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West College Scotland Gains Training Provider Certification

Tue, 27 September, 2022

West College Scotland, has recently gained certification to the Certification Scheme for Welder Training Organisations (CSWTO). This is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates to the market place that an independent third party has assessed West College Scotland’s training facilities, equipment and teaching materials, and has verified that it meets best practise.

West College Scotland has campuses in Clydebank, Paisley and Greenock, and between them encompass over 21,000 students, making it one of the biggest educational institutions in the country, with welding courses available to students at the Clydebank and Greenock campuses.

For an insight on why West College Scotland decided to seek certification and chose TWI Certification Ltd (TWI CL) as the body to provide its certification, we spoke to Gary Waddell, the College’s Quality Enhancement Lecturer. “West College Scotland plays a pivotal role in the shipbuilding, repair and maintenance industries in the area, and supports many engineering businesses with their apprenticeship programmes. The College, therefore, decided to pursue certification from TWI CL with the twin aims of further enhancing the training it provides to its stakeholders as well as improving the quality of welding knowledge across the sector”.

He went on to say, “We believe that TWI CL is the most respected welding awarding body in the world and, by working with TWI CL’s Company Certification, we were looking to develop our own knowledge and skills to that of TWI CL’s level, and provide our students with internationally recognised training and education”.

Because of this achievement, the College and its stakeholder customers are both benefiting in different ways from gaining CSWTO certification. West College Scotland is now recognised as a national centre for welding qualifications, and is in a stronger position to support surrounding businesses with their own training needs, enabling stakeholders to base their welding training in the local area rather than sending their employees to different locations across the UK. Meanwhile, the College’s own CSWIP Welding Examiners now have their workplace at the centre, saving them valuable time and money because they are able carry out welding qualification of candidates on site.

On top of the College’s CSWTO application, West College Scotland staff member, Christopher Hamilton, also undertook and gained welding qualifications to standard BS EN 9606: Qualification Testing of Welders, in respect of aluminium, stainless and low carbon steel, as part of the organisation’s certification approval process. He also gained CSWIP Welding Instructor and CSWIP Welding Examiner status, which included passing the job knowledge test for the MMA, MAG, FCAW and TIG welding processes. As a result, Christopher has improved his job knowledge across all manual welding areas and has really valued the opportunity to gain internationally recognised certifications, helping to augment his own teaching practice and, in turn, pass on these skills and knowledge to his students.

Gary was asked how the College found gaining certification during the COVID-19 pandemic. “TWI CL were very informative during the certification process. The first stage was carried out remotely via Zoom and the Lead Assessor, John Brampton, was very helpful”. As part of the certification process TWI CL produces a report that acts as a gap analysis which outlines any areas that are not currently meeting the CSWTO scheme requirements. The stage 2 assessment was carried out on-site by John, and John was able to observe their working environment. For Gary, this meant that they, “had a good experience which allowed [them] to improve as a College.”

Congratulations again, to West College Scotland, and we look forward to working with them again in the future.

If you are considering the Certification Scheme for Welder Training Organisations (CSWTO) for your organisation, or would like to find out more about it, then simply visit the CSWTO webpage

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