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The Role of Competency in Pipeline Safety Management Systems with Karen Collins

The Role of Competency in Pipeline Safety Management Systems with Karen Collins

Pipeline Safety Management Systems (PSMS) are management tools that will help a pipeline operator comprehensively and holistically manage all the many aspects of pipeline safety. The framework of PSMS is specified in the API Recommended Practice 1173 and consists of ten elements, one being 'Competence, Awareness, and Training' which is probably the most important one since there is a strong link between pipeline failures and human errors caused by incompetence.

Pipeline integrity teams – including teams of one – are comprised of individuals, each with their own competencies and experiences, who are required to perform a set of tasks according to their job description or function. How can you be sure your team has the necessary skills or maintains them as new members join and experienced members leave?

Competencies of the individual need to be assessed against a defined standard to ensure validation. Competency standards specify the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform a task at a specified level (e.g. foundation, practitioner, expert), and encourage continued development. Competency frameworks define the set of competencies and the levels required to undertake all of the functions of the integrity team.

Including competency assessments within a safety management system should reduce the likelihood that substandard staff development or performance is overlooked and help lead to continuous improvement. Additionally, a demonstrable process of competence assessment provides assurance to regulators and other stakeholders that a core aspect of safety, namely staff competence, is valid. 

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how human factors influence pipeline safety
  • Gain awareness of the importance of the 'Competence, Awareness, and Training' item within a Pipeline Safety Management System
  • Know how to apply a competency framework within a Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle
  • Learn about the elements contained in a competency standard

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Meet the experts

​Karen Collins

Karen is the Program Manager at ROSEN Group, responsible for providing education and competency solutions in the U.S. With 10 years of experience in pipeline integrity, Karen recognizes the direct correlation between the integrity of a pipeline and competence. She is committed to promoting competency development, evaluation and competency standards in the oil and gas industry. Karen holds a B.B.A. in Finance and Statistics from the University of Houston Downtown.

Integrity Insights

Integrity Insights provide over 25 hours of free technical presentations, micro courses, and panel discussions delivered by experts and operators. 

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