Information for excavation contractors
PG&E Operator Qualification (OQ)
Federal and State regulation CFR 49.192, Subpart N and GO 112F require that individuals performing covered tasks on the gas pipeline system hold the applicable qualifications at the time of performing the work. Operator Qualification is required for any work on the gas pipeline system or in the construction of new gas pipeline facilities that will be connected to the gas pipeline system.
How to get started
Here are the steps to getting qualified:
- Register with Industrial Training Services (ITS), a third-party vendor that manages gas qualification records for PG&E. Here's how:
- Email the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Company name
- Contact person
- Phone number
- Email address
- ITS will send a confirmation back once the registration is complete. Please maintain primary contact information in ITS once your company is registered.
- Email the following information to email@example.com.
- Determine which OQs you need for the work your project requires. For any questions, contact your PG&E Inspector, your PG&E New Business Representative or your prime contractor. If further assistance is needed, contact the PG&E Program Manager for Contractor OQ at OQPgmMgr@pge.com.
- Ensure your employees are trained and ready to test. They should review all materials in CORE. To get started with CORE, check the Additional Resources section for CORE Job aids or email CORE@pge.com for help. If you find a current procedure has been replaced and the date is not effective yet, please contact the Gas Standards Engineering & TIL Hotline to request a copy of the current procedure at (855) 854-6227 option 3.
- Once employees are trained and ready, schedule testing:
- For Plastic Qualification, contact Gas Qualifications Analyst at 1-855-854-6227, Option 4, or at OQPlasticSched@pge.com.
- For Welding Qualifications, contact Gas Qualifications Analyst at 1-855-854-6227, Option 4, or at OQWeldingSched@pge.com.
- For Other Qualifications, schedule a testing session directly with PG&E authorized test administrator. Obtain the list of test administrators from ITS or view PG&E's list: Download the PG&E approved 3rd party evaluators list (PDF)
Note: PG&E requires that all written and performance testing must be conducted in English and without use of translation services.
Frequently asked questions
Contractor who performs excavation is required to hold 05-07 (Damage Prevention) and OQ-0215 (Installation, Backfill, Compacting) qualifications. In most cases, one qualified individual is required per excavation. Please contact PG&E OQ team if you have more questions about the OQ requirements.
If you install gas lines, you need additional qualifications: 02-14 (Tracer Wire), 03-14 & 03-15 (Attaching Elec Connections) or 21-XX & 22-XX (Pipe Joining Qualifications).
GO 112F, a State of California Code, requires new construction tasks to be included as an operator qualification and treated according to CFR 49.192, Subpart N.
PG&E OQ requirements apply to gas specific or joint trench projects (i.e. electric and gas). If the applicant installer performs excavation or trenching for other utilities (electric only, water, sewerage, cable, etc.), NO OQ is required for these projects even though they are trenching within 2’ of any gas facilities.
Federal and State regulation (CFR 49.192, Subpart N and GO 112F) require that individuals performing covered tasks on the gas pipeline system or in construction of new gas pipeline facilities that will be connected to the gas pipeline system hold the applicable qualifications at the time of performing the work.
All questions are procedure based and the procedures/reference documents can be found in CORE. To get started with CORE, check the Additional Resources section for CORE Job aids or email CORE@pge.com for help.
General information about PG&E Operator Qualification
Please refer to Guide to Qualification document under additional resources to get more information about required operator qualification.
- Personnel performing covered tasks must obtain qualification through a PG&E-accepted evaluation method.
- Qualification exams and evaluations are provided and administered in English.
- The qualification process evaluates the knowledge, skill and ability of personnel to perform covered tasks using equipment and facilities identical or very similar in operation to the equipment and facilities which personnel will use, or on which personnel perform the covered tasks. The process also evaluates the ability to identify and react to abnormal operating conditions (AOCs).
- PG&E accepts initial and subsequent qualifications that include one or more of the following evaluation methods:
- Written evaluation administered via electronic device (computer-based or digital).
- Performance evaluation that includes a knowledge assessment administered by oral or written (paper or digital) method:
- Observation by simulation
- Oral evaluation
- Observation during on-the-job performance (not to be used as a sole evaluation method)
- When more than one evaluation method is required, all assessments must be completed successfully within 30 days of each other in order to be valid.
- Successful completion of qualification evaluation requires a score of 100% correct, unless otherwise noted in test criteria documentation.
- The evaluation process is independent of the training process.
- Training or coaching is not allowed during the evaluation process.
- PG&E evaluators are approved through the PG&E Gas Qualifications Department.
- Personnel who will be evaluated in a calendar year are not allowed to participate as a PG&E evaluator in that same calendar year until after successfully completing all required qualification evaluations.
- For all Operator qualifications, please refer to the Guide to Qualification document and 5 MM for OQ intervals under additional resources below for:
- PG&E employees
- Company contractors
- Qualified contractor/applicant installers
- Personnel may be required to requalify for any covered task before the full term of the qualification.
- In order to maintain continuity of qualification status, an individual must successfully requalify for a given task before the end of the validity period for that qualification.
Definitions and additional resources
Applicant Install Contractor: Anyone who does work near or on PG&E gas lines who does not have a Master Service Agreement (MSA) with PG&E.
Abnormal Operating Conditions (AOC): A condition identified by PG&E that may indicate a malfunction of a component or deviation from normal operations that may:
Indicate a condition exceeding design limits; or
Result in a hazard(s) to persons, property, or the environment.
Covered Tasks: Defined by 49 CFR §192.801 Scope and G.O. 112-F §105 Definitions as an activity identified by the operator that meets ALL of the following requirements:
Is performed on a gas pipeline.
Is an operations, maintenance or new-construction task.
Is performed as a requirement of 49 CFR §192.
Affects the operation or integrity of the gas pipeline.
Industrial Training Services (ITS): A third-party vendor who manages gas qualification records for PG&E.
Span-of-Control (SOC): The maximum number of non-qualified individuals that a qualified individual can direct and observe performing a covered task.
5MM Operator Qualification Repository
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