Source Inspector is defined as an individual who is responsible for:
- Examining fabricated and manufactured equipment and materials at a supplier’s facility
- Confirming that the supplier’s quality management system is being utilized effectively
API SIFE – Source Inspector Fixed Equipment primarily focuses on pressure containing equipment such as vessels, columns/towers, heat exchangers, piping, valves, pressure relief devices, tubulars, and associated structural fabrications.
There are four definite leads to help you understand what type of questions to expect during examination. These are:
- API SIFE reference materials
- Experience of other candidates who attempted the exam
- Mock exam questions
- Exam Score Report (showing the areas which you are scored against)
You are scored for your performance in the following areas during the examination.
|Content Area||Number of Questions|
|Basic Source Inspection||31|
|Inspection Reference Documentation||19|
|Inspection Tools and Equipment||5|
|Methods of examination and testing||25|
You do not need to be an expert in NDT, coating and welding inspection, materials, casting and fixed equipment but just need to have the basic knowledge. API examines your competency at basic level; therefore, you should not expect complicated questions.
Study the reference documents noted within the publication effectivitiy sheet from inspection point of view only, that is, what an inspector need to know. Most of reference documents have a dedicated section on inspection and this is where you need to focus.
The most important document is: Guide for Source Inspection and Quality Surveillance of Fixed Equipment which is available for free at API ICP website. This is currently turned into a recommended practice (API RP 588) and included in the publication effectivitiy sheet.
How the API SIFE exam questions developed?
A question writing session is periodically conducted by Subject Matter Experts (SME’s), or individuals who specialize in pressure vessels, write questions from specific sections of the Code. Each question is then checked by three other SME’s.
This validation exercise answers two questions;
- Is the question written clearly?
- Does the question cover knowledge that is important to a vessel inspector?
These questions then go into a question data-bank as non scored exam questions.
Presently there are over 500 questions in the data-bank and are grouped by topics. For each examination, there are 110 questions on the exam pulled from “Content Area” (see table above). Only 100 Questions are scored. The remaining 10 are pre-test questions and not marked towards your score, that is, these pre-test questions do not affect your score whether you have answered them correctly or not. API does not tell you which ones these questions are.
API needs to ensure that these questions are not significantly challenged by the candidates and have also been answered by a reasonable number of candidates before adding them to their question bank as scored questions.
No Negative Marking
The pass mark is roughly 70% for all the API examinations. No negative marking is applied. Therefore, make sure that you have answered all the questions. At the end, click the ‘’review all’’ button and peruse through the list to ensure that you have not skipped any question. You can also check ‘’review incomplete questions’’ to ensure there is nothing on the list, that is, no question left unanswered.