The pipeline industry and its regulators have been collectively working on the qualification of pipeline personnel for more than 20 years. The U.S. Pipeline Safety Act of ’02 required the U.S. Office of Pipeline Safety of the Department of Transportation to develop standards (protocols) for Operator Qualification to properly inspect pipeline companies’ Operator Qualification programs. During the first half of 2003, OPS developed protocols as inspection standards for use by OPS field inspectors to audit existing OQ programs that must conform to existing regulations. The pipeline industry supported the development of the protocols. During this process, industry and the regulators developed a longer term strategy for Operator Qualification that would resolve outstanding issues that had not yet been resolved. The strategy will be described in this presentation. Part of that strategy included the development, on an expedited basis, of an industry consensus standard for Operator Qualification. ASME agreed to sponsor and develop this standard. This paper will discuss ASME B31Q – Pipeline Personnel Qualification, its development process, issues the team had to address and how they resolved these issues. It will describe the major elements of the standard. The path the industry and the regulator are taking to address personnel qualification to ensure safe, reliable operation of gas and liquid pipelines will be described. B31Q development started in August of 2003 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2004. The latest update on the standard and its implementation will be presented at the Conference.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.