience for NDT certification. It replaces the employer when the employer is also the certification applicant, like a self-employed worker.

The referee needs one of these qualifications:
• Certification at level 2 or 3 in any NDT method.
• Approval from the certification body for uncertified personnel with the right knowledge, skills, training, and experience to verify the candidate’s industrial experience.

This figure could be useful to avoid self-declarations but at the same time, it could be complex to approve if the chosen figure does not have a valid qualification certificate.


The new standard brings significant changes to this section compared to the old one. It discusses different ways of managing learning and how long it should take.

The standard introduces significant changes in this section compared to the previous edition, citing various learning management methods and durations.

It allows for remote learning for the theoretical part, which should constitute 50% of the total duration ±10% according to ISO/TS 25108.
They’ve also introduced self-learning as an option, but it’s not clear how to do it right in terms of requirements and/or methods necessary to document the successful execution. To sort this out, a formal request has been made to the European body by a technical group made up of the ODCs and ACCREDIA. This request aims to get clearer instructions on how to apply self-learning because it’s seen as an important requirement but using it wrong could be risky.

They’ve switched the minimum time for each test method from hours to days. A day is counted as at least 7 hours. They’ve also changed how they divide hours for Level 1 and Level 2, putting more emphasis on training for Level 1.

More hours are needed to move up to Level 2 in ultrasound, but less time is required for the radiographic method.

3.NDT Industrial Experience

The industrial experience requirements have also been revised. Now, some of this experience must be done before you take the certification exam. And they measure the time in days, not months like before.

For Level 3, they’ve divided it into different situations. It depends on your education level and whether you have a Level 2 qualification.

4.Visual suitability requirements

In the vision requirements, the checks needed to make sure the candidate’s vision is correct (like checking color contrast and visual perception) have not changed. But they’ve added some important details about when and who can repeat the test.

For color contrast, it used to be done every year, but now it’s done every 5 years.

They’ve also made it clear that specific professionals can do these tests, including doctors, nurses, ophthalmologists, licensed optometrists, or other qualified experts. They need approval from a Level 3 professional working for the employer.

ISO 18490 also talks about this, saying even a Level 3 person can do this check if they’re properly qualified.

5.Examination Procedures

The structure and format of both the theoretical and practical exams have remained largely unchanged. However, there are some important details:

• The general quizzes now have 40 questions each.
• The specific quizzes still follow the old rule, where you need more questions if you have more sectors or products to cover. (20 quizzes for one sector/product, 30 quizzes for two or more sectors/products).

They’ve also changed how they score the practical exams. They use tables to calculate the score based on specific things you do. And they’ve updated the number of samples you need for the practical test.

This last part is a big change, especially for candidates who seeking certification across multiple product or industry sectors.

However there are still some questions about how this works, so the ODC working group with ACCREDIA has asked the European body for clarification.


This section highlights one of the most important and impactful changes in the market.

Candidates at all levels, in addition to presenting the requirements from the previous edition of the standard, including work continuity and visual acuity, must:

• Successfully complete a practical exam structured with at least 50% of the examination samples performed and prescribed for the initial certification.
• Successfully meet the requirements of the credit scoring system.
Basically, candidates have two options. They can take part in a part of the practical test, focusing on one or more samples. Alternatively, they can gather and provide proof that demonstrates they’ve achieved the minimum score required (100 points over 5 years). This scoring method is quite similar in concept and structure to how level 3 personnel currently get recertified.

7.Training Requirements for Techniques

Requirements have been introduced for specific techniques that were previously regulated independently by various ODCs. These include:

• Clearer guidelines for the LT technique
• Adding MT-FL dispersed flow as an MT control method
• Including TOFD and Phased Array techniques as extra requirements for UT
• Separating FILM and non-FILM radiographic techniques, both for the classic technique (RT-F, RT-D) and image interpretation (RT-ID, RT-IDE)
• Introducing RT-CT Tomography

The new standard also mentions various minor alterations that haven’t been covered in this article. Therefore, it’s recommended to conduct a thorough assessment and examination to identify any adjustments that might impact the current certification process for personnel involved in non-destructive testing.

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