Pipeline Competency Framework
Canadian Pipeline Systems are required to be Designed, Constructed and Operated under a dedicated Safety and Loss Management System. The minimum requirements for the Management System scope are detailed in the Industry Standard (CSA Z662 Oil and Gas Pipeline Systems). The requirements include a mandate to manage resources through a program to establish task competency requirements. Personnel Competency is defined as being Trained, Qualified and Experienced to perform an assigned specified activity.
Each Pipeline Company operating in this sector has an obligation to establish and administer a competency management program for their organization. The Canadian Pipeliner Accreditation Council (CPAC) provides resources and standardized verification processes to industry in order to demonstrate the mandatory code qualification elements of these requirements.
The CPAC framework provides companies with a guideline for establishing their competency management programs as well as access to a 4 level code qualification system to address the requirements for verifiable comprehension of codes, standards and regulations. A typical code credential flow is shown under the career path section. The recommended use of the various code qualification levels is:
- Level 1 General Code Concepts – Administrative, Non-Technical and Entry Level Staff. Entry level staff require full supervision (Blue certificate and ID card)
- Level 2 Intermediate Code Concepts – Technical staff for design, construction and operations who require supervision (Blue certificate and ID card)
- Level 3 Advanced Code Concepts – Technical staff considered able to complete work with little or no supervision (Red certificate and photo ID card)
- Level 4 Subject Matter Experts – Technical staff deemed ‘Subject Matter Experts’ and qualified for specialized or supervisory roles (Red certificate and photo ID card)
In order to comply with the requirements of the Z662, each level of competence must be attained with a combination of Training, Experience and Qualification acceptable to the Company or Operating Company. This information must be traceable and auditable within the company’s Safety and Loss Management System.
Companies operating in the oil and gas industry may choose to adopt and administer the CPAC framework, or alternately develop their own competency management framework. The CPAC systems can be used as a comparative for internal audit purposes when companies choose to develop in house systems. The qualification levels identified are suitable for companies to specify in their management systems as the code qualification requirement.