Presidents Report

AGM Presidents Report

South African Institute For Non-Destructive Testing

24 October 2013

President’s report to the 45th Annual General Meeting

It is an honour for me to present the Presidents report to this AGM in terms of the requirements of Article D.3.2 of the Bylaws of the current SAINT Constitution. This report details the activities of the SAINT Council for the past term of office.

1. Members of Council

For the past term of office the following persons served the Institute on Council:

Ben Beetge President
Simon Wilding Vice-President / Chairman Level III Group
Johan Gerber Honorary Treasurer
Keith Cain Honorary Secretary
Manfred Johannes Immediate Past President
Lew Wells Member
Hennie de Wet Member
Floyd Rezant Member
Abby Chiswo Member
Garth Apple Co-opted Member
Harold Jansen Co-opted Member
Robin Marshall Administrative Secretary

2. Activities of the Council and the Institute

2.1 Meetings

Council held meetings on 8 occasions to deal with the matters of the Institute. Minutes of the meetings were kept and are available for perusal on request.

2.2 Professional Body

With the 18th WCNDT behind us, and all the vibe that went with it, SAINT had to reassess its role with regards to the members and NDT in general in the South African industry. A big hype was created during the WCNDT, and council did not want to lose the momentum generated. Council also realised that it had to change direction as there were little chance of survival should we maintain the status quo. It hence decided to obtain input from its members in order to establish the expectations they had from their institution, but as our individual membership is dwindling, involvement from the entire NDT industry was decided on, and the idea of an NDT Indaba was conceived. The Indaba was scheduled for 15 February 2013 at the Willow Park Conference Centre in Kempton Park, where opportunities were given to a 110 attendees to hear their wishes as to what they expected from SAINT. Due to time constraints, their statements and suggestions were not debated, but recorded for further evaluation by Council in order to compile a realistic, strategic and achievable set of goals in order to address the challenges and missing elements within our industry.

The transcriptions of the meeting were assessed by council, and the one single important issue that emerged was to address the professional status of NDT technicians. On 11 April 2013 council unanimously decided to pursue a process through the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) to register a professional body (PB) for NDT. The first meeting with SAQA was held on 17 April 2013, and the outcome extremely positive. As promised at the Indaba, a feedback session was organised for the 30th May 2013. A big thank you to Gammatec for hosting the evening, and providing refreshments. The attendance however was extremely disappointing, but with a mandate in hand council decided to continue with the process.

In July council realized that the requirements to establish a professional body was rather complex, and without fulltime administration, and familiarity with the process a very lengthy route. The expertise from somebody who has already completed the process was required, and Mrs. Felicity Kent who assisted the Institute for working at heights (IWH) was approached. A meeting was scheduled, and Felicity did a presentation to council on 14 August 2013 which included two options:

  • Option 1 – Appointing her as a Professional Body Consultant only
  • Option 2 - Appointing her as the Professional Body Manager

Council opted for option 2, and a service level agreement (SLA) was signed on 1 September 2013, the date when Felicity started in her position as PB Manager. After our scheduled monthly meetings with Felicity, the following issues were highlighted:

  • Registration of the SAINT Professional Body as a Non Profit Company (NPC) – to be ratified at tonight’s AGM
  • Hire office facilities
  • Arranging road shows in Western Cape, KZN, Gauteng and Mpumalanga
  • Finalize designations
  • Implement the management system of the PB
  • Start with the registration process of individuals
  • Obtain SAQA registration

It is envisaged that the PB will be fully operational towards the second half of 2014. It is important to understand that the PB will have to be self sufficient in that it will have to generate funds to pay for an office and administration staff – something that will not currently be possible with 63 individual members. SAINT will fund the project for the first year, and a complete business plan will be drawn up for the PB to continue business thereafter.

2.3 Membership

The membership of the institute consists of 29 (30) corporate, 63 (77) individual and 6 (4) honorary members. It remains an ongoing battle to keep our membership numbers constant, and after the WCNDT we have noticed a steady decline in our membership figures. SAINT Council is exhausted in ways to up the membership numbers as commitments from individuals are fairly short lived or nonexistent, a seemingly common problem for other societies as well?

2.4 The SAINT Technical Committee

All technical enquiries received by SAINT are referred to this group for discussion.

