In our business, regulations are necessary and everywhere. With the 0-incidents mindset becoming more prevalent, these regulations will also become more present.
One aspect of the regulations and standards we have is that engineers must both be 'competent' and 'qualified' to do their jobs. However, organizations in our industry have little to no guidance on how to prove this is the case. This results in companies in the pipeline business defining their own competency standards for engineers, meaning there is no benchmark, no agreement on process, and no quality checks. In an effort to fill this gap, the Educations Systems and Services group at ROSEN has created the Competency and Standards Manual for engineers specializing in pipeline integrity management. This manual lists and defines 51 competencies, at various levels. As defined by the Manual, competence is a combination of skills (the ability to perform a task), knowledge (the ability to understand and explain a task), experience (the type, years, supervision committed to obtaining said knowledge), and behavior. To be qualified in a competence means it has been evaluated and assessed.
The competencies and their standards were developed in conjunction with the Competence Club , a platform which offers learning and assessment possibilities. Together with the independent qualifications panel, a group consisting of individuals, all experts in their respective fields, a set of defined parameters were created for all 51 competencies. These include:
- An identifier.
- A title (for example, 'Pipeline Inspection and Surveillance').
- A competence level (such as awareness, foundation, practitioner, or expert).
- A basic description of the competency requirements, and the competency gained.
- A purpose/goal of the standard.
- The specific skills and knowledge elements of the competency.
- An outcome which states what the individual with this competency should, know, understand, value, or be able to do once he/she has gained this specific competency.
- Any academic or professional qualifications required before this competency can be gained.
- Any pre-requisites or co-requisites needed before attempting this competency.
- Any training, mentoring, and/or experience recommended to gain the competency.
Together with the Competence Club , to support the development of competence, and their assessments, the pipeline industry now has the beginning of a process to develop and quantify staff competence - The Competency Standards Manual. The Manual can be purchased through the Competence Club website soon.