CPAC Level 4:
Chief Pipeline Inspector –
Based on CSA Z662 requirements (ASME B31.4 & B31.8 basis for US qualification) for the Inspection of Oil and Gas Pipeline Systems

This content is suitable for CPAC Pipeline Chief Inspector Certification examinations conducted January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021.

To achieve this Certification applicants are required to pass a supervised examination. The intent of the examination is to verify the applicant’s knowledge and understanding of, and/or ability to use relevant reference documents and recognized management techniques. At the application stage the candidate is required to identify their primary jurisdiction as Canadian or US. For Certificates of Qualification. After acceptance of a registration applicants will receive a documentation request identifying the minimum content and information required to be submitted in the form of a resume as well as any requirements for copies of certifications, qualifications and letter(s) of reference or other prerequisites. A tentative examination date will be confirmed in accordance with the applicant’s registration request.

A chief inspector should have general knowledge of the following to allow the effective application of their skills in executing the roles and responsibilities of the position.

The qualification examination will include questions to ascertain knowledge of the following:

1. Safety and Loss Management System (20% exam content)

  • Quality Control Elements
  • Management Commitment and Policies
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Competency Requirements
  • Communication Systems
  • Document Control and Records Management
  • Management of Change
  • Continual Improvement

2. Pipeline Construction Safety (10% exam content)

  • Basic Pipeline and ROW Construction Safety
  • Hazardous Materials and Atmospheres

3. Pipeline Construction Inspection (20% exam content)

  • Operational Controls for Construction
  • Survey, Clearing and Grading
  • Ditching and Trenchless Construction (bores and HDD)
  • Stringing
  • Pipe Bending
  • Welding Basics
  • Coating Basics and Cathodic Protection
  • Lowering In
  • Backfill
  • Tie-in’s
  • Pressure Testing
  • Clean-Up and Restoration

4. Environmental Protection Requirements (10% exam content)

  • Environmental Hazard Identification
  • Federal Requirements
  • Provincial (State) and Municipal Requirements

5. Pipeline Project Management and Human Factors (20% exam content)

  • Project planning and scheduling
  • Cost and resource management
  • Document review and sign-off
  • Motivation and monitoring of personnel
  • Documentation of non-conformances

6. Pipeline Regulatory Mandates (20% exam content)

  • Federal Pipeline Acts – authority and penalties
  • Federal Pipeline regulations
  • Provincial or State regulations (based on examination location)

Knowledge Expectations

The construction practices used to build, alter or repair oil and gas pipelines are varied and complex. Certified Chief Inspectors must possess a clear and demonstrable understanding of all aspects of pipeline construction as well as the ability to manage the inspection teams and processes. The scope of this understanding must include all elements applicable to pipeline construction from both regulatory and technical realms. A list of reference documents and inspection responsibilities is provided below.

Applicants will be provided copies of the applicable sections of all relevant reference documents for use during the exam. No external documents are permitted to be used for this examination. Electronic devices are not permitted to be used during the exam.

The Chief Inspector examination consist of 80 weighted multiple-choice questions totaling 100 points. Applicants are permitted 3.0 hours to complete the examination.

Note: Separate examinations are administered for Canadian and US Jurisdictions. Candidates wishing to achieve qualification for both countries may write the additional examinations. While many requirements are similar in the US and Canada, both countries have several unique elements requiring a dedicated understanding of content and function of the regulatory system.

Technical Reference Publications

Prerequisites and Equivalencies:

This Level 4 credential requires applicants to hold a valid API 1169 for the applied jurisdiction and demonstrate 2 years of Pipeline Inspection experience.

There are no equivalencies for this qualification.


  • US issued API 1169 certificates are not an acceptable prerequisite for Canadian Level 4 designations as they are deemed Level 2 under the Canadian system.
  • Canadian issued API 1169 certificates noting the Z662 code of construction are not acceptable prerequisite for US Level 4 designations.
  • Red Seal API 1169 certificates are deemed an acceptable prerequisite for either Canadian or US Level 4 designations.