Essential Steps to Achieve Steel Fabricator Certification

SFC – Step by Step
Step 1: The fabricator contacts HERA Certification Ltd in writing. The scheme manager sends the fabricator all relevant SFC documentation referenced in P001. To provide the fabricator with information on the scheme, a specific orientation meeting may be organised with the fabricator and technical experts
Step 2: The fabricator defines the Construction Category (CC) required to cover the range of structural steel products considered. A guide on the selection of the appropriate CC-rating is given in the P002.
Step 3: The fabricator establishes and implements a welding quality management system to the requirements of the CC-rating. For CC3 and CC4, the fabricator shall be certified to AS/NZS ISO 3834 Part 2 (OP001). For CC2, compliance of the fabricator with all normative requirements of AS/NZS 1554.1 shall be verified by a third-party audit conducted by the HERA Certification Ltd (OP003a). This is usually performed within the same audit covering other requirements of the SFC (see Step 4).
Step 4: The fabricator implements all other requirements of the SFC (P003, P004) and applies for the certification (P008).
Step 5: Once the application has been accepted by HERA Certification Ltd, a pre-audit meeting will be organised by the scheme manager and a contract signed (P009).
Step 6: On HERA Certification Ltd’s receipt of the fabricator’s order, the scheme manager will appoint the assessment team, consisting of the lead assessor and assessor, to carry out an assessment and sign the contract (P009).
Step 7: The fabricator sends the quality manual and relevant documentation to the assessment team, which then carries out a document review. Once the documentation has been accepted an on-site audit by the assessment team is conducted. The audit can be conducted as a joint ISO 3834.2 (CC3&4) (OP001) (or AS/NZS 1554 (CC2)) (OP003a) and SFC (other than welding) (P005), or as a SFC (other than welding) one in case the fabricator holds a current ISO 3834.2 certification.
Step 8: The audit report, a review of any corrective actions and a final report are submitted to HERA Certification Ltd’s certification panel for approval (P005).
Step 9: Once the final audit report is satisfactory (P005), a certificate confirming the company has proven its ability to fulfil the requirements of SFC will be issued (P010). The fabricator shall not have non-conformities pending when the certificate is issued. The certificate is valid for a maximum of five years, subject to satisfactory annual surveillance audits. The certificate is valid for the CC the fabricator was assessed to.The assessment audit using P005 usually requires half a day. For the duration of the ISO 3834 audit, refer to the OP001.Following the fabricator’s application, the scope of certification can be extended to a higher CC-rating. This step normally requires an audit visit.
Step 10: Annual Surveillance audits are required to maintain SFC status (P006).
Step 11: Reassessment against SFC is required every five years (Steps 6 to 9).