• In: Training | On: Jul 27, 2020

About ASME Plant Inspector L1/L2

The ASME Plant Inspector Certificate provides training and certification in the fundamental principles of inspection assessment and management of fixed pressure equipment.

Because it is based on sound engineering practices, it is of particular relevance to inspection situations in which site practices do not rely exclusively on American Petroleum Institute (API) codes.



Delegates suitable for entering ASME L1 are typically from a background in one or more of the following fields:

·   Plant operator/shift engineer

·   NDE technician

·   Mechanical technician/fitter

·   In-service ‘insurance’ surveyor for small plant

·   New construction ‘source’ inspector for fabricated equipment.

Most delegates come to the course with some level of previous practical engineering background.

Plant inspection is more of a practical subject, rather than academic.




Here are some FAQs about the ASME L1 course:


Question: Is it only suitable for Oil & Gas industry inspectors?

Answer: No, ASME L1 teaches general principles that are applicable in all industries that use static pressure equipment.

It references some API codes but only because these are documents of good technical practice and can be used equally as effectively in other industries.


Question: Can I be successful if I don’t have a degree or other higher engineering qualification?

Answer: Yes. Most in-service plant inspectors don’t have (or need) a degree


Question: Are there a lot of calculations in the course?

Answer: No, this is not a requirement in a well-presented ASME L1 course.

There are a couple of basic calculations about vessel wall thickness and safe pressures.

However, these only involve secondary-school level maths.

Most delegates find them straightforward, with the correct instruction.


Question: Is the ASME L1 course just another NDE course in disguise?

Ans: No, because plant inspection is not the same thing as NDE. Detailed NDE knowledge is useful, but by no means essential to be a successful plant inspector.


Question: How well is the ASME Plant Inspector certificate recognised overseas?

Answer: Since its inception in the UK in 2003, ASME L1 and L2 delegates have come from more than 10 EU countries.

Outside Europe, delegates have come from Australia, New Zealand Africa, ex-Russian republics, UAE/Gulf states, Canada and many other countries.

The certificate is not designed to be applicable in the USA owing to their reliance on the National Board Authorised Inspector (AI) ’Commission’ and other state-specific jurisdiction requirements for inspector certification.

Some US inspectors do have the ASME L1/L2 Plant Inspector Certifications, but they mainly work outside of the USA.



A Summary of ASME Plant Inspector Level 2

The ASME Plant Inspector Level 2 content goes into more technical detail to those subjects introduced in ASME Level 1.

Therefore, it’s useful for experienced inspectors and engineers interested in expanding their technical knowledge.


One primary objective of the course is to provide delegates with the knowledge required to compile a written scheme of examination (WSE), rather than just follow a WSE written by someone else.

It also covers information required to help make run/repair/replace decisions for equipment items that are damaged.

This involves teaching an understanding of the severity and predictability of Damage Mechanisms (DMs), as well as the principles of Fitness For Purpose (FFP) studies and the repair options for damaged items.



ASME L2 Difficulty

Delegates should not expect ASME L2 to be an easy course and examination.

The objective of the course is to teach delegates the knowledge required to make clear decisions on the integrity of potentially dangerous pressure plant.

This requires delegates to be keen to learn the principles involved and demonstrate this knowledge in the exam questions.

To successfully pass the ASME L2 course, it requires delegates to participate in classroom exercises, problems and case studies in order to build up and demonstrate their knowledge.



Comparison with API Inspection Certificate Qualifications

ASME/L2 contains references to some of the codes used in the API 510/570/653 certificate examinations.

Overall, they are based more on sound engineering principles than verbatim wording of API codes.

ASME L1/L2 also includes references to non-US codes and standards that are not included in the API exam scopes. Nevertheless, they’re very relevant to the subject of plant integrity.

Both ASME L1 and L2 owe it to their exam structure and the test candidates’ abilities to demonstrate their knowledge in a subject by technical discussion and explanations.

This encourages the delegates to fully understand the information from the course, rather than simply memorising code clauses that may not be relevant to a particular plant integrity situation.



Any Questions?

If you have any general questions on the content of the ASME L1/L2 Plant Inspector courses and examinations, and whether they would be suitable for you, then contact Paul Wilkinson direct using these details:

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 07753 8088738