Mr. Simon Wilding, chairperson of the committee, facilitated a well attended session to debate the new requirements of Eskom regarding wall thickness measurement training of technicians in line with the requirements of ISO 20807. It is worthy to mention the positive actions by the various training centres to accommodate the industry on very short notice, and various courses are currently presented to meet the implementation date of January 2014.

2.4 NDT Training activities

a) Universities

Manfred Johannes held a “CPD Course” at the University of Pretoria from 21 to 23 May 2013, and Keith Cain assisted with the practical sessions. He also presented three introductory courses in NDT to 3rd and 4th year engineering graduates.

b) Southern African ASNT Chapter

During March and October 2013 the Southern African ASNT Chapter has successfully offered ASNT Level III refresher courses and examinations. In March 15 candidates wrote 36 papers, and in October 18 candidates wrote 43 papers. They also conducted ACCP Level II examinations for the first time, and 3 candidates wrote 5 papers. There are currently 38 individuals that have successfully completed one or more ASNT Level III examinations since 2009, with hopefully a couple more added to the list once the recent examination results become available.

c) Training Centres

AFNDT, NASA, SAIW and SANDE are all providing valuable training to NDT technicians, and their commitment to quality training, examination and where applicable, certification, are highly commendable.

2.5 SAINT Yearbook

The SAINT yearbook was compiled during the first quarter of 2013, and issued to members during the second quarter of 2013. Council remains confident that this will add value not only to our corporate members that enjoys free advertising space, but also to share some useful information with our individual members.

2.6 SAINT Newsletter

In November 2012 Keith Cain submitted the first draft of our current newsletter, SPECTRUM, to council. This will always remain a very challenging assignment, and we need to applaud Keith for his perseverance and commitment in publishing each issue on a regular basis. We also urge both corporate and individual members to forward any interesting articles to Keith in order to assist him with material for Spectrum as it is a mammoth task to find enough relevant material for a publication.

2.7 SAIMECHE

A Letter was received from the publishers advising council of a decision taken to end the subscription and SAINT column arrangements. The last copy of the journal was mailed to our members at the end of June.

2.8 ICNDT

ICNDT MULTILATERAL RECOGNITION AGREEMENT (MRA)

Representatives of the members of the International Committee for Non-Destructive Testing (ICNDT) have recognised the need for a global Multilateral Agreement on Recognition of NDT Personnel Certification.

Each Party that is a signatory to the ICNDT MRA will undertake to:

  • pursue the objectives of the ICNDT MRA
  • promote the recognition and acceptance of the certification issued by certification bodies registered under the ICNDT MRA
  • assist other interested parties by giving a clear overview of the NDT personnel certification activities in their own country
  • advise interested parties on how the quality of NDT depends on the correct use of personal certification by the employer as explained in the ICNDT Guide to personal certification for NDT and in ISO 9712

Current signatories to the MRA are:

  • China
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Ukraine
  • Russia

Mr Jim Guild from the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) attended the last signing ceremony in Zagreb, Croatia during the beginning of October 2013 to sign on their behalf. SAINT council decided that it is imperative for SAINT to sign at the same time to indicate our unified support of the MRA from South Africa, but unfortunately due to costs and timing a representative from SAINT council could not attend, and Jim was nominated by council to be our proxy at the signing ceremony.

2.9 Conferences

IMGRAD Conference:

The Radiation Science Department at Necsa hosted IMGRAD-1, the first kick-off conference of this nature on 23 & 24 September 2013. This was an initiative between the Chief instrument scientists responsible for the Micro-focus X-Ray Radiography/Tomography facilities at Necsa, Frikkie de Beer, Kristin Carlson of WITS and Anton du Plessis of the University of Stellenbosch. 72 Participants attended the conference of which 45 were post graduate students from 11 National and 2 International Universities, as well as researchers and study leaders from National museums and Higher Educational Institutions. We congratulate Frikkie and his team with hosting a very successful conference.

3. Acknowledgements

I would like to thank everybody for their contributions over the past year, including all the council members who diligently fulfilled their various responsibilities, sometimes under very difficult situations. And then last but definitely not the least, Robin Marshall the strength of our institute, I don’t know what we will do without her. She is an absolute motivator and turns a bad day into a challenging experience! Thank you Robin, you are indeed our most valuable asset!

I thank you for this opportunity, and ensure you of our commitment as council in the coming year to further improve the functioning of the institute to the benefit of you, a member of the Southern African Institute for Nondestructive Testing.

Ben Beetge President SAINT 24 October 2013

Ben Beetge