ISO/IEC 17000 defines accreditation as “third-party attestation related to a conformity assessment body conveying formal demonstration of its competence to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks.” CPAC, as an independent accreditation organization, uses a formal process to independently assess the capabilities of Training, Testing, Examination and Auditing contractors and Company departments to support the Oil and Gas Pipeline sector.
Benefits of Accreditation
There are many reasons why an organization may consider accreditation. Although all accreditation programs are by their nature voluntary, there may be circumstances where an Authority Having Jurisdiction, through legislation and regulation can require individuals, contractors or Companies to become accredited as in the case of surgeons and hospitals. This level of certification is provided by the Standards Council of Canada and enables the use of the “certification mark”. In many cases, market forces dictate that companies should become accredited for their subject area as evidence of their ability to comply with industry codes and standards and use accredited contractors as evidence for their vendor qualification programs.
Under both Canadian and US regulation, and as specifically detailed by the CSA Z662, companies have the legal obligation to establish the competency requirements for the execution of tasks and ensure that only competent individuals (personnel or contractors) are assigned responsibility for these activities. This is considered 2nd party verification and utilizes a “Monogram” system.
Companies operating in-house training, testing, examination or auditing programs who become CPAC accredited benefit from an independent verification of their activities against industry regulations and standards. The documentation created in the CPAC assessment and follow up audits provides valuable information for organizations to use in their internal audit programs as well as establishing their corporate monogram for personnel qualification.
Companies that mandate services from CPAC accredited contractors benefit with the assurance of standardized compliance and simplified vendor qualification and procurement procedures.
Apart from these two factors, accreditation can be of great value to an organization. Accredited organizations often find that working under a CPAC program simplifies their Safety and Loss Management Systems and improves the efficiency of its staff and operations, along with the quality of its products or services. As well, being accredited by CPAC instills increased consumer confidence in the value, quality, and safety of their pipelines, services, testing and audit results.