Oh my, haven’t you changed…

I know the users of the AS 2885 Standards would like to have a ‘quick reference guide’, outlining what’s changed in Parts 0/1/6 since the 2012 editions, ready for when they are published n a few weeks.

And even more so, we’d all like a quick reference guide that describes exactly the changes that affect us the most, nothing less, nothing more, and therefore helps us specifically with the issue that actually is in front of you right at that moment.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist.

In many cases, we all will have to read it ourselves.

For reference at this point, there are the presentations from the public comment launch in Sydney in July 2017 (was it really that long ago?).  They are available from the APGA website, or from me if you email me.  However, even those are a little dated, since we had 700 comments on each of Parts 1 and 6, so things have changed a little since public comment.

We are planning an APGA seminar event in Sydney on March 13-14, 2019, and there will be summary documents prepared for that.

And there will be opportunities for training entities to provide update courses, as well as the cost effective method of just ringing up your local neighborhood committee member…


Ok, so, but really, what, you ask, has changed?

In this day and age, you’d think we could easily provide a good summary or ‘track-changes’ comparison document.  But I’m finding it’s not that simple, and certainly not easy to read, especially when Part 1/6 have been almost entirely restructured, since Part 6 was born out of Part 1.  And so it would be (will be) a lot of work.

It’s easy to say ‘not much has changed, we’ve just improved it’.  And, if you’ve been following along with the Public Comment editions, you will have seen the changes.  But I know, now that it’s becoming a reality, now it’s time to pay attention.

We’re all like that.  Including me.

In the interim, and to whet your appetite, below is the list of Issue Papers that were started (back in 2013-14) for this latest revision of Part 1 and 6.   This list is an indication of the topics that were discussed at length during the development of Parts 1 and 6.  As mentioned before, most these issue papers remain incomplete for publication; however the work that went into them has manifested itself as now being part of the Standards.

IP01 General + Definitions
IP02 SMS Miscellaneous
IP03 Section 3 Materials
IP04 Section 4  Design General
IP05 Location Classification
IP06 Fracture Control
IP07 Section 5 Pipeline Design
IP08 Prequalified Design
IP09 Pressure Test Design (Section 5.12)
IP10 Section 6 Station Design
IP11 Section 7 Instrumentation and Control
IP12 Section 8 Corrosion
IP13 Section 9 MAOP Uprating
IP14 Section 10 Construction
IP15 Section 11 Inspection and Testing
IP16 Section 12 Commissioning
IP17 Section 13 Documentation
IP18 Road Crossing Design
IP19 Assemblies, Clamps
IP20 Large Diameter Pipelines
IP21 CO2 Pipelines
IP24 Approvals
IP25 Retrospectivity
IP27 Welded Joints
IP28 Damage Resistance
IP29 Environmental
IP30 Fatigue
IP31 Management System
IP33 Trenchless/HDD
IP34 Safety Part Scope
IP36 Competence
IP39 Scope of SMS
IP40 Risk Calibration
IP41 Risk Communication
IP42 SMS Harmonisation
IP43 Threat Control Effectiveness
IP44 Branch Connections
IP48 Land Stability
IP49 Measurement length for non-methane
IP50 Low Temperature Excursions
IP52 App S Bending
IP54 Discharge Rate Limits
IP55 Slug Catchers
IP56 Acoustically induced vibration
IP58 Frequency Guidelines
IP59 Flange Derating
IP60 High Consequence Risk Assessment
IP61 Low Point Overpressure Design
IP99 App Y Radiation Contours
IP99 App AA Flexible/Fibreglass Pipe
IP99 App New 0.8 Design Factor
IP99 App T Flanged Joints
IP99 App E Procedural EIP


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Handbooks, Guidelines and Issue Papers….

About ten days ago, I sat in on the working group meeting for a current EPCRC (Energy Pipelines Cooperative Research Centre) project “Fracture Control – Code of Practise”.  This is a concerted effort to put together a Code of Practise document to assist pipeline industry engineers in the application of the fracture control (black magic) that must be accounted for so that our pipelines remain the safest way to transport the huge volumes of energy that our society uses every day.

The in-depth technical discussion was the sort of thing on topics and details that simply can’t be covered in an Australian Standard, but which the industry is calling out for, to have better guidelines and details about some of (much of) the workings behind the AS 2885 Standard.

The ME-038 Main Committee, in our annual meeting earlier in the year, discussed the fact that the AS 2885 suite of 7 standards is becoming ever more wieldy and humungous and an enormous amount of pages.  One observation is that the content of Part 1 is almost half appendices, of which most of them are informative and therefore only guidance.

We discussed a program of extracting the guidance parts out of the Standard, to ‘strip it down’ to the requirements, and to manage the guidance parts of it in another mode, such as Handbooks, Guidance Notes, or Code of Practises.

There is no clear answer to this, because if we want the industry to follow the guidance, then isn’t it logical to keep it with the Standard, and not be a separate document somewhere else for a person to find?  There’s logic in keeping it together.  As soon as it is separated, there is a likelihood that the guidance will be lost or forgotten.

Case in point is the 500 page 2011 Guide to AS 2885 and the associated issue papers.  It’s a wealth of information and background that has been under-utilised and overlooked for 7 years.  It’s available to APGA members on the website, thought it’s not easy to find (and APGA is revamping their IT systems this month so I’ve not provided a link here).

2018-10-08 18.17.43

Something we might utilise more in the future is the Standards’ “Handbook” document, which has a less rigorous review process – but still a peer-review process – and it would be Standards-branded and therefore somewhat ‘trusted’.

