Training & Certification

ZEVAC Certification Training Program (CTP) and Operator Qualification (OQ) Guidance

In support of the ZEVAC Service Contractor Network (ZSN), ZEVAC has approved a Certified Training Program (CTP) to provide a manufacturer’s operation and maintenance training option as well as an Operator Qualification task for the qualification of ZEVAC service contractor technicians.  ZEVAC will continue to offer general operations and troubleshooting overviews as a standalone option or in conjunction with equipment purchases.  However, should a ZEVAC user desire, or be required to have, a certification to demonstrate proof of training, the CTP will be available to them through ASTAR, Inc. (; the company ZEVAC has chosen to provide a nationwide network of ZEVAC CTP Trainers, as well as administer and manage the program.  ASTAR is the nation’s largest provider of Operator Qualification Evaluations and a leader in safety training and regulatory consulting for PHMSA rules.

Click here to view the ASTAR training schedule and sign up.

ZEVAC’s CTP class will provide training that will include pre- and post-use inspections, connection(s), startup, purging, operations, shut down, disconnect, and field level user maintenance/troubleshooting (NOTE: The “maintenance” component of the training is considered “useful/required” to meet the requirements of Regulators & Operators defining the use of the ZEVAC machine on a regulated line as a stand-alone covered task, but it is not a replacement for the Worry-Free Service & Repair [WFSR] Program that is purchased with ZEVAC OEM equipment). 

Is the CTP a requirement to operate a ZEVAC?

No.  However, ZEVAC does recognize that training is an essential need and that pipeline operators, that operate under the requirements of 49 CFR 192 and 195 (§192.805 [h] and §195.505 [h]), have training requirements they must incorporate into their OQ and O&M programs.  ZEVAC has developed the CTP to help answer these requirements and to provide operators with a manufacturer-based, structured, training that is focused on teaching an employee or contractor the specific knowledge and skill needed to operate a ZEVAC unit in a safe manner.  The CTP also provides a more consistent and standardized approach to ZEVAC/cross-compression services. 

If you are an operator or contactor with your own ZEVAC qualification in place and it meets your requirements, there is no further requirement to adopt the CTP.  However, should operators wish to make ZEVAC a qualified task, the CTP option makes contractor adoption easier and more cost effective for both parties.

If you, as an operator, or contractor, choose to incorporate the CTP as part of your internal program, then it will be required, but the impact does not have to be immediate.  You can choose to allow for the current qualifications to be accepted until they expire, or you can allow for a certain grace period for internal operations and contractors (if this is an operator decision) to get the required certification/ qualification.  Example: “Effective immediately any new or subsequent qualifications will need to be conducted using the new covered task training and testing requirements”.  ASTAR is available to help users with what would be required and the steps to transition, should you need assistance.

If you are a contractor and the operator you provide ZEVAC services for requires the CTP, then you should contact ASTAR for training and program development assistance, as needed.

When is an Operator Qualification needed and how do OQ programs work?

Pipeline Operators regulated under the requirements of 49 CFR Part(s) 192 (Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline) and 195 (Transportation of Hazardous Liquids by Pipeline), are required to meet the minimum requirements for operator qualification of all individuals performing covered tasks on a pipeline facility. 

The regulatory requirements under the OQ rule require operators to identify which tasks performed on its facilities are covered tasks based on the four–part test (§192.801(b) and/or (§192.801(b)).  Exhibit A:  4-part test analysis with a ZEVAC unit.

PHMSA defines a covered task as an activity, identified by the operator, that:

  1. Is performed on a pipeline facility;
  2. Is an operations or maintenance task;
  3. Is performed as a requirement of this part; and
  4. Affects the operation or integrity of the pipeline.

Operating a ZEVAC unit on a regulated facility contains many disciplines that may already be identified within an Operators OQ program, such as but not limited to:

  • Joining of pipe through threaded joints and compression couplings
  • Operating Valves
  • Monitoring pressure/flow
  • Testing for leaks
  • Purging

The above listed tasks may cover some knowledge and skill components of operating a ZEVAC unit but may not cover the overall use and field-level maintenance and troubleshooting of a ZEVAC unit.  To assist operators with meeting the requirements of the OQ rule and strengthen their training and safety programs, ZEVAC has partnered with ASTAR to develop training and covered task criteria that can assist an Operator in meeting the OQ rule.  

The training is administered in an instructor led training format that covers pre- and post-use inspections, connection(s), startup, purging, operation, shut down, disconnect, and user maintenance.  

