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Welding of Reinforcing Steels Training Course

A four-day training course for company welding co-ordinators

June 6th – 9th 2022


There has been a significant growth in the amount of welded pre-fabrication conducted by reinforcement fabricators in the UK in recent years. This is an opportunity for the fabricating engineers to add value to their product by supplying a rapid-fix cage to site, dispensing with the requirement for costly, time-consuming traditional fixing methods.  Welded pre-fabrication has become common for pile cages, beam cages, and roll mat reinforcement. However, this practice also poses some risks, since although reinforcing steels are generally regarded as weldable, the properties can be adversely affected by inappropriate welding procedures or poor welding technique.

The previous British Standard for welding reinforcing steels BS 7123:1989, was superseded by ISO standard BS EN ISO 17660 Parts 1 and 2, which were published in the UK early in 2008, and introduced new requirements, one of which was for fabricators conducting welding of reinforcing steels to have a suitably qualified welding co-ordinator. The new British Standard BS 8548:2017 “Guidance for arc welding of reinforcing steel” was published in January 2017.

The guidance is relevant for welding reinforcing steels which themselves comply with the requirements of BS 4449 “Steel for the reinforcement of concrete- Weldable reinforcing steel- bar, coil and decoiled product- Specification” and BS 4482 “Steel wire for the reinforcement of concrete products – Specification”. This guidance document is designed to be used in conjunction with the International Standards ISO 17660-1 “Welding of reinforcing steel – Part 1- Load bearing welded joints” and ISO 17660-2 “Welding of reinforcing steel – Part 2- Non-load bearing joints”. In conjunction with the new British Standard, CARES have issued new Appendices to their Steel for the Reinforcement of Concrete (SRC) Scheme; Appendix 11 covers “tack” or “locational” joints (as covered by ISO 17660 Part 2), and Appendix 12 covers structural and semi-structural joints, (as covered by ISO 17660 Part 1).

Between them, these new documents contain significant new requirements for the control of welding processes for reinforcing steel.

One of the main changes within the UK compared with previous practice is that the requirements for Welding Co-ordinators have been introduced, covering the roles of both a Responsible Welding Coordinator, and a Company Welding Coordinator. It is envisaged in the standard, that the responsible welding coordinator will have overall technical responsibility for the welding operations. It is recommended in the standard that the person acting in this capacity should be qualified to IIW/EWF Welding Specialist level or above. It is envisaged that this role could be sub-contracted to a welding specialist outside the organisation.

In contrast the company welding coordinator is expected to be company-based, and would be responsible for supervision of welding operations on a day-to-day basis. As a guide only, the standard recommends that a company welding coordinator should be qualified to CSWIP 3.1 Welding Inspector or CSWIP Welding Quality Control Coordinator.Whilst recognising the value of the CSWIP training courses for company welding coordinators, it should be pointed out that these are general courses, and not specifically aimed at the reinforcing steel sector.

There is a general recognition that a course specifically tailored for company welding coordinators would be helpful, and it is the purpose of this course to meet this requirement. R-TECH Consultants Ltd, working in conjunction with Weld Class Solutions has devised this four-day course to meet the training requirements for a company welding co-ordinator responsible for welded pre-fabrication of reinforcing steels according to the requirements of BS 8548:2017.


This course is specifically aimed at personnel who need to be able to provide effective welding coordination as a company welding coordinator in the manufacture of welded pre-fabrication of reinforcing steels to BS 8548:2017. The course covers only factory-based welding by MMA and MAG welding processes. Manufacture of welded fabric by Electric Resistance welding is not covered.

It is assumed that participants will have some practical experience and knowledge of the welding of reinforcing steels.

The course covers only those materials and standards applicable to the carbon steel reinforcing industry in the UK. Stainless reinforcing steels are not covered.

Course content

The outline of the course is given in outline in the Appendix of this document, although the details of timing are approximate only. The teaching will last from 9:00am to 5:30pm, with a one hour lunch break, and refreshment breaks morning and afternoon. The teaching will last for 4 days, with a written multiple choice examination on the afternoon of the fourth day.

Teaching will be using a mixture of different materials, and delegates will receive a set of notes for their own records.

The course will take place at the Village Hotel, Cardiff. The teaching on the fourth day will take place at the laboratory facilities of R-TECH Materials, and will include practical demonstrations of mechanical testing, macro preparation and weld inspection.

Course outcomes

On completion of the course, delegates will be able to:

  • Supervise personnel in the welding workplace
  • Supervise a welded pre-fabrication operation effectively
  • Have a basic understanding of welding equipment, and how it functions
  • Understand the importance of calibration of process and inspection equipment.
  • Understand various welding related technology topics associated with BS 8548 requirements for welding coordination.
  • Understand the requirements of ISO 17660, BS 8548 and the relevant CARES appendices on welded pre-fabrication.
  • Correctly identify and appreciate the controls required to ensure high quality welding.
  • Understand the effects of welding parameters for specific welding processes.
  • Understand the importance of control of welding consumables
  • Understand basic welding procedure specifications and the approval of welders and weld procedures.
  • Understand details related to welding defects and their effect on the behaviour of welded reinforcing steels.
  • Understand different types of reinforcing steels and the issues regarding their weldability.
  • Understand the effects of preheat and post weld heat treatment
  • Understand the visual inspection of welded rebar joints
  • Control and manage welding operations in welded pre-fabrication.

Course tutor

The course will be tutored by Dr Tony Franks, Director of R-TECH Materials who is a professional metallurgist, with over 25 years of experience in the steel industry. With a background in research and development, Tony moved into technical management, and was for 12 years the Technical Manager of ASW, the main UK producer of reinforcing steels. Tony established R-TECH Materials, a metallurgical testing and consultancy company specialising in all aspects of the reinforcing steel industry in 2002. Tony is the chairman of the BSI committee on reinforcing steels, and a member of the BSI committee on welding of reinforcing steels. Tony is a Chartered Engineer, a Professional Member of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and the Welding Institute and a qualified IIW/EWF Welding Technologist.

Course assessment

The course will be informal and interactive. Participants will have ample opportunity to question tutors both during teaching sessions and outside. The participants understanding of the course will be assessed by means of multi-choice tests on each teaching element at the end of the course. This will be a closed book examination with a pass/fail result. Certificates will be issued on successful completion.


The next course will run from the 6th – 9th June 2022, and will be held at the Village Hotel, Cardiff, conveniently situated close to J32 of the M4. Future courses will be dependent on demand.


The cost of the course is £1,050 + VAT per delegate, which will include all course materials, a light lunch and refreshments each day. Hotel accommodation is not included. The course is limited to 12 delegates to ensure maximum interaction and learning opportunities.


To book your space on the course, please contact us.