Why does the assessment only focus on electro-magnetic techniques and not on GPR?
Electromagnetic location techniques are used by all Locator's for tracing both conductive and non-conductive underground services. Although more commonplace now, GPR is locating method that is used by smaller group of Locator's. Skills with GPR is not necessary to demonstrate competence as a Locator.
How will the certification be policed in the field?
beforeUdig is not a regulatory body and therefore cannot require the use of Certified Locators. The beforeUdig Locator brand will be recognised in the industry in the near future. Only beforeUdig Certified Locators can use the beforeUdig Certified logo and will be issued with an ID card. If asset owners or clients specify that beforeUdig certified locators must be used and they aren’t, then the damages may be deemed negligent by the asset owner in regards to damage cost liability.
Applicable prior learning is essential to be able to pass the assessment. The assessment does not specify which particular prior learning is applicable to be able to pass the assessment. This is largely because beforeUdig cannot retrospectively determine whether the various courses run in the past are suitable or were delivered to meet current certification assessment requirements.
Does the certification cover all locating techniques?
The certification covers the main locating techniques that are common to locating a broad range of underground services including communications, power, water etc. Further details on topics covered can be found in the self-assessment.
Are certified locators allowed to locate all assets?
The certification does not give permission to locate or access underground assets. Permission needs to be sought from asset owners. It is planned that asset owners will in time also require beforeUdig locator certification for any Locator working around their infrastructure.
If the assessor is a locator, how do you guarantee impartiality (conflict of interest)?
It is necessary for the assessor to be a locator and have relevant locating experience. However, beforeUdig endeavours to avoid any conflict of interest where possible, by allocating assessors that may not be in direct competition to the participants. The assessment is a rigorous and well documented process based on technical application. If a participant fails then the cause of that failure will be documented and available for the participant to review.
Do you have to be able to locate fibre to be beforeUdig certified?
Yes, a locator has to be able use the methods prescribed to locate fibre optic cables in order to pass the assessment. Fibre location is required, because fibre is now a common in ground asset installed across New Zealand by many different asset owners.
Would the certification be suitable for construction subcontractors?
The certification is suitable for all experienced locators or contractors that locate assets on the job. If ground breaking is occurring as a regular part of your business it may be more practical and cheaper to have your own staff certified rather than engaging an outside company.
Does engaging a certified locator offer any benefits?
Engaging a certified locator offers assurance that the locator has passed a rigorous assessment, has been deemed competent, and has the appropriate equipment. They should also be able to meet your duty of care when excavating, especially if an asset owner has specified the use of a certified locator in locating its assets.
If I engage a certified locator, can I be assured that there will be no damage?
There is no guarantee that use of a certified locator won’t result in any damage. The beforeUdig certification is currently the most rigorous and only fully independent competency assessment for locators in New Zealand.
Is there a process in place to protect the beforeUdig Locator trademark? Will the trademark be tarnished if there are damages and incidents caused?
Any known damages or incidents involving a beforeUdig certified locator will be investigated (within legal boundaries) and if a beforeUdig Certified locator is shown to have contributed to the damage due to negligence then appropriate action will be taken where possible. Depending on the circumstance this may include having beforeUdig Certification withdrawn.
How long does it take to complete the certification?
The theory component is undertaken online and takes approximately 45-60 minutes. The practical assessments take about 1.5 to 2 hours, however as more asset owners endorse this course there is potential for the assessment to take a longer duration. The practical assessments will be grouped by region depending in the number of participants. beforeUdig will endeavour to arrange practical assessments in a timely manner.
Is the UALL course and practical experience enough to pass the certification?
The UALL course offers a good foundation for new locators and focuses on theoretical knowledge. It is recommended that new or inexperienced locators seek further face-to-face training before enrolling in the beforeUdig certification.
For people new to the industry we recommend to start with the Utility Advanced Line Locating online course with Locate Management and then seek further face-to-face training with an approved training provider.
There are inconsistencies with asset owners’ requirements – will these be addressed as further asset owners come on board?
Asset owners have the right to determine their own requirements. beforeUdig’s aim is to have more asset owners adopt the certification as requirement for locators.
The current certification has been designed to incorporate the three core asset type location techniques. It is expected that some asset owners may have additional requirements that in the future will be included in the assessment itself or alternately provided separately by the asset owner. Until other asset owners come on board specific requirements in addition to the existing have not been quantified.
Does a person have to be re-assessed once asset owners come on board?
Once asset owners have adopted the certification, further modules may be added to the assessment. beforeUdig does not envision that certified locators will need to be re-assessed prior to their renewal date.
Is the UALL online course relevant for New Zealand locators?
The UALL online course develops knowledge and skills associated with locating underground utilities. Whilst the terminology may differ on a few occasions, the course is relevant for New Zealand locators as basic locating techniques do not differ around the world.
Why do I need to know about the Australian standard AS5488
New Zealand currently has no standard related to the recording and communication of information about located underground services and assets. Although several guideline documents exist in New Zealand, the 2002 OSH Guide for Safety with Underground Services is the only government issued document.
AS5488 defines a set of Quality Levels (A-D) that help communicate the level of confidence associated with the location and tracing of an underground service. It is an integral part of a best practice approach to locating. Knowledge of AS5488 is a mandatory requirement of the Australian DBYD Locator Certification assessment.
In preparing for the beforeUdig Locator Certification, you should be familiar with the quality levels defined in AS5488. You will be asked about them in the theory and practical assessments.