Since the publication of API Recommended Practice (RP) 1173: Pipeline Safety Management Systems, in July 2015, the energy pipeline trade groups in North America (API, AOPL, AGA, INGAA, APGA and CEPA) have worked collaboratively to develop tools and programs to assist energy pipeline operators with the development and implementation of appropriate programs and processes. These resources include a Planning Tool, Implementation Tool and Evaluation Tool, as well as a Maturity Model that describes a continuum of implementation levels. The Planning Tool is used to compare an operator’s existing management system to the RP requirements and develop action plans and assign responsibilities to close gaps. It is intended to help operators achieve Level 1 maturity (develop a plan and begin work). The Implementation Tool is used to evaluate and summarize implementation status by question, element and overall, and helps track development of program implementation to Level 3 maturity. The Evaluation Tool plays two key roles addressing the conformity and effectiveness of the system. This tool is used to assess and report the level of conformity to the requirements, the “shall” statements, of the RP and possible Level 4 maturity. The Evaluation Tool also provides the means to appraise the effectiveness of an operator’s programs in achieving the objectives of the RP, asking the key question, “Is the system helping and driving improvement?” These resources can be supplemented by the voluntary third-party audit program developed by API and the Peer-to-Peer sharing process.

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