ASME Section IX, “Welding Qualifications”, requires that each organization qualify its own welders and welding procedures. Qualification responsibility cannot be subcontracted, and qualifications administered by one organization cannot be transferred to another organization. This requirement has become the subject of close scrutiny as the demand for efficiency, particularly among nuclear plant owners, has increased. Two recent Code Cases change procedure and performance qualification requirements for the better. The first, N-573i, enables nuclear plant owners to share welding procedure qualifications. The second, N-600ii, enables nuclear plant owners to share welder performance qualifications. Several owners have reduced costs using N-573. N-600, because it is relatively new, has not yet been implemented. Its potential for cost savings, though, is equivalent to that afforded by N-573. This paper discusses ASME Section IX’s procedure and performance qualification philosophy, assesses that philosophy in light of today’s welding environment, and discusses implementation of Code Cases N-573 and N-600.

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