Operator qualification training is related to the training of employees of operators of oil and natural gas pipelines. This can also apply to contractors and subcontractors. Training is necessary to ensure the smooth operation of the pipeline. It makes sure everyone can carry out their duties and that they are prepared for abnormal situations and conditions. What is involved with operator qualification training? Here’s what you need to know about operator qualification training and how ASTAR can help.


What is Operator Qualification Training?

All pipeline operators are required to develop and implement a documented qualification program for employees, contractors, and subcontractors who work on the pipeline. This requirement is spelled out in the 49 CFR Parts 192 and 195. Because these pipelines transport hazardous gases and liquids, anyone performing covered tasks on the pipeline facilities must be qualified.

Covered tasks are specific job duties and activities performed by an employee on pipeline facilities. A covered task can be defined by applying the Four-Part Test:

  1. Is the activity performed on a pipeline facility?
  2. Is the activity an operations or maintenance task?
  3. Is the activity a requirement of operation of the pipeline facility?
  4. Does the activity affect the operation or integrity of the pipeline facility?

Covered tasks may be performed by unqualified personnel, but they must be supervised by qualified personnel at all times. Qualification can come in the form of classroom, online, or on-the-job training.


Operator Qualification Evaluation

An evaluation of a qualified operator is performed by an evaluator. This individual does not need to be able to physically perform the covered task themselves, but they do need to be able to judge the employee’s ability to perform the task. They also need to determine the individual’s ability to react to abnormal conditions which may arise.


Operator Qualification Certification

ASTAR can help certify and evaluate the employees, contractors, and subcontractors who work on your oil or natural gas pipeline. Our consulting services will help you review and develop plans and procedures. We can assist you with gap analysis and Department of Transportation audits. Our evaluators can travel to your worksites and facilities to determine the qualification of your workers. We work with service providers like Veriforce, the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), Industrial Training Services (ITS), Energy WorldNet (EWN), Operator Qualification Solutions Group (OQSG), and Midwest Energy Association (MEA). We also offer administrative services, such as oversight of day-to-day activities, company representation, and field evaluations. Contact ASTAR today to schedule training and evaluations of your pipeline employees.