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We Hear More - Volume 2 - Issue 4 (April 2021)

April 08, 2021

A message from Allan Rienstra

Attaining certificate status in any discipline must be considered an important goal for both employees and employers alike. A certificate testifies that an employee has gained a level of competence in a particular skill. It provides fodder for discussions about advancement within the company, pay scale, and job security. Employers will look to employees holding certifications to provide leadership and motivation to the team. They may have more trust in certified employees to carry out tougher, more operations critical tasks, or take on higher levels of responsibility for a given project or department.

Allan Rienstra

Generally speaking, adding certificates to your resume is never a bad thing, however employers should remain wary; while certifications are an indication that a basic level of knowledge was obtained, they are no guarantee of experience. Having book knowledge in the brain does not immediately translate into practical execution in the field.

Considering the importance of technology certification, the question about which Ultrasound Certification is right for you, and perhaps more importantly, which training partner to contract for that training, becomes poignantly relevant.

Vendor-Neutral Certifications

Delivered by third party organizations claiming to have no affiliation with any particular manufacturer. In many cases the certifying body positions itself as a not-for-profit. This fact should not be misinterpreted as “cheaper” or even “free”. On the contrary, one should be prepared to pay up for this brand of training as the background administration costs to operate these organizations can be substantial.

One might also be wary about the body of knowledge from vendor-neutral course offerings. By definition, “vendor-neutral” implies that only foundational knowledge in the technology shall be expected. Many trainees go into a course expecting to learn how to use their own particular ultrasound data logger and software. This expectation must be tempered if you choose a vendor-neutral trainer. Insofar as actual equipment operation goes, that is typically not covered. Nuances specific to any particular brand or manufacturer are not part of the package. This makes sense since staying up-to-date on technology changes (which happen rapidly) is next to impossible unless one is directly affiliated with the manufacturers.

Another point of emphasis must be the knowledge transfer vehicle, or more specifically, the trainer. Vendor-neutral courses are often designed so that literally anyone can be trained to deliver the knowledge. Purveyors of these cookie-cutter course models recruit trainers with presentation skills (hopefully… but not always) and provide them with structured guidance on how to deliver the body of knowledge. The slide decks, the course notes, and the instructor’s guidelines are rigidly adhered to in a robotic delivery method that falls short on many fronts. The exam largely consists of a true/false/multiple choice challenge.

Vendor-Driven Certifications

Delivered by the manufacturer of a specific technology brand, these courses may claim to follow the same guidelines of vendor-neutral trainers; and often they do just that. Trainees should remain on guard as these types of courses can deviate into a commercial presentation or a sales pitch. Choose your provider carefully and be mindful of vendors whose agenda might not be in the best interests of the student.

A vendor certification often meets, and even exceed the standards set out by the International Standards Organization (ISO). The basic requirements of ISO CAT1 courses are designed to deliver foundational knowledge but not challenge current belief positions nor address field-level experiences. ASNT sets the standard for training of NDT (Non-destructive test) technicians. Ultrasound certifications should take into consideration the required recommended practice of the SNT-TC-1A standard.

Most often, trainees seek certification as part of a larger implementation for a project. An Ultrasound Condition Monitoring program is one such project where vendor-driven certification is hugely advantageous. Foundational knowledge alone is not enough. Successful implementation depend on technicians receiving a mixture of cognitive, affective, and practical knowledge. In combination, these three branches form a more complete body of knowledge that prepare technicians to succeed both in the classroom and in the field.

Which certification is right for you?

If you seek basic knowledge with an ISO certifying body and are not overly concerned about how to use and operate your ultrasound hardware/software, a simple ISO CAT1 may be just what you need. However, those looking to create a teacher/student relationship that teaches an advanced body of knowledge that incorporates book learning with practical instrument and software operation, then a Vendor-Driven option makes more sense. In either case, the training should meet or exceed the basic requirements set out by ISO 18436-8 while being delivered by passionate, field-experienced trainers.


Live Online Level One Ultrasound Certification!

Our Level 1 Ultrasound Certification includes 16, 2 hour sessions, delivered twice per week over the course of 8 weeks, followed by a final exam. This course exceeds the ISO 18436-8 and corresponds with the required practices of the American Society for Non-Destructive Testing.

Click here to Hear More about Live Online Level One Certification

This training is delivered live, to your desktop, tablet, or other mobile device. Classes are scheduled twice per week in 2-hour sessions. Afterall, who has time to sit in front of their screen for 8 hours in one go? Welcome to the new world. Welcome to the SDT way of sharing knowledge and advancing ultrasound technology.


SDT’s Ultrasound Essentials™ 1

is a short 25 module introductory level ultrasound condition monitoring course, designed to kickstart your reliability program. Own the apex of the P-F Curve with ultrasonic condition monitoring. Get started today with this easy to implement reliability technology – and choose the world’s favourite ultrasound company as your training partner!

Click here to Hear More about Ultrasound Essentials™ 1


Featured Product

Detect, measure, analyze and trend ultrasound and vibration with the SDT340

The SDT340 connects maintenance teams to asset reliability in ways never before possible.

SDT Ultrasound Solutions SDT340

  • Clearly view the 3.5” color display in the darkest and brightest conditions
  • Recall historical data for trending and alarming while performing in-field data acquisition
  • Record time waveform data for up to 10 minutes
  • Analyze the time-wave form directly on your device while performing inspections in the field
  • Improve in-field diagnosis by panning and expanding your time wave form on screen
  • See defects others simply cannot with the cutting-edge focUS mode
  • Listen while you inspect with Bluetooth headphones

Click here to Hear More about the SDT340


Featured Blog Post

Ultrasound… Jack of All Trades

The Swiss Army Knife of Condition Monitoring

Ultrasound, Jack of All Trades

“Versatile” is an attribute often used to describe ultrasound technology. Some have even coined it the “Swiss Army Knife” of condition monitoring. Depending on your perception of Swiss army knives, that could be both flattering and condemning at the same time. The knife itself is iconic with Swiss-made quality, while the phrase “Swiss Army Knife”, over time, morphed into an adjective to describe craftspeople with diverse skills, capable of practically any task.

Click here to Hear More


Allan Rientra Profile picture

Written by Allan Rienstra. I am the director of business development for SDT, the world's favourite ultrasound company. Our mission is to partner with clients to help them gain a better understanding about the health of their assets and the reliability of their organization. Connect with me on LinkedIn