If you are working in the business field of steel construction with your company manufacturing goods for the US-American or Asian markets , you are required to fabricate according to the rules of the AWS Codebook D1.1. A central figure in this set standard is the CWI who ensures the quality of manufacture by compulsory assignments.
The main topics of the course are welding processes, destructive and non-destructive tests, metallurgy and the Codebook D1.1.
Engineers need a minimum of 5 years of welding experience, professionals with an eight grade level schooling (e.g. Realschule in Germany) are required at least 9 years and any other participants not less than 12 years of welding experience. You also need a valid visual acuity record.
Both examination and certification are performed by the American Welding Society (AWS) only. After 3 and 6 years you have to renew your certification. After the period of 9 years there is a recertification by means of an examination (part B).
More details at CWI.