Conformance webinar – a late report

After the webinar on 4 August this blog reported on it very briefly here, and then Ted Metcalfe wrote the following comprehensive report that was inexcusably mislaid for a while. But better late than never …

In difficult times, we need a safe means of holding important industry conversations, and technical webinars have emerged as one way to remain connected with others in our industry and continue sharing knowledge.  A very good example was the webinar titled “Demonstration of Conformance” held 4 August, hosted by APGA and the AS2885.INFO team for discussion about conforming (or complying) with AS2885.

The webinar was recorded and is well worth watching for those who regularly use the AS2885 suite of Standards.

Selection of this particular webinar topic all started with a simple question made up well over a year ago just to test the correspondence features of the AS2885.INFO website system:

Can you advise on any recommended document formats for demonstration of compliance with AS2885?

Discussion within the AS2885.INFO team before the webinar prompted several more questions:

What does it mean to say that the work completed is in conformance with the Standard? 

How and why can demonstration of conformance be achieved?

How can we be confident that pipeline engineers have indeed understood the intent of the Standard and that the requirements of the Standard had been met?

Who has the qualifications to determine whether or not conformance has been demonstrated, and how do we know they are competent to do so?

The two-hour webinar was introduced by Karen Polglaze of APGA and then facilitated by Susan Jacques of the AS2885.INFO team.  As intended, it was much more of an interactive workshop than a simple technical presentation, and audience participation was strongly encouraged.

On screen was a Panel comprising members of the AS2885.INFO team and several others who had been approached to participate and contribute to the discussions.  The make-up of the Panel comprised representatives of owner/operator companies, the SA technical Regulator, and several experienced independent consultants.

After introductions, Peter Tuft presented some introductory slides which described the various approaches which have been used in the past and highlighted some of the complexities and issues associated with the concept of conformance.

The team clarified that:

  • While conformance demonstration is most often a Part 1 matter, the webinar scope intentionally included all Parts of AS2885, and that
  • The webinar was not intended to result in written recommendation guidelines but simply to increase awareness.

Each of the Panel members expressed their views on the matter based on many years of experience in the industry, and then the Panel remained on screen to field questions during discussion which followed.  The panel was well balanced, and all of their presentations were valid perspectives for consideration. 

Panel members were largely in agreement on most issues. It all went very well, and the entire two hours was filled with spirited discussion.  At least 75 of the original 100 attendees were still online near the end, so attention remained high.  Some challenges from the floor were welcomed and indicated that attendees were listening carefully.  

It was interesting that the concept of competence came up many times in discussion of getting demonstration of conformance right, prompting a further question:  

Who decides whether or not certain requirements of the Standard are both relevant and applicable?

Maybe the Pipeline Engineer Competency System needs a new competency defined here!

Discussion of the Technical Authority concept provided an opportunity to introduce the recently completed Engineering Practice Guide.  Discussion included the vexing issue of balancing cost and schedule imperatives with engineering outcomes.

Maybe the concept of conformance could be included in the next revision of the Engineering Practice Guide.

A recording of the webinar is available here.

If you would like to make further comment after watching the recording, contact the AS2885.INFO team via email at or leave a reply below.

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