After a much-anticipated wait, Nulca New Zealand applauds the recent announcement of the beforeUDig Certified Locator programme in New Zealand.
For an industry with a high-risk profile, the underground service location sector in New Zealand has long lacked an industry-wide competency test for electromagnetic location practitioners.
The certification programme establishes a standard for Utility Locators that requires them to show a thorough understanding of the theory of locating and of good practice in their fieldwork.
Users of utility location services in New Zealand will be able to choose Utility Locators who have demonstrated their knowledge and been independently assessed. Ultimately this gives greater confidence in the locating outcomes delivered and reduces the risk of damage from insufficient training, poor practices and unsuitable equipment.
New Zealand has based the certification on the successful Australian Dial Before You Dig Certified Locator programme. A few changes were made to accommodate differences in our national infrastructure and the lack of asset owner backing.
NULCA Australia was instrumental in defining the theory knowledge required and in setting the criteria for a practical assessment. Nulca New Zealand is confident that the certification meets an international standard of practice.
"The introduction of Locator certification into New Zealand represents a major step forward for our industry. It is long overdue. It sets a national benchmark and recognises the high level of skill needed to be a professional Locator.", says Innes Fisher, Nulca New Zealand President.
"New Zealand will benefit in the same way that Australia has from the introduction of Locator certification. It's our hope that we will also see the backing of a major underground asset owner here. A growing list of Australian asset owners, including Telstra, have mandated the use of certified Locators for all work around their networks.", Innes said.
Nulca New Zealand fully supports the beforeUDig Certified Locator programme. As the industry representative body, it will work to see every practising Locator in New Zealand reach this standard.