Known as ‘IECEx Certified Persons Scheme’, the programme, now also offered by TÜV Rheinland, provides suitable qualifications and is continuously adapted to the state of the art.
Safety specialists who are familiar with explosion protection are in demand worldwide. This is because all companies that operate or set up potentially explosive plants need such experts – especially the oil and gas industry. “Such specialists must be able to work internationally. However, there is often a lack of comparability in training,” explains Marc Krugmann, explosion protection expert at TÜV Rheinland. As a result, companies looking for explosion protection specialists find it difficult to assess whether a specialist is suitably qualified in each case.
IECEx stands for the working area of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) that deals with explosion protection. Those who pass the test receive a certificate that lists their own qualifications in a detailed and standardized manner. “Any company worldwide can trust that a certified explosion protection specialist can assess safety in potentially explosive atmospheres according to global standards," says Marc Krugmann.
To obtain the certificate, candidates must pass a comprehensive theoretical and practical examination. This covers, for example, basic knowledge for entering potentially explosive atmospheres, installation and maintenance of explosion-proof equipment, detailed testing of explosion-proof equipment and installations, and auditing and testing of electrical installations in potentially explosive atmospheres.
Specialists from almost every country in the world can take the test at TÜV Rheinland branches. If they pass the test, they receive a certificate and an ID card listing the modules they have passed, along with any limitations. This certificate is valid for five years. To extend the validity, candidates must prove in a follow-up examination that their training is still state of the art.