Definitions are obviously an important part of any document or communication – an agreed definition helps achieve effective communication.
Getting to an agreed definition can be incredibly difficult. This is particularly true, and particularly difficult, when writing Standards.
Currently, AS2885.6 (“Part 6”) is out for public comment, closing on or about September 13th (we are trying for an extension).
We had intended that in the Part 6 Public Comment version, the defined terms would appear in small caps. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but we intend that the published version will.
Here is what it will look like – this is the Foreword for Part 6, with the small caps:
I think it looks quite good – and draws attention to our defined terms.
Definitions across the suite of AS 2885 Parts have been vexing to keep consistent. We now have a proposed approach to collect common definitions that are used across multiple parts, into Part 0 (which is also currently under revision). The logistics of this strategy means that when Part 6 and Part 1 are published, the revised Part 0 will not be ready yet. And so there will be overlap and duplication.
The Public Comment version spells out the definitions of common (Part 0) terms in full (these are the definitions that in the Public Comment version have [SOURCE: AS 2885.0 – 2007]. (should have referred to AS 2885.0-2008).
When Part 6 is published, the definitions for these common items will simply be “See Part 0”. This helps to achieve consistency, for when the definitions need to change over time. For example the definition of Competent Person is changing slightly with the next Part 0 revision (see below).
The definitions below should be well known and understood in the Australian pipeline industry. They already currently appear in Part 0, and so the published version of Part 6 will simply read “See Part 0.” and not have the full definition.
Approved by the Licensee or the Licensee’s delegate, and includes obtaining the approval of the relevant regulatory authority where this is legally required. Approval requires a conscious act and is formally documented.
Competent/Competent Person (or organisation)
A person who has an appropriate combination of knowledge, skills (the current definition has ‘expertise’) and experience to safely and effectively perform the task required.
The entity that the regulatory authority holds accountable for the pipeline.
1 The Licensee may or may not be the pipeline owner and may or may not be a licence holder under legislation.
2 The Licensee may be a different entity at different points in the pipeline life cycle from design through construction to operation and abandonment.
An authority with responsibility to administer legislation relating to pipelines covered by this Standard.
There will be push-back and concern on the implementation of common definitions into one Part (Part 0), we expect that. The initial response will be, “but I only ever use Part 3 (or Part 5, or whatever)… and now it’s not ‘stand-alone’. ”
Our principle has always been that everyone should be familiar with at least Part 0 across all roles, and soon almost everyone will be required to be familiar with Part 6, since it applies across the entire pipeline lifecycle. So it’s not quite a valid argument against collecting common definitions into Part 0.
We have had conflicting definitions in the past, and so we are now aiming for ‘one version of the truth’ – and that means having definitions in only one place.
And, it will be a process, not instantaneous. The first step is moving the common definitions into Part 0, with the resulting duplication that will incur. Due to publication schedules, of course we will have duplication, and a number of full definitions (instead of just “see Part 0”) will have to appear in Part 1 and Part 6 (for example Pipeline System, Mainline Pipe, Pipeline Assemblies, and Stations among others), as well as Part 0 when it is published. That duplication will disappear once amendments or revisions are done.
Here are proposed Part 6 / Part 1 / Part 0 common definitions (also relevant in Part 2, Part 3, and Part 5…) for those four tricky terms:
Pipeline System: System for safe transmission of fluid, comprising mainline pipe together with any necessary stations and other facilities.
Mainline Pipe: Those parts of a pipeline system between stations or pipeline assemblies and comprising only linepipe and cold field bends, excluding induction bends.
Pipeline Assembly: An assembly of pipe and components that allows for a single simple function such as pipeline isolation, diversion of flow, separation of phases or launching or receiving pigs. NOTE: See also Station. Pipeline assemblies include but are not limited to scraper assemblies, mainline valve assemblies and branch connection assemblies.
Station: A facility that allows for control, measurement or pressure maintenance of pipeline fluids, including compressor and pump stations, pressure regulation and metering facilities. Other facilities that involve frequent operational activity may also be designated stations for the purpose of this Standard. In addition to piping and equipment, a station includes other infrastructure such as control facilities, power supply, and security fencing. Note: a station may include pipeline assemblies as well as station piping and other equipment and infrastructure.
Have you reviewed the Part 6 Public Comment draft yet?
Later this week – my trials and tribulations with filling out the Public Comment form with my own mark-ups on Part 6…