In July 2014, the Australian Petroleum Industry Contractors and Suppliers Association (APICSA) was officially ‘acquired’ by ACAPMA. This decision was made after 12 months of trying to operate APICSA as a discrete entity supported by the ACAPMA Secretariat.
Unfortunately, the integration effort has been relatively spasmodic. These ‘ups and downs’ have resulted in (a) confusion about the entitlements of APICSA members and (b) petroleum equipment and services businesses being concerned that they no longer have an industry ‘voice’.
In Melbourne recently, APICSA CEO Russell Dupuy and a number of APICSA Council Members met ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie to discuss how to give greater voice to the specific needs of petroleum contractors and equipment providers as a matter of priority.
“At this meeting, I reiterated the absolute commitment of the ACAPMA Board of Management to make the integration work positively for all parties as soon as practical,” Mark said.
In the weeks since this meeting, the ACAPMA business model has been adapted to accommodate a new category of subscription – the Equipment and Services (E&S) Associate.
ACAPMA E&S Associates business will enjoy benefits that are similar to that of an ACAPMA member. These benefits include:
- Industry advocacy and representation (with oversight provided by the E&S Council)
- An annual subscription to ACAPMAg – a weekly electronic news and information platform for all stakeholders in the downstream petroleum industry (current circulation is approximately 3,500)
- Provision of general employment advice (excluding Industrial Relations advice)
- Provision of IR advice on a fee-for-service basis with ACAPMA management oversight
- Discounted prices for attendance at Industry Events, including the annual ACPMA Conference
- Opportunity to network with other E&S members at events
- Opportunity to advertise in the e-newsletter and on the ACAPMA web-site
Most importantly, service provision and industry representation will be supported by a secretariat comprising six full-time employees and a track record of success in championing the bona-fide interests of the wider downstream petroleum industry.
“The specific interests of E&S Associates will be championed by a dedicated Advisory Council that will set the policy agenda in consultation with the ACAPMA Board,” Mark said.
Members of the Advisory Council will be elected by all E&S Associates for a two-year term. This term will be concurrent with the term of the ACAPMA Board and the Council will operate in full accordance with the existing ACAPMA Constitution and Rules.
The first priority of the new Advisory Council will be to oversee the development of an accreditation scheme for industry contractors.
One of the longstanding concerns of petroleum contractors and suppliers is the fact that fuel retail businesses have no real way of determining whether service providers have the skills and expertise needed to perform work in a safe and efficient manner.
“This issue is relatively complex and was the subject of a recent half-day workshop with key stakeholders in Melbourne,” Mark said.
The workshop determined that the first step in resolving this issue would be to develop a training program for petroleum industry contractors and then formally recognise those providers who have successfully completed the training program via a national recognition program administered by ACAPMA.
“The workshop discussion demonstrated that there is a high level of goodwill in respect of this initiative and we hope to use this goodwill to develop and launch the recognition scheme later this year,” Mark said.
This is an important first step in giving greater certainty to our industry that the services provided by contractors in the future are delivered by businesses that have a strong awareness of the unique environment in which petroleum businesses operate, Mark said.
People wishing to attend the launch of the new ACAPMA Equipment & Services Council on 22 April in Melbourne should contact Catherine Squires at email@example.com
Further information about becoming an ACAPMA E&S Associate will be distributed in coming weeks. In the meantime, any business wishing to become an E&S Associate is invited to complete an online ‘Associate’ by visiting acapma.com.au.