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The OQ Process: A Breakdown

Does the OQ process seem confusing? Are you a contractor attempting to ensure you have checked all the blocks to work for an Operator? According to 49 CFR 192 & 195, Operators are responsible for ensuring all personnel performing tasks covered by their OQ plan are qualified to do those tasks.


OQ providers, such as Veriforce, NCCER, ITS, EWN, MEA, OQSG, and eWebOQ, create OQ evaluation criteria based on industry standards, best practices and OSHA guidance. Depending on the OQ provider and specific task, this criterion utilizes computer-based testing and/or hands-on performance evaluations to determine if individuals are qualified to perform the task. The Operator (gas company), selects which OQ providers they will accept based on that provider's OQ criteria. Contractors should receive a task listing from the Operator's that is detailed specifically for the work they are performing for the Operator. This listing can then be cross-referenced in either ISN or Veriforce (depending on which OQ provider the Operator accepts) to determine the pathway to become qualified on the required tasks.


Third-party OQ evaluation companies, such as ASTAR, then can perform the evaluations, consult on the breakdown of tasks, or even manage the contractor company's entire OQ program from start to finish. Once the evaluation has been completed and submitted to the OQ provider, they will review the documents for accuracy and push the qualification to the appropriate OQ reporting company (ISN, Veriforce, Avetta) usually within 24 to 48 hours. The individual is not qualified until their credentials show up in the OQ reporting company's system as qualified. A report from the OQ reporting company can be generated as proof to Operators that the individual is qualified.


Have more questions? Feel free to call us @ 800-604-0675 or visit our website @ www.astarinc.com for more details! We are here to help, anytime....anywhere.




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