The Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) Board recognises that the high standard of engineering capability in the Australian pipeline industry has been a key contributor to the success and good safety record of the industry. Accordingly, it is committed to ensuring the high quality of Australia’s pipeline engineers endures into the future. To underwrite this commitment, APGA has developed the competency system for pipeline engineers which includes two comprehensive sets of competency standards for pipeline engineers: one for those engaged in the onshore sector and one for pipeline engineers working in the offshore sector.
The APGA Pipeline Engineer Competency System creates a framework for understanding competency and a means of assessing and documenting competency for pipeline engineers. Each competency standard clearly identifies the knowledge, experience and expertise required to achieve competency and outlines the roles and responsibilities that a pipeline engineer will be able to undertake after achieving competency.
The competency system has been developed by panels of industry experts and reviewed by acknowledged leaders in their fields. As such, it represents the considered view of the pipeline industry as to what is required for the broad range of competencies across the areas in which a pipeline engineer might be involved. In addition to steel pipelines the competencies cover plastics pipe (including polyethylene) and composites pipe.
The APGA Board is committed to ensuring that the APGA Pipeline Engineer Competency System is widely recognised and adopted as the industry standard for defining and recognising pipeline engineering expertise. Therefore, the Board strongly encourages the members of the association to implement the competency system. The system is the basis for members’ career planning, skills assessment for individuals and teams for performance assessment and project planning, for planning training and designing courses, for recruitment, and to plan pipeline engineer staff rotations. They are also an essential guide to assessing competency for decision-makers as required by the industry standard, AS 2885.
Engineers Australia has recognised that pipeline engineering is highly specialised and has created a new area for national registration of Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineering. The APGA Pipeline Engineer Competency System is the basis of assessment for this registration, for both onshore and offshore pipeline engineers.
The APGA Board believes that registration in the area of practice of Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineering should be a career goal of all pipeline engineers in our industry, and we encourage all member companies to introduce processes that will eventually lead to their engineers becoming registered.
The Australian pipeline industry is often ahead of trends and industry developments. In the case of the competency standards, we have an opportunity to ensure our industry remains ahead of the world when it comes to education and training – and recognition – of our highly skilled engineers.
We would like to thank the pipeline engineers who have started the trend and have already registered and we look forward to the announcement by the Secretariat of many more.