American Welding Society Certification Testing Now Available

The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) recently became an Accredited Testing Facility (ATF) through the American Welding Society (AWS). With this internationally recognized designation, the SVHEC now provides welding trainees, experienced welders, and regional employers with access to pursue a world-class industry certification.

SVHEC Testing Facility Team

Photo (l-r): Jerry Elliott (Accredited Testing Facility Representative and Quality Manager), Geoff Vaughan (Welding@SVHEC Program Leader), Scarlett Brandon, SoVA CME Program/Marketing Coordinator

“AWS is the cream of the crop for welding certification. Being designated as an ATF will not only benefit SVHEC welding trainees, but also employers throughout the region. We’re proud to provide a much needed local connection to this well-recognized national welding certification,” said Geoffrey Vaughan, Welding@SVHEC Program Leader.

Obtaining AWS certification is a rigorous process requiring individuals to demonstrate their welding skills at an Accredited Testing Facility. A certified AWS Welding Inspector examines an individual’s welds and determines if he or she qualifies for certification. An array of weld testing is available including GWAM Spray Arc Transfer (M.I.G. Spray Arc), FCAW (Flux Cored Arc Welding), SMAW (Stick Welding), GTAW Carbon Steel (T.I.G.), and 6”-6G SMAW pipe (Stick Welding).

To become an AWS Accredited Test Facility, the SVHEC was required to implement a quality assurance program that met the requirements established in AWS QC4-89, Standard for the Accreditation of Testing Facilities.  It is also required a Quality Manual that controls the activities related to the testing of welders in the facility according to AWS QC7, Standard for AWS Certified Welders.

The SVHEC’s Accredited Testing Facility designation provides increased access to a globally recognized certification. According to Dr. Nettie Simon-Owens, SVHEC Chief Workforce Development Officer, this new designation as an AWS ATF is a reflection of the accomplishments of the SVHEC’s highly qualified welding and administrative staff who did all the work necessary to meet the AWS’ strenuous facility and documentation requirements for accreditation.”

Being designated an Accredited Testing Facility by AWS is a real feather in our cap. It further advances the skillsets of Welding@SVHEC instructors and provides a convenient location for trainees and employers to receive credential-based testing,” states Dr. Betty Adams, Executive Director of the SVHEC. Welding trainees, experienced welders, and Halifax County employers now have an AWS ATF in their backyard, just minutes away from the Hwy 58 manufacturing hub.

For more information about AWS testing and pricing contact Geoffrey Vaughan, Welding Program Leader at 434-572-5486 and


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