Our quality system, the supporting WPQR, and AWS D1.1 allow for use of an SWPS. The applicability of an SWPS (or any other WPS) for production is at the discretion of the Engineer. For performance qualification the engineer has the right to accept or reject the qualifications on the basis of using an SWPS, but if he does, he has no sound engineering basis to do so provided all requirements of D1.1 were met during performance qualification. The WPS is NOT the WPQR.
As an ATF we recently ran into the need for this when a customer needed GTAW WPQ's quickly. (As to why GTAW is not prequalified but secret voodoo complicated spray/pulse/waveform controlled GMAW is, beats me)
When SWPS's are used, we will review the SWPS AND the code requirements with the welder. The applicable acceptance criteria is referred to on the WPQR both for visual and destructive tests.
The WPQR references the WPS but also references the code AWS D1.1. Thus a record with evidence as to what was done.
It is my understanding that SWP's are typically supported by multiple PQR's which are performed in accordance with various codes. "All SWPSs are supported by Procedure Qualification Records (PQRs) which meet the rules of AWS B2.1 and which in addition are intended to meet the rules of the major codes which govern the intended applications such as AWS Structural Codes (D1.1, D1.2, D1.3, etc.), AWS Sheet Metal Welding Code (D9.1),ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section IX, NAVSEA Technical Publication......"
Taken from http://www.aws.org/standards/page/standard-welding-procedure-specifications-swps
Though the ranges listed on the SWPS for joints may allow for joints outside the scope of a code, using one is not a violation of any kind per D1.1. If an SWPS is followed during performance qualification there is absolutely noting wrong with it provided the requirements of D1.1 are met.
If anyone is in a situation in which the WPS is the sole source for welding details, there are bigger problems. No drawings? No reference to code requirements? Just a welder with a piece of paper ?
There are two lines of thought in my mind when it comes to documents related to welding. 1) Make them specific to an individual joint with specific settings for the application, position, etc... OR 2) Make them to meet the requirements of the code (which was reviewed by many industry "experts") and if supplementary information is needed, supply it to the welder OR just let him use the skill that he/she has to make sound welds. In cases where strict adherence to the OH SO CRITICAL amperage/voltage/travel speed/ waveform/solar flares is needed, supervise what the welder is doing and provide monitoring..
I usually qualify and test our procedures or prepare prequalified ones. It is my opinion that performing volumetric testing as required by D1.1 does nothing to establish the validity of the parameters used during a PQR so I try to stay away from that but do have GMAW Short Circuit that has passed bends and tensile for Sec IX that I will probably do again for Volumetric testing and Mechanicals per D1.1. Just in case.
The above is just an opinion based upon my understanding so is very likely to have points worth discussing, correcting or clarifying. Its early so I haven't reached my quota of mistakes yet!
Hope everyone has a wonderful day.