A trainee’s knowledge, skills, and ability (KSA’s) to operate and maintain a ZEVAC unit are assessed through a written examination and performance evaluation. The written test is administered by a proctor and the performance testing is completed using an Evaluator who has experience in performing OQ evaluations.  

A certificate of training is provided upon successfully completing the course.

Having the training and testing completed in accordance with ZEVAC requirements coupled with using a trained proctor and evaluator, may provide an operator to use the ZEVAC certificate of training to show an employee has demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and ability to operate and maintain a ZEVAC unit.

Along with the training, ZEVAC has developed two covered tasks to give operators options for task qualification requirements:

  • Task has testing criteria that covers assessing a candidate’s knowledge, skill, ability, and the ability to recognize and react to abnormal operating conditions (AOC).
  • Task requires an individual to have successfully completed the ZEVAC Certification Training Program and includes AOC testing criteria to be used by an evaluator to test the employee on AOC’s, in order to meet the requirements of a qualification.

Each of the tasks can be edited to fit the requirements and specific procedures an operator may require during the performance of a task while using a ZEVAC unit.

4-Part Test (ZEVAC)

Task Description (1)  Performed on a Pipeline Facility (2) Operations or Maintenance (3) Required by 192 or 195     (4) Affects Pipeline Operation or Integrity
ZEVAC Operate and Maintain (Zero Emission Vacuum and Compressor) YES YES YES YES

49 CFR 192 Subpart N and 195 Subpart G - identifies a covered task as one that meets the 4-Part test.  In reviewing the 4-part test operation of a ZEVAC, it is a covered task if used by an operator to meet an operations or maintenance requirement as further defined below.

  1. It is performed on a pipeline facility
  2. Yes, if used to answer Section 114 of Pipes Act 2020 is a self-executing mandate.  The rule has been addressed within ADB 2021-001 to amend O&M plans under 192.605 and 195.402. 1
  3. It is performed as a requirement of 192 and 195 if utilized as a task by an Operator to answer the requirements within Section 114 of Pipes Act 2020 (Eliminating Hazardous Leaks and Minimizing Releases of Natural Gas from Pipeline Facilities).
  4. It can affect the operation or integrity of the pipeline.

If you have questions or need assistance integrating ZEVAC CTP/OQ into your Company’s program, please contact:

Dennis Kuhn, VP Compliance

[1] PHMSA will be adding requirements to applicable sections within 192 and 195 in 2022 to address the self-executing mandate

When will the ZEVAC Certification Training Program (CTP) classes be available, and how long will a certification last?

ZEVAC CTP classes are available now. Contact ASTAR for scheduling.

After successfully completing the ZEVAC CTP qualification the trained individual will be qualified under the program for a duration of three- (3) years

ZEVAC CTP Class Details:

All ASTAR and ZEVAC locations will provide a ZEVAC unit and a simulated pipeline system so that all students can be trained and evaluated with a unit that they will be operating in the field.

  • Training – 4 Hours
    • (Classroom and Hands-on)
  • Written Exam – 1 Hour
  • Performance Evaluation – 1 Hour
    • (All performance evaluations will be conducted in a one-on-one setting)
  • Expiration – 3 Years

All Candidates will complete the training and written exams as a class on day one.  Following the completion of the written exam ZEVAC CTP Trainers will evaluate each candidate in a one-on-one setting.

Maximum class size to complete class in a one (1) day period:

  • 4 or less Candidates (1 day)
    • $995 per candidate

Maximum class size

  • 5 to 10 Candidates (2 days)
    • $895 per candidate
    • 4 Candidates completed on day one
    • Candidates 5 - 10 completed on day two

Training Locations

  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Tulsa, OK (ZEVAC)
  • Washington, PA
  • Burgettstown, PA (ZEVAC)
  • Lexington, KY
  • Houston, TX
  • Austin, TX
  • Odessa, TX
  • Greeley, CO (ASTAR & ZEVAC)
  • Simsbury, CT
  • Oxnard, CA
  • Temecula, CA (ZEVAC)

ZEVAC CTP Scheduling

ASTAR’s OneServ™ software can schedule ZEVAC CTP classes as well as generate reports and Certificates upon completion.  Please contact ASTAR to establish a OneServ™ account.

ASTAR can also bring the training to you.  On-site training quotes can be requested through ASTAR’s OneServ™ software.

ASTAR Contact Information