A Look at What NCCER has to Offer

April 2nd 2020
By: Mandy Beaulieu

The National Center for Construction and Education Research (NCCER) is a 501(c)3 non-profit education foundation whose mission is “to build a safe, productive and sustainable workforce of craft professionals.”

Operator Qualifications (OQ) are regulated by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Adopted by federal regulations, 49 CFR Part 192 requires pipeline operators to document certain employees have been adequately trained to recognize and react to abnormal operating conditions which may occur while performing specific tasks.

Under rule 49 CFR Part 192, subpart N, and 49CFR Part 195, Subpart G; Operations are required to develop an OQ program to establish a covered task list applicable to their system(s), and define training and qualification requirements for personnel performing covered tasks in their facilities and/or on their pipelines. Operators must also ensure their contractors and vendors comply with established program requirements. To read more about regulation, 49 CFR Part 192 please click on the link below. https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline/annotated-regulations/49-cfr-195

In 2002, NCCER’s Pipeline Program was developed in cooperation with the American Petroleum Institute (API) to help pipeline owners comply with the Operator Qualification (OQ) Rule. This rule stems from a 1992 mandate and continues today through DOT regulations found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 49 CFR, Parts 192 and 195, as developed by DOT’s PHMSA Office of Pipeline Safety. To find out more about the regulations, visit: www.phmsa.dot.gov/regulations

With a core focus on Operator Qualification, NCCER built methods of qualification based on Covered Tasks; a performance based qualification standard. NCCER also developed and maintains a full training program to encourage workforce development in the pipeline industry. NCCER is the most universally accepted provider of qualifications among liquid pipeline operators and continues to lead the way in OQ and workforce development solutions.

The NCCER Pipeline Program is now more applicable than ever – Whether you are looking for covered task modules with knowledge and performance tests to meet OQ’s, or you are looking for a comprehensive training program for your workforce or students, NCCER has it all. NCCER has segmented its Pipeline Program into 127 covered task training modules with corresponding tests for OQ testing. This allows contractors to offer multiple or single tasks as specified by operators and provide study materials to the individuals preparing for the specific tests. The content in these modules are based on API RP 1161, 3rd Edition and include other industry-mandated tasks, and tests and study materials are available online and in print. NCCER’s Pipeline Program also maintains a comprehensive training program which includes task training and testing, opportunities for NCCER credentials and a pipeline career pathway to prepare for recruitment into the industry. NOTE: In order to provide OQ testing or recognized pipeline training with credentials, your organization must either be an NCCER Accredited Training Sponsor (ATS), or work with one.

The three major benefits of using the NCCER OQ system is Providing Training, Testing Option, and Record Management. NCCER does a great job at describing these benefits below.

NCCER offers a comprehensive training program which includes the 127 covered task training modules, combined with additional modules for level training. Successful level completions can lead to NCCER credentials and recognition as a pipeline professional. Printed books with these predetermined levels can be purchased or customers can build their own custom books to include only the modules they need in their program. Instructor resources are available, including lesson plans, PowerPoints and Performance Profiles.

NCCER has brought all of its testing under one system—the NCCER Testing System. This system is for both module testing and OQ. This makes it easy to test quickly and efficiently. Online tests are scored automatically and transferred to NCCER’s Registry System and ISNetworld (ISN). If your site doesn’t have access to the internet, paper tests are available as well through this system. In addition, if you only provide OQ testing, study materials for each of the 127 covered tasks are available online and can be downloaded instantly

NCCER partners with ISN to allow pipeline contractors to share workers’ qualification information with operators. When training or OQ testing is successfully completed, the information is first transferred to NCCER’s Registry System and then to ISN. In addition to the benefits provided by ISN’s database, the NCCER Registry System houses all the completion information allowing candidates to share their training information and employers to verify successful covered task and level completions. With a core focus on OQ, NCCER built methods of qualification based on Covered Tasks, a performance-based qualification standard. … NCCER is still the most accepted provider of qualifications among liquid pipeline operators and continues to lead the way in OQ and workforce development solutions.

To read more about the NCCER pipeline training program please visit the link below.

ASA is an approved NCCER Training Sponsor. Which gives ASA the ability to train owner/operations/ and contractors to have onsite instructors, performance evaluators, and curriculum proctors which allows them to provide OQ training in house. If you have questions about NCCER OQ or any other services NCCER may be able to provide you, please contact Mandy Beaulieu or Tygh Edninger at the Alaska Safety Alliance 907-770-5250.

About Mandy Beaulieu

Mandy Beaulieu originally joined ASA as Program Manager for NCCER. As a subject matter expert in all things NCCER, Mandy has presented at multiple national conferences, and serves as a conduit between education, workforce development and industry. In 2019, Mandy was promoted to Director of Operations, where she oversees division managers to ensure daily operations of ASA run efficiently. Mandy helps develop business strategies to better serve ASA’s industry partners.

Read more by Mandy Beaulieu

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