This paper presents the Offshore Pipeline Engineering Competency Project. The project was initiated by the Australian Pipeline Gas Association (APGA) in 2013, in response to the resource shortage of skilled offshore pipeline engineers. This project has resulted in a national framework and standard for competency in the field of offshore pipeline engineering.

The paper describes the Offshore Pipeline Engineering Competency Project from its inception through implementation with Engineers Australia for establishing a Special Area of Practice in Offshore Pipeline Engineering. The paper will describe the process used for competency development, the challenges and lessons learnt during the three year project; and the challenges that still lie ahead. The paper will detail the list of competency requirements and provide detail on the process of qualification through Engineers Australia. Finally, the paper will demonstrate how individuals and organisations can apply the competency framework for professional development.

This project demonstrates leadership and innovation within the Australian oil and gas industry. The positive response within Australia and internationally, indicates the importance of and demand for, this work. Success is attributed to the high level of collaboration within the industry. The first industry benchmark in offshore pipeline engineering has been set. This has many positive outcomes including guiding professional development, guiding educational institutions and ensuring the future of the industry is secure by developing the skills of the engineering workforce.

Establishing an Offshore Pipeline Engineering Competency framework is unique and the Australian industry is the first in the world to do this. There are ongoing discussions with international peak engineering bodies and standards organisations, to use this benchmark as the basis for a global framework. This will secure the future of the industry by ensuring that skilled resources are readily transferable between global regions.

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