Is there any possibility to temporary extend the validity of NDT personnel certification due to coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis?
According to the industry standard EN4179, recognised by the EASA via AMC 145.A.30(f) and AMC M.A.606(f) to be used for qualification of NDT personnel, the NDT personnel Level 1, 2 and 3 shall be recertified every 5 years. No flexibility is given by EN4179 to deviate from the specific requirements of EN4179, Chapter 8 related to the recertification of NDT personnel process.
Due to the extraordinary worldwide coronavirus crisis, the recertification requirements might not be fulfilled (examinations). Other impacted processes can be “annual maintenance” and “vision examination” which invalidate the certification if not performed on time.
In these circumstances, the Agency recommends the organisation to agree with the Competent Authority a deviation from the organisation’s procedure (e.g. in case of Part-145 to use the normal concession process - deviation from an approved exposition (MOE) for a limited period of time) in case of a need to temporary extend (without fulfilling the normal requirements) the validity of NDT personnel certification, annual maintenance and/or vision examination. The organisation should contact their Competent Authority surveyor and agree on mitigating measures depending on the extent of the concession needed (e.g. EN4179 para. 8.3.2, second and fourth bullet points could offer grounds for mitigation measures).
For standardisation reasons, it is recommended that each National Aerospace NDT Board (NANDTB) together with the corresponding Competent Authority establishes the general scenario to be followed by the organisations (e.g. by an information notice on the NANDTB website or by e-mail etc.). This will be further adapted to the specific case (e.g. in the case of a Part-145 organisation with D1 rating additional mitigation measure could be taken for the NDT personnel who is also certifying staff).
Same principles can be applied by Part-21 Subpart G and F organisations having the NDT personnel qualified/certified i.a.w. EN 4179 when applying the GM 21.A.145(a) or GM No 2 to 21.A.126(a)(3).