Written Scheme of Examination


A Written Scheme of Examination (WSE) is a crucial document in the field of engineering, particularly in the management of equipment integrity and safety. It outlines the procedures and schedules for inspections and tests of equipment under pressure systems safety regulations. The primary objective of a WSE is to ensure that all pressure systems are examined at suitable intervals to ascertain their safety and reliability. This document is not only a legal requirement but also a best practice guide for maintaining the integrity of pressure systems.

Components of a Written Scheme of Examination

Identification of Equipment

The Written Scheme of Examination must clearly identify all the equipment that falls under the scope of the examination. This includes boilers, pressure vessels, piping, safety accessories, and any other components that operate under pressure. Each item should be described in detail, including its location, function, and any relevant specifications.

Nature and Frequency of Examinations

This section outlines the types of examinations required, such as visual inspections, non-destructive testing, or operational tests. It should specify the frequency of these examinations, which is determined based on the risk assessment of each piece of equipment. The frequency can vary from a few months to several years, depending on the potential risks and the nature of the equipment.

Examination Procedures

Detailed procedures for each type of examination should be included. This section should provide clear instructions on how the examinations are to be conducted, including the preparation of equipment, safety measures, and the specific techniques to be used. It should also outline the qualifications and experience required of the personnel conducting the examinations.

Reporting and Record Keeping

After each examination, a report should be prepared, detailing the findings and any recommendations for repairs or alterations. The WSE should specify the format of these reports and the process for addressing any identified issues. Additionally, it should outline the record-keeping requirements, ensuring that all examination records are maintained for a specified period.

Competent Person

The role of the competent person is central to the WSE. This individual is responsible for drafting, reviewing, and updating the WSE. They must have the necessary knowledge, experience, and qualifications to assess the safety of pressure systems. The competent person also plays a key role in interpreting the results of examinations and recommending any necessary actions.

Risk Assessment

A thorough risk assessment is an integral part of the WSE. It involves evaluating the potential hazards associated with each piece of equipment and the likelihood of these hazards occurring. The risk assessment helps in determining the nature and frequency of examinations and is essential for ensuring the safety and integrity of the pressure system.

Implementation and Compliance

Implementing the WSE is a collaborative effort involving various stakeholders, including equipment operators, maintenance personnel, and safety officers. Ensuring compliance with the WSE is crucial for the safety of the pressure systems. Regular audits and reviews of the WSE are necessary to ensure that it remains compliant with current regulations and standards.


A Written Scheme of Examination is a vital tool in managing the safety and integrity of pressure systems. It ensures that equipment is regularly and thoroughly examined, thereby mitigating risks and ensuring compliance with legal requirements. The WSE is not a static document; it requires continuous review and updating to reflect changes in equipment, technology, and regulations. By adhering to a well-structured WSE, organizations can significantly enhance the safety of their operations and protect their assets and personnel.

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