The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) is a voluntary, non-profit industry association representing major Canadian transmission pipeline companies. CEPA Integrity First® is an industry program developed by the CEPA member companies as a way to work to collectively to strengthen the pipeline industry’s performance, engagement and communications.
Integrity First focuses on three main areas: safety, environment and socio-economics. Through Integrity First, members assess their internal systems, processes and practices using “guidance documents” developed through industry collaboration. These documents contain detailed, but not prescriptive “maturity tables” companies use to assess themselves against. The assessments result in the identification of areas of improvement, new standards at the member company level and for industry as a whole.
After the first two self-assessments were completed in 2014, there was recognition that the foundation of the guidance documents needed improvement to ensure sustainability and value to all stakeholders. The new structure of the maturity tables is intended to have two philosophical underpinnings: scalability and relevance to the broad size and range of CEPA member company’s operations and practical maturity assessment approach for a company’s management systems.
The main challenge in developing the maturity tables to form a sustainable structure lies in the broad range of jurisdictional and pipeline system requirements that are represented by CEPA’s membership. More specifically, the maturity tables needed to be flexible enough to apply to CEPA member companies with international operations crossing multiple jurisdictional boundaries with multiple pipeline networks as well as smaller scale operations encompassing pipelines operating within a single provincial jurisdiction. Further, there was recognition that multiple regulatory requirements and standards/practices existed, especially in the area of management systems, including (but not limited to) the National Energy Board Onshore Pipeline Regulations, Canadian Standards Association Z662, American Petroleum Institute 1173 and International Standards Organization 9000, 14000 and 55000 series. In light of these constraints, a key aspect of the approach was to map (cross-reference) requirements from key regulations and standards. Once alignment between the different standards was assessed, requirements were reconciled and simplified where possible. A final and thorough review of all requirements was completed to ensure that breadth, depth and wording of the maturity tables and associated criteria was consistent and comprehensive prior to engaging member companies to collect feedback.
The intent with Integrity First is not to create another management system but to follow management system principles. Integrity First enables member companies to consistently assess their own systems and, through analysis and comparison, facilitates improvement across the industry. The paper will discuss the approach in more detail along with key challenges, areas of learning and outcomes.