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About API Certifications

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Outlining all sectors of the oil and natural gas in the United States, the American Petroleum Institute or API supports millions of people across the country. With their substantial reputation in the economy, they are considered as a respectable organization that sets standards in the industry. Since their establishment, they have created over 700 standards that are meant to develop environmental as well as operational safety, sustainability, and efficacy.

API Certification Path

If you’re planning to wade through the extensive range of API accreditation programs, don’t worry because everything is all set. They have a specific certification exam for a particular area of your needs. To better grasp their broad technical curriculum, here are three of its noteworthy certificates.

  • API 571
  • First on the list is API 571 that focuses on key corrosion processes and materials. It is highly recommended for those with in-depth experience as an inspector, chemical engineer, or corrosion engineer. The certification covers major areas such as anticipated rates of degradation, future damage mechanism susceptibilities, monitoring strategies, integrity operating windows, corrosion control files, RBI, and FFS. Its corresponding exam has a closed-book format and runs for 3 hours and 25 minutes with a total number of 80 questions (only 70 are scored).

Recommended Training Materials

Since there are no official courses designed for API 571, you can take advantage of the suggested resources for the exam ― as listed by API itself. The most popular one is the “Recommended Practice 571”, which has been created to make your learning more efficient. This material provides comprehensive guidelines in using pressure equipment integrity, from distinguishing the damage to overseeing appraisals.

Another key material that you can make use of is the “Damage Mechanisms Affecting Fixed Equipment in the Refining Industry; Third Edition”. This is an up-to-date reference document that lists down all the damage mechanisms that are relevant not just to oil refineries but also to petrochemical and other related industrial applications. Lastly, it’s highly advisable to avail of their “Standards Plan”, which is an online subscription that gathers all the latest API publications, including RP 571.

  • API 580
  • If you want to prove your command in Risk Based Inspection or RBI, the API 580 certification is an excellent choice. It supports your quest in understanding the core features of RBI to demonstrate your high level of proficiency. More so, it is very beneficial considering the growing reputation of RBI as a premium method of inspection. To acquire this potent certificate, you have to accomplish the 3.5-hour exam with 80 questions (10 of which are unscored). The questions are formatted into multiple-choice.

Recommended Training Materials

Just like the previous one, this particular certification has limited training resources. Therefore, you have to make the most out of the official materials available, which include the latest press releases highlighting the updates in the RBI methodology. Go through the online files in detail and gain crucial information and useful tips that you can apply on your exam.

Also, an excellent material for your test preparation is the “API Inspection and Mechanical Integrity Summit”. This is a scheduled gathering that covers extensive training sessions handled by subject matter experts in the field. Comparatively, this one is an in-person program that checks upon your RBI knowledge and reinforces your skills through meticulous discussions of pertinent areas.

  • API AQ1 - Auditor Q1
  • To be eligible for the API AQ1 - Auditor Q1 accreditation, there are things that you need to consider beforehand. API records all the core requirements that you have to document upon your application, which includes a 4-year degree and experience in the oil and gas industry as well as QMS and auditing. It’s also a must to accomplish a special exercise officially set by the organization. And for the qualified applicants, you can now pursue the 4-hour test that consists of 150 questions of multiple-choice type. Through the certification exam, this signifies your capabilities in auditing and your adeptness in the vital body of knowledge such as fundamental concepts, standards of conduct, audit programs, pre-audit activities, and reports.

Recommended Training Materials

If you want to obtain this certification, then you need to maximize the right set of resources. To start, it’s best to dig into the basics. Through the “API Fundamentals of Auditing”, you acquire proficiency in conducting effective and logical audits. The course encompasses the fundamental concepts, together with the essential auditing processes that are particularly aligned to the API curriculum. Successful candidates of this training can expertly apply the audit principles and practices when handling audit, from forecasting to reporting to executing post-audit activities. This also indicates your personal attributes that are expected from auditors. Do take note that there are various providers for this course, so you just choose base on its availability, location, and schedule.

To ensure that you’re on track with the exam objectives, proceed with the “API Specification Q1 9th Ed. Fundamentals Training”. It is recommended as the questions on the API AQ1 exam are derived from it, among other documents. By enrolling in the course, you become more knowledgeable of API and its key areas. These include its significant benefits, legal requirements, Quality Management System (QMS) requisites, product realization, contingency planning, and QMS monitoring. All these are given emphasis through solid discussions, practical examples, and even hands-on application. Henceforth, by the end of the session, you gain both the introductory and advanced capabilities of Q1. Some of the most suitable professionals for this material are API monogram licensees, quality system auditors, oil company personnel with equipment backgrounds, oilfield equipment manufacturers, and the like. And just like the first option, you have to pick the course based on your preferences.

Another valuable addition to your preparation is the “API Specification Q1 9th Ed. Practitioner Training”, which serves as an extension of the “Fundamentals Training”. In comparison, this one is ideal for Q1 practitioners who want to be adept in QMS, particularly its requirements, monitoring, measurement, analysis, and improvement features. This also highlights product realization, API Monogram program, risk assessment & management principles, customer satisfaction process, Management of Change plan, contingency plans, and internal audits.

In Conclusion

In case you want to solidify your place in the oil and natural gas industry, earning the ACI certification is the wise step to make. Due to a broad variety of options, you will definitely find the one that will suit your specialization and preferences. Make use of the most credible and comprehensive study resources when preparing for the corresponding exams, and you’ll get accredited hassle-free.

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