Quality Through Certification

NASSCO introduces recertification programs for PACP trainers to help ensure continuous excellence in pipeline assessment

NASSCO has a mantra when it comes to the Pipeline Assessment Certification Program: PACP is only as good as the data. In keeping with our goal to ensure that PACP is consistent and reliable, we are putting a number of new measures in place.

NASSCO has always required certification of PACP trainers. In the past, we offered automatic recertification to trainers based on the number of classes taught, but this did not adequately measure knowledge and experience with PACP or training ability.

New to the process this year is a comprehensive application process and a more structured syllabus that leads the trainers through the program. The testing includes a written knowledge-based exam and an in-class evaluation by a NASSCO-certified master trainer who evaluates the trainer’s ability to lead, educate, encourage and instill high-level knowledge among a class of 10 participants.

All trainers must now become recertified, testing their knowledge and training skills every 18 months. Recertification costs $250. Good PACP data starts with good training, so maintaining excellent trainers is a high priority.

Another strategy to increase PACP quality is the new user recertification program. Training modules are being developed, and we anticipate an introduction date of June 2011.

Previously, users who completed the PACP training were not required to test their knowledge. But let’s face it — do you remember everything you learned in college or high school? Even though we have the diplomas or certificates, it doesn’t mean we’ve retained all the knowledge.

PACP is no different. It is critical that we at NASSCO take responsibility to ensure that professionals assessing pipeline conditions have the most current, up-to-date knowledge and information to maintain the highest levels of quality.

It is also important that cities and organizations budget for user recertification, which will be required every three years. For a total cost of $175 for NASSCO members and $225 for nonmembers, PACP user recertification training will be offered online and through approved trainers.

Upon completion of the online version, users have to pass a final exam, proctored at approved local facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada. The online portion will allow users to be refreshed without attending a PACP class or participating at one of our trade show events. It allows users to be tested without incurring long-distance travel or other out-of-office expenses.

Our focus on quality through certification supports successful rehabilitation and repairs and works to further NASSCO’s mission to set industry standards for the assessment and rehabilitation of underground pipelines, and to assure the continued acceptance of trenchless technologies. F

Ted DeBoda is executive director of NASSCO. He can be reached at director@nassco.org. NASSCO is located at 11521 Cronridge Drive, Suite J, Owings Mills, MD 21117.


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