Joint Reviews

What is a Joint Review? 

A Joint Review is an audit that is needed to obtain a Certificate of Authorization, to fabricate or repair boilers or pressure vessels. The following entities issue Certificates of Authorization, as described:

  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME): for fabrication of boilers and pressure vessels built to the applicable ASME Code of Construction
  • National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors (National Board, or NB): for repairs or alterations made to boilers and pressure vessels in accordance with the National Board Inspection Code (NBIC) (R Stamp)
  • Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR)
    • to make repairs or alterations to boilers that are owned by the company being audited.
    • to repair, set and seal safety valves that are owned by the company being audited.

The audit is a two-day process. On the first day, the review team reviews the applicant’s Quality Control System (QCS) for compliance with the applicable code(s) (ASME and/or NBIC). On the second day, the applicant must show it can carry out its QCS. The applicant must provide a demonstration item that shows the applicant’s knowledge and ability to comply with the code(s) for the requested Certificate(s) of Authorization. The review team will verify that the demonstration item is compliant with the applicant’s QCS and the Code of Construction and/or Repairs/Alterations. Joint Reviews are required for a new Certificate of Authorization and then every three years for its renewal.

Please note: TDLR is not responsible for:

  1. ASME applications or payments, or how long they take to process;
  2. NB applications or payments, or how long they take to process; or
  3. Ensuring that a Joint Review is scheduled before the location’s certificate expiration date.

If you have questions or concerns about ASME processes, applications and/or payments, please go to the ASME website’s Boiler and Pressure Vessel Certification page.  If you need to contact ASME, please see ASME’s Contact Us page

If you have questions or concerns about NB processes, applications and/or payments, please go to the NB website’s R Stamp: R Stamp Certificate of Authorization Program page. If you need to contact NB, please see NB’s Contact Us page.

Scheduling Process

Please note:

  • New Certificate of Authorization Applicants – TDLR recommends starting early. The process can take three to six months to complete.
  • Renewal of Certificate of Authorization Applicants – TDLR recommends starting the process six months before your Certificate of Authorization expiration date. If you complete all necessary steps quickly, the inspection date can be scheduled later, but both ASME and NB charge for an extension of the Certificate of Authorization if the inspection occurs after the expiration date.

For ASME or NBIC Certificates of Authorization, the applicant’s Authorized Inspection Agency (AIA) sends the request for scheduling a Joint Review to TDLR. The AIA of record sends the request on the 15th of any month for scheduling for the month that begins 2.5 months later; for example, requests received on April 15, 2017 were scheduled for the month of July 2017.

If you are applying to get a Certificate of Authorization issued by TDLR, you are responsible for requesting the Joint Review approximately six months in advance of the month you plan to obtain it.

TDLR cannot schedule a location for a Joint Review until all of the following items are completed, as applicable:

  1. TDLR receives email notification from ASME that ASME received and processed the location’s application and associated fees, and found the location ready for the Joint Review.  This item is not needed if the location is not asking for any ASME stamps.
  2. TDLR receives email notification from NB that NB received and processed the location’s application and associated fees, and found the location ready for the Joint Review. This item is not needed if the location is not asking for an R Stamp.
  3. If the Joint Review concerns State of Texas Certificates of Authorization, the applicant submits the application(s) to TDLR and TDLR receives the application(s). The applicant may email the application to TDLR at boilers@tdlr.texas.gov.
  4. TDLR sends an invoice for the TDLR Special Inspection Fee ($1,700) to the applicant and the applicant pays the fee.

All of these items must be completed on or before the date of the request.

TDLR Joint Review Invoicing

Unless TDLR already invoiced the applicant for the TDLR Joint Review Special Review Fee, TDLR sends an invoice when any of the following events occur:

  1. A company (location) representative or an AIA representative emails or calls TDLR to request the invoice;
  2. ASME and/or NB sends an email to TDLR stating the location’s application(s) and associated fee(s) were received and ASME or NB found the location is ready for a Joint Review; or
  3. The AIA submits an official Request to Schedule a Joint Review to TDLR.

Review Teams

  • The Joint Review team consists of the assigned TDLR Team Leader, the Authorized Inspector Supervisor (AIS) and the Authorized Inspector (AI) of the AIA on record with ASME and/or NB. Both the AIS and AI are required to be present during both the manual review and the implementation portion of the Joint Review, per NB document NB-263 (Rules for Commissioned Inspectors). The AIS is not required to attend if the review is for a new issuance, or no Code work has been performed since the last Joint Review.
  • In some instances, TDLR, ASME, NB, or the AIA may request that an additional staff member attend a Joint Review as an observer. The agency requesting the observer must notify all concerned parties before the Joint Review. 
  • If either the AIS or AI is not present for the manual review, that person is not allowed to participate as a team member during the other phases of the Joint Review.  That person may observe but may not vote or express any opinion.

