A Comparison of Welding Standards in Canada, the U.S., and Europe

A comparison of welding standards in Canada, the U.S., and Europe


welding standard

Throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe, the welding trade is found in every metal fabrication shop. Almost every industry throughout the world uses this manufacturing method. Today’s global economy has allowed businesses of all sizes to compete internationally due to information technology, which has broken down barriers of geography and distance. All sorts of parts and components can be manufactured and shipped to different countries, for example, Canada for welding and then shipping to the United States for assembly.
Yet, quality is still the top priority that all customers have when it comes to product design and fabrication. Metal fabrication shops believe adhering to codes and standards designed to protect their customers will enable them to compete effectively in any market – locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally.
Standardisation establishes criteria for the quality of goods produced, as well as the safety of those goods, the training and experience of those who make such products. Canada, the U.S., and the EU address welding standards within the framework of their national bodies. Despite many similarities, there are also differences between the standards in each country.

welding canada welding usa welding europe

welding canada welding usa welding europe

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Welding Standard in Canada

welding canada welding usa welding europe Welding Process | Metal welding Services | OmnidexCN
Components produced with welding methods are regulated by codes and standards that specify recommended practices, regulations, rules, requirements, and certifications. The codes and standards followed by every country are different. Despite it being reasonable to assume that qualified welders in all countries – those who can weld at different levels – are qualified to follow specific welding procedures that can be applied everywhere, in truth, the opposite is true.

Almost every industry wants to leverage new technologies to produce faster, more cheaply and innovate. In the same way, the manufacturing process follows the same principles. In order to provide high quality at a competitive price, it needs to stay at the cutting edge of technology.

Regardless of where they are located, welders must meet certain criteria. There are no global welding specifications or international standards, even though welding processes and procedures may be very similar. Every country has its own welding standard and codes. Examples of these include Canada, the U.S., and the EU.

General welding requirements are set out in CSA Standards W47.1 and W59. AWS D1.1 provides welding requirements in the U.S., and ISO 3834 provides them in the EU. Here are some details:
In Canada, the Canadian Standards Association oversees welding standards. There are two CSA Standards for welding, W47.1 and W59, which specify welder qualifications, weld conditions, and welding procedures. Furthermore, they outline the requirements for welding supervisors and welding engineers, as well as the requirements for certification processes for companies that work with steel. Certification requirements mandate that companies and their employees follow approved welding procedures in order to obtain and maintain certification. Welding consumables, inspection organisations, and inspectors can be certified by the Canadian Welding Bureau Group (CWB). Additionally, the CWB conducts the third-party verification required under Canadian law.

Welding Standard in the U.S.

Independent, non-profit organisations in the US determine the welding codes and standards that are used in the industry. Most welding standards and codes in the United States are produced by the American Welding Society (AWS). The most widely recognised code in this group is AWS D1, among other published documents dealing with welding quality control. AWS and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) contribute codes and standards for boilers and pressure vessels, which include the design, construction, materials, and testing of boilers and pressure vessels. For the production of petroleum, the American Petroleum Institute (API) writes its own standards and welding requirements. There are many standards, but API Std 1104, “Standard for Welding Pipelines and Related Facilities,” is particularly noteworthy.

Welding Standard in Europe

European Standard ISO 3834, developed by welding organisations, sets quality standards for welding products. Welded products must meet quality requirements developed by the International Standards Organisation in cooperation with the International Institute of Welding. By requiring standardised testing, ISO 3834 quality requirements ensure welders have the qualifications and competence to perform welding tasks. Similarly, welders should follow the Welding Procedure Specifications (WPS). Essentially, WPS are written instructions for welding that aim to increase consistency.

What’s the Difference Across Standards?

Certainly, each standard has a primary focus on the quality of work performed, but those trained and certified are experienced professionals. There are, however, some differences. Licenses and certifications for welding engineers and supervisors are one example. The United States does not require it for employment, but Canada and the European Union do. Only in Canada and the European Union are qualified fabricators required to hold a license for their fabrication.
One of the biggest differences between the three systems is the Canadian third-party validation checks carried out by the Canadian Wage Board. CWB certification means that a company’s welder qualifications have been verified and witnessed by the CWB. By law, the CWB must approve the welding procedures. It is also expected that the CWB will examine welding supervisory personnel. Verifying the weld quality, the fabricator’s expertise, and the documentation independently help guarantee that all standards are followed, minimising liability risk under third-party verification.


Every country requires that welders have skills and qualifications in the welding process(es) they use as well as follow approved/accepted welding procedures. Nevertheless, the EU and Canada do not require welding engineers or supervisors to hold licenses or certifications in those roles. U.S. officials do not explicitly mention these roles, but that does not imply that they don’t exist. It merely means that it is not determined by the standard itself. Only the Canadian and European systems recognise qualified fabricators and fabrication as a separate entity. Despite the American Welding Society offering a program to certify fabricators, it is not mandatory. An overview of the key differences in three economies can be found in the charts below.
overview of the key differences of weding standards in Canada USA and Europe_industrial manufacturing and engineering services_Omnidex

This chart outlines the more specific requirements of each standard.

specific requirements of welding standards_ okey differences of weding standards in Canada USA and Europe_industrial manufacturing services_OmnidexCN
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