Risk Assessment: API Spec Q1 and Q2, and 6a Standards

As we covered in a prior post, incorporating a standard, such as API, into your business practices greatly improves your ability to assess and manage risk. Risk assessment reduces costs, improves customer satisfaction, and opens up new business opportunities. There are a number of standards that may apply to your business and industry.
For example, the American Petroleum Institute (API) publishes standards for businesses in the oil & gas industry. One in particular is API Spec 6a, which recommends best practices for the manufacture of wellhead and Christmas tree equipment. More specifically, Spec 6a covers issues such as:

• Technical quality requirements
• Design methods
• Testing procedures (stress, etc.)
• Material composition of parts
• Tolerance ranges of parts
• Quality control of parts

If you are a supplier of oil & gas extraction equipment, adhering to Spec 6a may be contractually required upstream or downstream in your supply chain. Many larger companies in the industry (BP, Chevron, Exxon, Shell, etc.) require suppliers to meet API standards in order to do business with them. Even if you are working with another company that does not require certification in these standards, you can demonstrate your commitment to quality and customer satisfaction that will make your business stand out among the competition.

If a specific standard doesn’t exist for your product, your business can still benefit from a general system of quality management. An example of such a system from the oil & gas industry is API Spec Q1, a quality management system for manufacturers, and Spec Q2, a quality management system for service providers. Topics covered in Spec Q1 and Q2 include:

• Order review
• Design review
• Document & data control
• Process control
• Inspection & testing
• Corrective actions
• Internal quality audits

ISO 9001 is another quality management system that businesses in various sectors have implemented successfully.

Whichever international standard may apply, it’s worthwhile to consider whether certification is an appropriate strategy for your business.

Freer Consulting is available to help you become certified in a number of industry standards (including, API Spec 6a, API Spec Q1 and Q2, and ISO 9001). We have turnkey solutions to your certification needs including the following:

• Process based approach to management systems
• Software with procedure templates meeting the requirements of the standard
• Expert consultants to help customize the templates to suit your business
• Training on the procedures to end users
• Internal auditing
• Corrective action support
• Registrar selection and facilitation of the external auditor providing certification

If you’re interested in these services, please contact us at 206-285-9044 or info@freerconsulting.com.