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New guidelines for careers in Environmental Inspection

A positive step toward certification

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In 2022, Energy Connections Canada, in association with Jiva Consulting, published a Practical Guide for Environmental Construction Inspectors, including a career roadmap. A full position profile has been completed.

This is a huge step toward establishing environmental inspection as a stand-alone career and attracting new people to the job. At a time of workforce shortages, and as an aging workforce heads toward retirement, the work will help us maintain the competent and qualified workforce that the industry needs.

Why environmental inspection is an important specialization

Even though new pipeline construction is limited, there is a heightened need to maintain existing oil and gas infrastructure. In addition, the activation of new hydrogen and CO2 pipelines, and the repurposing of existing pipelines, will create an ongoing need for highly qualified inspectors.

“In a world moving towards higher safety and environmental standards and net zero targets, the need for high environmental compliance across the energy industry is going to increase and therefore so will the need for qualified and certified environmental inspectors. This project is a step in that direction and next we hope to move forward with the certification process at API, now that the guideline has been completed.” Rick Tofani, Executive Director, Energy Connections Canada.

The development of these guidelines and the career profile gives current inspectors an opportunity to diversify their skills and enter a specialist field, while providing a mechanism for effectively developing the competency of new entrants.

Three career components

There are three distinct components that make up this resource for environmental inspectors:

    1. The Practical Guide for Environmental Construction Inspection – this document outlines the key knowledge, skills and behaviours needed by individuals in the workforce and provides a basis for improving consistency in the field.
    2. Career Roadmap for Environmental Construction Inspection – to provide clarity regarding potential career development opportunities and career paths.
    3. Position Profile – this final piece will provide a resource for both employees and employers to help them understand the typical requirements for the role.

“Environmental Inspection is a largely hidden career and the development of a position profile is one of the key mechanisms for both employers and employees to understand typical industry requirements for the role. Developing these resources is an important part of formalizing the career path to both retain and attract talent.” Reena Sahney, president, Jiva Consulting

Environmental inspection is not a common career path, and people generally ‘fall into’ it, typically through word-of-mouth recommendations. It is hoped that the development of these resources will provide awareness of the opportunities to a broader demographic, both current inspectors and those new to the industry.

The Practical Guide for Environmental Inspectors is the third in a series of such guidelines. The Practical Guide for Facility Inspectors was launched in 2018 and was followed in 2022 by a certification program. The Pipeline Inspectors program, launched in 2016, currently has more than 11,000 certified inspectors and certification has already become a requirement by many operators.

In these exciting times of energy transition and increased public awareness of environmental considerations, this move toward Environmental Construction Inspection as a stand-alone career will help us overcome worker shortages while creating greater consistency. It is creating a career that will take workers and the industry into our energy future.

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