Case in point is the 1998 HB105 about risk assessment, which some still refer to.

2018-10-08 18.17.22

In an attempt to provide similar background and reference information to key issues that came up during the 2018 revisions, I am undertaking a stripped-down effort at Issue Papers, to correspond with the publication of Parts 0/1/6 later this year.  Instead of lengthy issue papers, these will be a ‘topic summary sheet’ that will identify key information about 45 topics that the committee had started issue papers on.

This is the proposed ‘topic sheet’ design, which may still morph as the project develops.  It provides outline level information based on four quadrants: 1 – “Facts and Data”, 2 – “Myths and Mistakes”, 3 – “Resources and References” and 4 – “Experts and Analysers”.

topic sheet

The collection of information will be extracted from the incomplete Issue Papers developed in the last 5 years, including the long email trails that subsequently occurs when there was a contentious issue (i.e., Fracture Control, Defined Terms, pressure test design).

It will provide enough information for a person to get started on a topic, but is not trying to be a definitive ‘technical paper’ on the topic, because if there’s one thing I learned in trying to finalise the papers, is that there is rarely a last word on these topics.  And that’s ok – we are an evolving, learning, growing and improving industry.

It will be a fun project over the next six weeks to itemise the key issues for these topics.  The sheets will be available via APGA, and in time, I’m hoping that we can put them into a ‘wiki’ of some sort, so that they can be added to, disputed, discussed and enhanced by community input (crowd-sourcing, I think it’s now called…).


Here’s to all of the ongoing attempts in the industry to help inform and support the successful application of our standards.













Standards Update

There’s a (terrible) song from a (terrible) animated show from the late 90s, which came to mind in my most recent correspondence with Standards.

Blame Canada. (language warning, if you watch the video, at about the 45s mark).


(South Park has been a very popular show, for some strange reason, some people find it hilarious.  Ok, maybe at times I did too).

I thought the South Park writers (Trey Parker and Matt Stone) were somehow Canadian, but after a quick fact-check on that, yep nope they aren’t Canadian, they just like to make fun of Canada.

(Do you now have that silly song going through your head? I do.)

The reason it popped into my head last week, was this, in answer to my query to our Standards contact about when Parts 0/1/6 would be published, now that all the approval hoops have been achieved:

“… we just missed this month’s NZ Council meeting and the next one is on the 6th of November.  …. SNZ has agreed to advise me as soon as the SNZ Council have approved for Publication.  I have been advised by Publishing Services that if {insert secret redacted Standards conditions here}, … the publication date will be the 21st of November.”  

So, “blame New Zealand-a!”?

I don’t really mean that, and, it doesn’t really fit the song rhythm anyway.  Shame, because that would have been fun.

This does differentiate between ‘project management’ and ‘administration’.  I just think that if the publication schedule was dependent on the NZ approval (critical path), then the preceding events (feedback from the NZ delegates and presenting it for the NZ meeting) should have accounted for that, should have been factored in to our approval schedule, so we aren’t delayed another month.  As it is, in this administrative approach, there seems to be no forward planning or accounting for others’ input dates and constraints, just reaction to what happens each day.

Ah well.  Maybe it should be “blame Standards-a”.  But that would be silly.  And there’s no blame to be had, that’s not fair, it’s all just part of the process, forget I said any of this.

Mark November 21st on your calendar.

But don’t hold your breath.

The bit I’ve not included in the above quote is quite onerous for our Standards administrators, and so I’m not convinced we’ll make the suggested date.  But we’re getting closer…


… end …


Compliance by Conformance

I’ve had a note in my to-do list for awhile, to explain the “compliance” vs “conformance” conundrum here – but in the end, it’s a pretty minor change and will probably cause less confusion than I originally anticipated (and it certainly caused less feedback – to the tune of zero – during the recent public comment periods).

Compliance vs Conformance

We on the committees have been subjected to a Standards Australia-induced change where the editors have diligently gone through and replaced every occurrence of the word (and its derivatives) “compliance” to being “conformance”.

The simplest differentiation I’ve found (according to Standards’ chosen interpretation) is that “compliance” relates to complying with a regulation or a law, where as “conformance” means conforming to a standard or specification.

There’s no explanation provided as to why they have become so diligent about this wording, just that it is in the Standardisation Guide, and is now a rule that is followed.

It seems to me that this change doesn’t really change our usage of the ME-038 Standards, just the word has changed.

As you were.

Separate the “who” from the “what” and “how”

Another imposed requirement is that the path to assessing conformance must be a ‘neutral approach’ – such that conformity can be assessed by any of the parties involved in the transaction.  The three parties identified are the manufacturer/supplier (first party), user/purchaser (second party), or independent body (third party) – and the requirement is that any of those entities should be able to assess conformity (ie, we can’t make it mandatory that a requirement be assessed by a third party independent body).

The explanation is that “requirements for conformity assessment don’t belong in Standards, as they may cause technical barriers to trade. As Standards writers, it is critical to separate conformity assessment requirements from product requirements.”

So, committees wishing to specify conformity assessment requirements may only do so in a separate Standard which contains the specific requirements for assessment. So this just means another document to buy!  Some of our coating standards (AS 4822, AS 3862) may slightly breach this requirement, so during the next revisions we might be called out on that.

Basically Standards Australia policy is to separate the “what” (requirements for the object of conformity) and the “how” (requirements for the demonstration of conformity) from the “who” (activities of conformance assessment).

If you are a committee member, you’ll have access to Standards Australia’s Academy, where there is a tutorial available on this topic (Conformity Assessment).


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