IMPORTANT: Preparing for the Joint Review

If you are renewing or applying for one or more ASME Stamp(s), please note: You must complete an ASME Quality System Review Checklist before the start of the Joint Review and provide it to the Team Leader at the start of the Joint Review (ASME requirement). To obtain this checklist, go to ASME’s Boiler and Pressure Vessel Certification page. On this page you will find a “Resources” section with several checklists available. Select the appropriate checklist based on your specific certifications (open the checklists and review their cover pages to determine which checklist(s) to use). You may also want to review Information and Description of the ASME Joint Review Process for Applicants Applying for ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Certification

During the Joint Review (what TDLR expects and what you can expect)

The Joint Review is usually conducted over two consecutive weekdays. The manual review is conducted the afternoon of the first day, and the implementation review starts at 8:00 a.m. on the second day and continues until completed.

The manual review portion of the Joint Review is conducted offsite unless the applicant specifically requests that the Team Leader conducts the manual review onsite. If the applicant wants the manual review conducted onsite, then the applicant must provide a conference room that:

  • provides privacy for the team;
  • is large enough to accommodate all team members attending;
  • has a table large enough for the team to work on; and
  • is available after normal business hours, as the manual review can last from two to six hours.

ASME requires the team to complete the manual review in privacy, so no personnel representing the applicant may be present (this is not required for the NBIC “R” Stamp only Joint Reviews).

The manual review includes the review of the written Quality Control System (QCS) to ensure all applicable Code requirements are addressed. If an applicant chooses to exclude Post Weld Heat Treatment (PWHT) or Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) from the scope of vessel fabrication, these sections must still be included in the QCS, and must address the exclusion of PWHT or NDE.

Before the implementation portion of the review, the Team Leader will hold an opening meeting, which the applicant’s upper management is encouraged to attend. During this meeting, the Team Leader will explain the sequence of events as well as expectations for the review.

During the implementation portion of the review, the review team verifies the applicant’s knowledge of the applicable Code(s) as well as its ability to follow the Code(s) and its QCS; specifically, the applicant provides a demonstration item (vessel or part), fabricated to the applicable Code(s) for which they are applying. If applying for more than one code stamp, the applicant is only required to provide one demonstration item; however, the applicant must demonstrate the required knowledge for the other codes requested. If the applicant is requesting ASME Section VIII Division 2 or 3 along with another Code and the demonstration item is other than Division 2 or 3, the applicant must submit a full design package to the Review Team. If the applicant includes PWHT or NDE in its fabrication process, then the applicant must demonstrate all applicable knowledge and capabilities relating to PWHT or NDE.

During the implementation portion of the review, the review team interviews multiple people on the applicant’s staff who have duties assigned in the QCS (for example, Quality Control personnel, Engineering personnel, Material Receiving personnel, Welding Supervisor and welders). A welder must be present to weld on the demonstration item.

After the implementation portion of the review, the Team Leader holds an exit meeting. Again, the applicant’s upper management is encouraged to attend. During this meeting, the Team Leader will go over the findings of the review and announce the recommendation being made to ASME and/or NB about the Certificate(s) of Authorization.  Please note: this is a recommendation only; ASME and NB make the final decision in issuing their Certificates of Authorization.

After the Joint Review

Once the Joint Review is concluded, the Team Leader submits all reports to the applicable agency (ASME and/or NB) for processing. The applicable agency will contact the applicant with its decision.

Canceling a Scheduled Joint Review

If an applicant decides to cancel or postpone a Joint Review, a representative/employee (not the AIA) of the applicant must provide notice to TDLR  in writing (email is acceptable). 

  • If the applicant provides the written notice two weeks or less before the first scheduled day of the review, then TDLR will not refund the $1,700 Special Inspection Fee. If rescheduling, TDLR will invoice the applicant for the $1,700 Special Inspection Fee again and the applicant must pay the fee before TDLR will reschedule the Joint Review.
  • If the applicant does not provide proper written notice to cancel or postpone a scheduled Joint Review, then the TDLR Team Leader will appear for the Joint Review and must be told that the location wishes to cancel. TDLR will not refund the Special Inspection Fee.
  • If the applicant provides proper written notice of cancellation or rescheduling more than two weeks in advance of the first scheduled day of the Joint Review, TDLR will refund the $1,700 fee if cancelling, or apply the $1,700 toward rescheduling.

Questions

For questions, please contact TDLR at 512-539-5716 or boilers@tdlr.texas.gov.