This week ACAPMA held Petroleum Contractor Workshops in Sydney and Melbourne. These workshops were attended by a variety of industry stakeholders including: contractors, service providers, equipment suppliers, major retailers and regulators.

The principal purpose of the workshops was two-fold. First, to secure feedback on issues affecting the petroleum contracting and petroleum service industry with the aim of informing ACAPMA’s future advocacy activities.

Second, to secure industry feedback on whether there are any additional areas for Best Practice Guidelines Development – in addition to the three Guidelines that were released last year (i.e. Stormwater management, UPSS Monitoring and Biofuels Storage).

“These annual forums provide us with an opportunity to secure direct feedback from petroleum contractors and petroleum equipment suppliers on some of the current challenges impacting their industry segment”, said ACAPMA CEO Mark Mckenzie.

“ACAPMA then uses this information to inform our advocacy priorities for the year ahead as well as providing topics and ideas for discussion at the annual Contractors Forum, which is held in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Fuel Industry Forum (APFIF)”, Mark continued

Two common themes emerged during the workshop discussions. The first was the need for ACAPMA to finalise a guideline on Vapour Recovery (An attempt was made to develop this Guideline last year but the discussion was put on hold given some conflicting messages about the experience with VR2 systems in NSW).

Both workshops suggested that there was a need to dust-off the work from last year and push through to finalise the VR2 Guideline in time for release at the 2018 APFIF in September 2018.

The second theme centred around the requirement for development of a formal accreditation mechanism for petroleum contractors. It is understood that this has been a longstanding issue in the petroleum contracting industry – and one that has proven difficult to solve.

“During the conversations, I noted that we now have the National Petroleum Recognition Scheme (NPCRS) in place – with more than 150 recognised contractor businesses – and that this Scheme could be readily expanded to incorporate training and accreditation in some key areas of high-risk competency, said Mark.

“Three potential areas of focus for such accreditation were identified including; Fuel System Design (overall), site commissioning and site decommissioning”, said Mark.

In addition to the two themes cited above, there were suggestions that ACAPMA might also consider building on the work led by Safe Work NSW relating to the physical safety and security of service station sites in the face of increased criminality at service station sites around the country.

“There is significant merit in this third suggestion and ACAPMA will investigate options for development of such a guideline as part of our normal business”, said Mark.

With these priorities now identified, ACAPMA will now work to produce a Best Practice Guideline for Vapour Recovery and establish a national steering committee to examine options for the development of a petroleum contractor accreditation course.

The development of the VR Guideline will be progressed via the reconstitution of the VR Working Group (comprising previous and new members). This Working Group will operate according to the following timetable:

Task Deadline
Assembly of VR Working Group 30 April 2018
Working group meeting 1 (Drafting) 31 May 2018
Working Group meeting 2 (Drafting) 21 June 2018
Release of consultative draft for public comment 2 July 2018
Working group meeting 3 (Review of feedback) 25 July 2018
Working Group meeting 4 (Final review and sign off) 16 August 2018
Production and release of Guideline at 2018 APFIF 5 September 201

Given the substantial issues associated with the development of a Contractor Accreditation Course for petroleum contractors, ACAPMA proposes to establish a National Steering Committee to explore options for the development and implementation of an industry-wide accreditation solution.

It is envisaged that the first stage of work of this Steering Committee will be progressed according to the following timeline:

Task Deadline
Assembly of National Steering Committee 30 April 2018
Working group meeting 1 (Terms of Reference) 31 May 2018
Working Group meeting 2 (Accreditation Options) 21 June 2018
Working group meeting 3 (Draft Course Framework) 25 July 2018
Working Group meeting 4 (Final draft for APFIF Discussion) 16 August 2018
Facilitation of industry discussion at 2018 APFIF 5 September 2018

The work of the VR Working Group will cease with the release of the new Guideline at the 2018 APFI Forum to be held in Auckland between 4 and 6 September 2018.

The work of the Contractor Accreditation Steering Committee will likely continue through to the 2019 Forum (i.e. 18-month appointment), with feedback received from the 2018 Forum used to design a series of training modules in key areas such as fuel system installation, site commissioning and site decommissioning.

ACAPMA is now seeking participant nominations for both the VR Working Group and the Contractor Accreditation Steering Committee.

To minimise the impact on participants, all meetings will be conducted via national teleconference and the ACAPMA Secretariat will undertake all drafting work as directed by each forum.

“Essentially, we are looking for participants who have the knowledge and skills to oversee the development of both initiatives with the ACAPMA Secretariat doing the ‘heavy lifting’ between meetings”, said Mark.

Anyone interested in joining the Vapour Recovery Working Group and/or the Steering Committee for Accreditation is asked to email their nomination (Name and contact details) to catherines@acapma.com.au by 28 April 2018.