International Career with Steel and Anti-Corrosion-Protection-Training in Poland

We encounter steel constructions everywhere. Steel is one of the most versatile building materials and enables wide-stretched, slender and transparent creations in an almost unlimited variety of shapes. Also the size of the object is practically endless. However, steel must be cared with diligence and regularly maintained to ensure its longevity. TÜV Rheinland has set up appropriate Anti-Corrosion-Training courses in response to the market requirements for corrosion protection in Poland. Anna Konewecka, Local Stream Manager at TÜV Rheinland Poland, gives an insight.

Building constructions such as houses, towers, bridges, but also cars are made of steel, on which in turn a lot of welding work is carried out. Also, steel structures are painted. But what many don’t know: Painting is used not only for aesthetic reasons, but also to protect the steel from corrosion. Anti-corrosion coatings are a necessity, not only because of normative or customer requirements, but also because they ensure the quality and safety of the use of constructions and building objects.

Insufficient quality of buildings and steel structures is almost synonymous with inadequate safety. The quality and safety of buildings, objects and structures depend not only on their performance, but also on correct design and material solutions and proper use. Quality also depends on the awareness and qualifications of the personnel. Given growing demands for standards in the construction industry and an increasing need for employee skills, particularly in the area of corrosion protection, TÜV Rheinland Poland took advantage of this opportunity and began expanding its corrosion protection training as early as 2012.

Lack of knowledge in steel factories

“We had recognized that workers in steel factories had previously lacked expertise in the field of corrosion protection. Whether painters, quality controllers or corrosion protection inspectors: the requirements placed on those involved vary depending on the activity. Customers need someone who knows what kind of paint to use for a particular steel structure, who knows how to use it and who can also test the paint finish,” explains Anna Konewecka, Local Stream Manager at TÜV Rheinland Poland. “Unfortunately, there was no qualification for quality control in the field of corrosion protection on the market. We have noticed that the Polish market is very interested in corrosion protection and the market needs are constant. So we’ve developed a training program that meets the needs of the market.”

The target group for the training includes all manufacturing companies active in industry and dealing with steel, including the automotive industry. The division trains around 100 quality controller of paint protective coatings every year since 2013. Corrosion protection training is one of the most sought-after courses offered by TÜV Rheinland Poland. “Our unique selling point is that we combine the training program with the accredited program for personnel certification according to ISO 17024, the standardized standard for personnel certification,” explains Anna Konewecka. This means that all corrosion protection controllers and inspectors qualified by TÜV Rheinland Academy are recognized throughout Europe – which is additional benefit to the participants. “Our qualification for Inspector of paint protective coatings, for example, is relevant for the worldwide known qualification “FROSIO Inspector”. We are the second accredited personnel certification body in Europe to offer this qualification level.”

Cooperation with companies and universities

The anti-corrosion training for quality controllers includes 30 hours, for inspectors it’s 72 hours and one day exam after each training. The examination is divided into a theoretical and a practical part. In the practical test, for example, the participants receive a sample of a paint finish and have to check the parameters and technical features, among other things.

TÜV Rheinland Poland does not only cooperate with the commercial market. “We also see an opportunity in cooperation with universities. One of our partners is the Silesian Technical University in Gliwice. We have been working together in various areas for 19 years,” says the Local Stream Manager. The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Silesian Technical University has decided to introduce a specialization for corrosion protection qualification. TÜV Rheinland promoted this specialization and was actively involved in the programme design. The first four students have already been successfully certified in the accredited TÜV Rheinland procedure.

 

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Anna Konewecka
Anna Konewecka