API 1169

Inspector Certification

Gulf Interstate is offering API 1169 Training Courses. Click here.

As described below, the boards of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) and the INGAA Foundation have endorsed a Program to ensure all pipeline inspectors working for their member companies’ assets are certified under the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) 1169 Pipeline Inspector Certification Program by 2018. As a member company of the INGAA Foundation, Gulf Interstate Field Services (GIFS) fully supports this initiative. We encourage all inspectors to obtain their API 1169 Pipeline Inspector Certification as soon as possible. Select this link for additional information on API 1169 Certification.

Program Overview

In early 2016, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America and the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, the INGAA Foundation and the CEPA Foundation (the Associations) endorsed the API 1169 Pipeline Construction Inspector Certification program, for adoption by their member companies. Under the Associations’ overall program, this pipeline inspector certification was described as a baseline for existing and future pipeline construction inspectors performing work for the member companies and further, performance goals were established.
The Associations’ program is part of a continuous improvement process to enhance the operational reliability of pipelines. By standardizing the baseline certification of pipeline inspectors across the industry, pipeline construction quality is enhanced

The API 1169 Pipeline Construction Inspector Certification program, available since November 2014, was developed by the American Petroleum Institute in cooperation with industry experts to establish an industry-wide credential for the inspection of new onshore pipeline construction. The API 1169 Pipeline Construction Inspector Certification was updated in 2016 to meet industry requirements in Canada. Under the Associations’ program, the API 1169 certification is applicable to all pipeline construction inspectors, regardless of other certifications. This means that specialty inspectors, such as CWB Level 2/AWS CWI for Welding Inspectors and NACE Level 2 for Coating Inspectors should also obtain the API 1169 certification. The structure of the Associations’ inspector certification program, that shows the API 1169 certification as a baseline, is further illustrated in Fig. 1 below.

Fig. 1 Structure


The goal of the Associations’ program is to systematically advance toward complete certification over a three-year period as depicted in Fig. 2. Each owner or operator can determine its own implementation timetable.

Fig. 2 Implementation Goals


The CEPA and INGAA Foundations have developed “A Practical Guide for Pipeline Construction Inspectors,” that is subject to revision and improvement over time. In April 2017, this guide was incorporated into the current versions of the API 1169 certification exam.


INGAA is comprised of 25 members, representing the vast majority of the interstate natural gastransmission pipeline companies in the U.S. and comparable companies in Canada. INGAA’smembers operate approximately 165,000 miles of pipelines, and serve as an indispensable link between natural gas producers and consumers. www.ingaa.org

The INGAA Foundation brings together pipeline operators and contractors –currently 185 members—including construction companies, pipe mills, engineering companies, consultants, environmental and safety groups and others—to facilitate efficient, quality construction and safe and reliable operation of the North American natural gas pipeline system.

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) represents Canada’s transmission pipelinecompanies. CEPA members transport 97% of Canada’s daily natural gas and onshore crude oilproduction from producing regions to markets throughout Canada and the United States. www.cepa.com

The CEPA Foundation is comprised of both pipeline operators and the various companies in the supply chain that perform work in the Canadian pipeline industry.
Will there be any grandfathering into certification from other certifications not listed?No. Under the Associations’ program, all pipeline construction inspectors are required to obtain the certifications required by the program. There is no ability to apply for equivalent certifications.

Certification will benefit inspectors in many specific ways:

  • Preference for selection for work on pipeline projects will be given to those certified as per the Pipeline Inspector Certification Program.
  • Certification provides a more defined career path for new pipeline inspectors, and the opportunity for advancement for experienced inspectors.
  • Certification raises the prestige of the pipeline inspection career by validating experience by an independent quality standard—the API 1169 certification.
  • Certification helps maintain quality, safety and a high level of performance within inspection crews.

As with other certifications and professions, the expectation is that the inspectors will invest in the costs to obtain certification. Pipeline inspectors in Canada are generally independent consultants who continually invest in training, certifications, equipment and tools, as part of their professional and business development. In the U.S., inspectors are generally employed by inspection service providers. Neither INGAA nor CEPA charges any fees related to certification.

There are several online and in-class exam prep training courses for API 1169 Pipeline Construction Inspector Certification, CWB Level 2 and AWS Welding Inspector Certification and NACE Level 2 Coating Inspector Certification. Some certification bodies (CWB, AWS, NACE) keep lists of training/exam prep providers. For further details about training or certification exams, please contact the appropriate certification bodies: