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What Is OQ Training?

You might have heard the term OQ training but don’t know exactly what it is. So, let’s talk about it, what it is and why it’s important, and the different facets surrounding it. Energy Worldnet is here to help.

What Is OQ training?

OQ stands for operator qualification. The Pipeline Operator Qualification (OQ) training is a set of courses developed to help pipeline operators meet the DOT Operator Qualification Rule requirements—the OQ Rule (more about that in a moment). And that includes Subpart N 49, Subpart G 49, CFR Part 192, and CFR Part 195.

What Does a Pipeline Operator Do?

A pipeline operator sometimes referred to as a pump operator, gas operator, or gauger is a technical professional. This person’s job is to control the flow of oil, gas, or other materials through pipelines.

What Is a Qualified Operator?

A qualified operator is a person who has passed all the board written exams and has fully qualified. This person must be working under the bond and insurance of a licensed operator or a license holder and not on his or her own.

What Is Operator Qualification Training Used For?

Federal law requires all pipeline operators to have an Operator Qualification Plan and Program. Each operator must come up with his or her own plan designed to reduce human error, as well as to protect life and property.

What Is the OQ Rule?

The OQ Rule is part of the Code of Federal Regulations. This rule requires all pipeline operators to be properly trained while documenting and adhering to a set of requirements.

  • After a written OQ plan, the operator must develop an operation qualification program.
  • Establish a covered task list. This must be applicable to their system.
  • Must define the training and qualifications requirements for any personnel that performs any of the covered tasks on their pipeline facility.
  • Make sure that all vendors and contractors comply with the program requirements they set forth.

What Is Considered a Covered Task?

A covered task is defined as one that is performed on a pipeline facility, an operations task, a maintenance task, is one that is performed as a requirement, or one that affects the integrity or operation of the pipeline.

Does Computer-Based or Web-Based Training Comply with the OQ Rule?

According to the OQ Rule, operators can choose from a variety of training options. Computer-based and web-based training are two acceptable forms of training under the OQ Rule. However, with that being said, the training must be customized to each person’s ability to perform covered tasks, as well as be able to recognize and react to any AOC that could reasonably be anticipated to occur while carrying out any given covered task. So if the web-based or computer-based training achieves these objectives and is deemed acceptable by the Operator and regulators, then the training is considered to be compliant with the OQ Rule.

Who Monitors Operator Compliance?

The PHMSA’s Office of Pipeline Safety is the entity responsible for monitoring operator compliance. They do this by performing field inspections of the pipeline’s facilities and any associated construction projects. They also perform inspections of the operator management systems, processes, and procedures, along with investigating all incidents.

How Much Do Pipeline Operators Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average Oil Pipeline Operator in the United States averages about $71,180 per year. And according to Comparably, the average bonus for Oil Pipeline Operators is around $1,016. All oil pipeline operators that Comparably interviewed stated they did receive a bonus every year.

The salary range for oil pipeline operators in the United States is somewhere between $39,000 to $94,000. The middle 50% of all oil pipeline operators make somewhere between $54,300 to $61,600 and slightly more in some cases, and the top 83% of all oil pipeline operators make around $94,000.

Earning a Certification

A certification is not required for all pipeline operator positions. However, those who want to work on the power grid must be certified through the North American Electric Reliability Corporation.

If you want to earn a certification, you have to pass a written exam. The certification is then valid for three years and will require continuing education and a renewal in order to stay current.

Even if you don’t want to work with the power grid, it is still a good idea to go ahead and earn a certification. You can then add this to your resume, which could give you an edge over your competitors and it could help you with additional employment opportunities in the future.

Where Can I Get OQ Training?

The best way to make sure you and your team are enabled with the proper tools for training and performance is to find a company that offers a software suite with a mix of proprietary and custom solutions including training. A company that is able to accommodate all your needs from Operator to Contractors to Training Centers. You also want to make sure that company has a team that is able to help you implement and streamline your transition.

Energy Worldnet is one of the best companies in the industry for doing just that. Energy Worldnet focuses on compliance-centered OQ solutions. They are accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training. Additionally, they offer a mix of software solutions and instructor-led training.

What’s Next?

If you are interested in OQ training or if you just want a little more information first, please Contact Energy Worldnet today. Founded in 1994, Energy Worldnet has provided training and compliance to more than 1,400 clients. We offer OQ solutions and countless other customized services and technologies.

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