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Understanding the Hierarchy of Documents in NDT

I began my training as a nondestructive test (NDT) inspector in the mid 1960s. To this day, I still remember the training I received during my service in the U.S. Navy on the Hierarchy of Documents and Interpretation of Application of Standards and Specifications. In my mind, this training was one of the most valuable prerequisites for becoming an NDT inspector. Both of these prerequisites also served as the basis for further training in NDT. If I had not passed these two courses, I would not have been eligible for training as a nondestructive test inspector for visual, magnetic particle, liquid penetrant, ultrasonic and/ or radiography inspector. Later on, I received more valuable training that tied all of these concepts together – from developing standards and specifications, to writing government contracts – but I continued to place great value on the training I received Hierarchy of Documents, which throughout my career has enabled me to conduct audits that assure the traceability by capturing objective evidence During this session, I will share with the audience the importance of Hierarchy of Documents as it relates to NDT, and why today’s NDT inspectors must have a thorough understanding of how to use Hierarchy of Documents during the NDT inspection process. The presentation will include an overview of the “hierarchy” pyramid of government agencies including the military, as well as the “hierarchy” pyramid of private sector companies, how this “hierarchy” determines decisions to purchase and implement processes, services and technologies, and what this means for the NDT inspector. The presentation will also address the development of standards (i.e. ISO 9001) in relationship to the Hierarchy of Documents, the factors that must be taken into consideration when developing standards including quality management, environmental health and safety, and social responsibility, and the intent of those standards.

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