While CEPA pools the knowledge, expertise and resources of Canada’s leading transmission pipeline operators, CEPA Foundation takes the idea further.

The CEPA Foundation brings together the entire pipeline industry – including engineers, designers, construction companies, manufacturers, pipeline maintenance, legal, land and environmental service companies – to develop stronger standards, collaborate on industry practices and create innovations for the safe transmission of oil and gas products in Canada. In this section, we report on the ongoing CEPA Foundation initiatives to continuously improve safety, environmental protection and operational effectiveness.

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Spent in communities across Canada

In 2016, CEPA members spent $4.7 billion purchasing goods and services along pipeline routes across Canada supporting local communities.

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Full-time direct and indirect jobs accounted for by our industry in 2015*

*Source: The Economic Impacts from Operations of Canada's Pipelines, Angevine Economic Consulting Ltd., 2015

Developing construction best practices to enhance safety

Construction plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of a pipeline. That’s because the standards and practices used in construction will have an impact on the safety of a pipeline’s day-to-day operations.

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The Pipeline Construction Safety Roundtable was formed with that in mind – it’s a steering committee working together to develop and share construction best practices that will improve safety. The committee consists of members of the CEPA Foundation.

In 2016 and into 2017, the steering committee focused on advancements in three key areas: driver safety, proximity sensors and camera monitor systems study, and sideboom operator certification.

Driver safety program
To reduce motor vehicle incidents during construction, the steering committee developed an industry-wide driver safety program. The initiative focused on collaborating and sharing best practices from individual company driver safety programs to develop one that can be implemented across the supply chain. In 2017, the steering committee will release guidelines outlining these best practices.

Proximity Sensors and Camera Monitor Systems Study
As part of the initiative, the steering committee conducted a safety technology trial to explore driver support technologies, such as alarms, cameras and radar that could potentially be used in heavy equipment operations. A report with recommendations will be published later in 2017, but CEPA Foundation member, Caterpillar Inc., has already implemented some of the technology recommendations into their equipment.

Sideboom Operator Certification program
Sidebooms are a type of heavy equipment used to move and set pipe into a trench during construction. As many as five sidebooms can be used at the same time during the construction process, so sideboom operators must be coordinated, skilled and have expertise with the equipment in order to safely move the pipe.

That’s why the Pipeline Construction Safety Roundtable steering committee developed an initiative to ensure that the industry has a consistent approach to assessing the competency of sideboom operators.

The initiative began in 2015; as of mid-year 2017, the steering committee has reviewed how sideboom operator competency is currently assessed, and continues to monitor what opportunities exist for working with other organizations, unions and educational institutes on standardizing the approaches to assessing operator competency.

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Standardizing pipeline inspection across North America

Pipeline inspection is a critical aspect of safety. An inspector is onsite during pipeline construction and maintenance to ensure that all codes, standards and regulatory requirements are met.

Inspectors are highly-trained, but the industry recognized there was a need to develop a training framework to ensure there are universally-accepted standards for pipeline inspectors.

That’s where the Pipeline Inspection Certification Program comes in. In 2016, the CEPA Foundation, in conjunction with the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) and the INGAA Foundation, developed the program, basing it on the American Petroleum Institute’s Pipeline Inspector Certification (API 1169) which originally met US requirements. The API standard was revised to include Canadian standards and references for pipeline inspection.

The program includes training, educational programs and a reference tool – A Practical Guide for Pipeline Construction – which focuses on creating an effective learning experience for pipeline inspectors. With the program, pipeline companies develop their own training, but use the certification as a baseline to build on.

Since the program launched, more than 1400 inspectors across North America have taken the certification exam. The CEPA Foundation, INGAA and the INGAA Foundation are now focused on continuing to build on that initial success, while also ensuring the new test remains current, relevant and is available for French-speaking inspectors.

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Enabling success for the next generation of the pipeline industry

Within the pipeline industry, there is vast potential for a new generation of enthusiastic engineers, environmental experts and scientists. CEPA and the CEPA Foundation are committed to creating opportunities for these young pipeliners to realize their potential.

In 2012, the Young Pipeliners Association of Canada (YPAC) was formed to bring together professionals under the age of 35 and/or with less than 10 years’ experience in the industry, to share knowledge and build a strong network.

As of mid-year 2017, YPAC has over 1200 members with membership spanning across Canada. CEPA has been supportive of YPAC since its inception, and in 2017, formally started sponsoring YPAC through its non-profit fundraising efforts.

But beyond sponsorship, CEPA and the CEPA Foundation have been collaborating with YPAC on key initiatives, specifically building a successful mentorship program and focusing on attracting employees to the industry.

Mentorship program
One issue facing the pipeline industry is how to successfully transfer skills and knowledge from experienced professionals to younger pipeliners, which is why the CEPA Foundation and YPAC developed an industry-wide mentorship program.

Formed two years ago, the CEPA Foundation’s mentorship program created an online space where mentors and mentees could connect and establish formal mentoring relationships.

Since launch, the mentorship program has seen interest and commitment grow from both mentors and mentees alike – in fact, from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, the mentorship program has increased by 27 per cent to 180 members. Mentees are actively working with their mentors on setting objectives and goals – all with the intention of building knowledge and skills that will enable them to be successful in their pipeline careers.

For the remainder of 2017, the CEPA Foundation and YPAC plan to further expand participation among Foundation members and potentially invite other industry organizations to take part.

Employee attraction and engagement
Attracting the next generation of pipeline professionals is necessary for the industry to continue to build and operate safe pipelines. In 2016 and 2017, the Foundation’s Employee Attraction and Engagement program, which includes participation from YPAC, has been involved in career fairs across the country to demonstrate why a career in the pipeline industry could be an ideal option.

The CEPA Foundation and YPAC participated in the career fair at the SkillsCanada Competition in June 2017, and will be participating in the University of British Columbia’s career days in October, and the 2017 Canadian Student Energy Summit in November. The program is also developing a speaker series to provide an opportunity for interested students to learn from industry professionals about their pipeline career experiences.

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New tool manages workforce resources

Having a stable, well-skilled workforce is critical to the safe construction and operation of transmission pipelines. Now there’s a new tool that can anticipate workforce demand to ensure a reliable supply of labour.

The CEPA Foundation, in conjunction with Deloitte, has developed an adjustable workforce planning tool, called the Pipeline Labour Supply and Demand Tool, which provides an interactive view of current and future forecasted workforce supply and demand data for the Canadian pipeline industry.

The tool was developed as part of the CEPA Foundation’s Labour Supply and Demand Study conducted by Deloitte in 2016. That study took a 10-year view and predicted labour supply shortages in certain critical occupations for the pipeline industry.

With the tool, members can now assess a vast array of “what if” scenarios in external labour markets. They can use the added data to keep pace with changing labour dynamics, such as high baby boomer retirements or fewer qualified graduates. They can also forecast skill needs, identify critical occupation requirements in the pipeline industry and analyze specific geographic needs across the country.

The broader lenses provided by the online forecasting model will help members to better understand future demand for pipeline related skills so they can take steps to minimize and manage skill gaps and shortages. For instance, they may choose to adjust project timing, sponsor targeted educational program or collaborate with others within or outside the industry.

The Foundation and Deloitte began training members to use the forecasting model in 2016. The rollout is continuing in 2017 through workshop sessions to ensure every CEPA Foundation member is familiar with the tool.

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