SGA Blog

SGA Participates in Multi-Association Coalition to Enhance Integrity in Operator Qualifications

Since its original incorporation in the federal regulatory code, the industry has consistently sought new ways to improve performance for operator qualifications (OQ). The Southern Gas Association (SGA) has specifically worked with its membership through workshops, conference roundtables and other industry forums pushing for further OQ progress to drive performance.

Earlier this year, a new opportunity to enhance OQ integrity developed through a partnership with the Distribution Contractors Association. Since the implementation of the new regulations in the early 2000s, this new endeavor marks the first time multiple national and regional associations are banding together looking for ways to go beyond standard compliance and working to create a stronger competence model. This is borne of a need present across the industry and will encourage additional OQ efficiencies and enhance overall performance integrity. To date, six regional and national trade associations have aligned to support this endeavor.

    • America Gas Association
    • Distribution Contractors Association
    • MEA Energy Association
    • Northeast Gas Association
    • Southern Gas Association
    • Western Energy Institute

Throughout 2017, this joint industry coalition has discussed several ways to systematically increase the integrity of OQ programs for all operators and contractors. From this collaborative dialogue, three areas of improvement have been identified moving forward.

  • People ­– Trainers, Proctors, Evaluators and Auditors
  • Process – Common Core Competencies, Training Requirements, Knowledge Testing, Performance Evaluation and Management of Change
  • Program Validation – Record Keeping, Documentation, Electronic Data Interchange of Records, Independent Third-Party Audits

To share the current success of this group, SGA will be hosting a webinar for member companies in January 2018. This webinar will provide an opportunity to review the work product to date and to outline proposed next steps in the development of the framework document for consideration by the industry.

  • Those interested in participating in the webinar should contact Gary Hines for more information.


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