QC Inspector – Certified United States QC Inspector US Requirements
Based on API 1173 and API 1169 criteria for Oil and Gas Pipeline Systems

This content is suitable for CPAC Pipeline Inspector Certification examinations conducted January 1 to December 31, 2018

To achieve this Certification applicants are required to pass a supervised examination. The intent of the examination is to verify the applicants knowledge and understanding of, and/or ability to use:

  • Table of Contents for API 1169, 1173 and ASME codes of Construction
  • Scope and Application of General Inspection Practices
  • ASME and API Terminology
  • ASME Inspection Requirements
  • API 1169 Inspection Requirements
  • Pipeline Construction Practice Reference Documents
  • US Regulatory Requirements including Environmental Mandates
  • API 1173 Document Control and Evidentiary Requirements
  • Stages of Construction
  • The Roles and Responsibilities of Pipeline Inspectors

The construction practices used to build, alter or repair oil and gas pipelines are varied and complex. Certified QC Inspectors must possess a clear understanding of Quality Management processes and an entry level understanding of pipeline construction inspection requirements. 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 examinations consist of between 50 to 75 weighted multiple-choice questions totalling 100 points. Applicants are permitted 2.5 hours to complete the examination.

Note: The examination is based on the required knowledge for US jurisdictions and has been developed and reviewed by subject matter experts for use in the US pipeline industry.

Reference Publications

  • ISO 9000 Quality Management Systems
  • API 1173, Pipeline Safety Management Systems
  • API 1169, Basic Inspection Requirements – New Pipeline Construction
  • INGAA Foundation, A Practical Guide for Pipeline Construction Inspectors
  • CGA (Common Ground Alliance) Best Practices
  • ASME B31.4, Pipeline Transportation Systems/or Liquids and Slurries
  • ASME B31.8, Gas Transmission and Distribution Piping Systems
  • API 1104, Welding of Pipeline and Related Facilities
  • 49 CFR 192, Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline: Minimum Federal Safety Standards:
  • 49 CFR 195, Transportation of Hazardous Liquids by Pipeline
  • 29 CFR 1910, Occupational Safety and Health Standards
  • 29 CFR 1926, Safety and Health Regulations for Construction:
  • 49 CFR 172, Hazardous Materials Table, Special Provisions:
  • 40 CFR 300, National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan:
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Office of Energy Projects
    • Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures,
    • Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan,
  • Migratory Bird Permits (SO CFR 21):
    33 USC Chapter 9: Protection of Navigable Waters and of Harbor and River Improvements Generally
    Subchapter 1 – ln General
    Articles 401,403, 403a, 404 & 407
    16 USC Chapter 35 Endangered Species

QC inspectors should have of general knowledge of the following to allow the effective application of their skills in executing the roles and responsibilities of the position.
The examination will include questions to ascertain knowledge of the following:
The following categories describe the minimum knowledge and skills and an approximation of the exam content:

1. Safety Management System (40% exam content)

  • Quality Control Elements
  • Personnel Competencies
  • Records Management
  • Document Control
  • Non-Conformance Handling
  • Root Cause and Lessons Learned
  • Calibration of Test Equipment
  • Material Storage and Handling
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Program Auditing

2. Pipeline Construction Safety (30% exam content)

  • Basic Safety
  • Confined Space
  • Elevated Work Surface
  • Excavation
  • Pressure Testing
  • Welding
  • Coating
  • NDT
  • Hazardous Atmospheres

3. Pipeline Construction Inspection (25% exam content)

  • Clearing and Grading
  • Ditching
  • Trenchless Construction (Bores and HDD)
  • Stringing
  • Pipe Bending
  • Welding Basics
  • Lowering In
  • Backfill
  • Tie-in’s
  • Pressure Testing
  • Clean-Up and Restoration

4. Environmental Protection Requirements (5% exam content)

  • Environmental Hazard Identification
  • Federal Requirements
  • Sensitive Areas
  • Wildlife

The following training courses have been identified as suitable pre-study for this examination. This list is not exhaustive and does not constitute an endorsement of the training organizations or individual trainers. The list is provided in alphabetical order of published course name.

Course Name Length Provider Link
API Spec Q1 Fundamentals 2.5 days QSI www.qualifiedspecialists.com
North American Pipeline Fundamentals 2 days NASA www.theothernasa.com