Natural Gas Vehicle Institute (NGVi) has launched its certification program for compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel systems, which provides an independent assessment to ensure technicians possess the knowledge, skills and specific competencies required to conduct CNG fuel system inspections according to all federal codes and standards and industry best practices.
According to NGVi, the program was designed according to the requirements for professional certification programs prescribed by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and certifies technicians for a period of five years.
The institute states that regular inspections of all CNG cylinders are required by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 304 and that NGV industry best practices recommend inspection of the entire fuel system. These inspections must be performed by qualified CNG fuel system inspectors and in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and Compressed Gas Association pamphlet C-6.4.
“While there is no national requirement that CNG Fuel System Inspectors be certified, certification offers that extra layer of assurance and risk mitigation in the operation and maintenance of any CNG-powered vehicles,” says Leo Thomason, executive director of NGVi.
The institute says that qualified CNG Fuel System Inspectors must be able to thoroughly inspect all components of CNG fuel systems, correctly document their findings, assess any damage and determine the proper steps necessary to ensure that fuel system safety is maintained. They also must be familiar with and able to effectively use a variety of inspection documents, including applicable codes, standards, regulations, specific manufacturer guidelines, as well as industry best practices.
“We are proud to say that our rigorous certification program was carefully designed and specifically developed to assess the knowledge and skills these technicians must apply during an actual inspection. Our certification exam was created based on a detailed job study of tasks required to be performed by CNG Fuel System Inspectors,” says Thomason.
NGVi’s CNG Fuel System Inspector program was developed and will be administered independently from its training programs, and there is no training prerequisite for technicians who seek certification. To ensure quality, uniformity and impartiality, the certification program is overseen by an independent Advisory Board comprising CNG cylinder, fuel system and vehicle manufacturers, as well as end users. The Advisory Board includes representatives from Hexagon Lincoln, Worthington Industries, Agility Fuel Systems, Penske Truck Leasing, Waste Management, UPS and Volvo.
The certification exam will be offered live at various locations throughout the country, as well as via an online, electronically proctored exam that can be scheduled individually and taken at a time convenient for the participant.
“Another great advantage of our certification program is its accessibility,” says Thomason. “The live-proctored paper exam will be offered in at least six separate locations throughout the country during the fourth quarter of 2016, in addition to monthly offerings at our headquarters. To make the certification experience even more convenient, we have added an online, independently proctored option, allowing participants to take the exam from their own computers.”