How does Integrity First work?

Our members understand that in order to reach our goal of zero incidents, there needs to be a true commitment to collaboration. Only by working together can we ensure that our actions lead to measurable improvement.

Six steps to ensure steady progress:

  1. Through research and feedback that is gathered from the public and industry, we identify key priority areas to focus on. We’re currently working on five priorities: pipeline integrity; emergency management; control room management; damage prevention; and water protection.
  2. Subject-matter experts then develop guidance documents for each priority area that detail leading practices and the expectations, actions, processes and steps needed for continuous improvement.
  3. The guidance documents are used by our members to evaluate their operations in the priority areas. Through these self-assessments, our members are able to assess how mature and advanced they are in a given priority area.
  4. Our members then submit their self-assessment results to CEPA for analysis, which in turn leads to member companies developing their own action plans, as well as collaborating on industry-wide improvements.
  5. The self-assessment process and adoption of the Integrity First program is verified by an independent, third party.
  6. Members, through Integrity First, regularly report on their performance and activities in each area to increase accountability and transparency.


This process is repeated and refined for each priority, providing a collaborative and structured approach to industry-wide continuous improvement.


Integrity First - Continous Improvement Cycle



2016 priorities

Canadians have voiced their concerns about safety and the environment, which is why we have prioritized those areas in the program. Currently, we are focused on the following:

Integrity First in action: Improving control room management

Studying incidents to prevent them

In 2012, CEPA did an in-depth analysis of 35 transmission pipeline incidents dating back to 2000, as reported by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and the National Transportation Safety Board in the U.S. The report provided valuable information about the root causes of pipeline incidents, and highlighted three areas that contribute to the severity of transmission pipeline incidents – detection and isolation of the failure (control room procedures), emergency response and public awareness.

CEPA members are tackling all three root causes through Integrity First – with control room management going through the Integrity First process in 2015 and 2016.

Improving control room procedures through Integrity First

Control rooms are the ‘eyes and ears’ of every organization. They operate 24/7, 365 days per year. The personnel work in secured areas, are highly trained and directly involved in the day to day operations. They are able to monitor flows, pressure and many other features specific to the operations of a pipeline. Control rooms are essential to keep the pipeline running safely.

Building the strategy

In 2014, experts from CEPA member companies worked together with subject matter experts to develop a strategic plan to improve control room procedures. The plan identified what the four key focus areas are for control room management – competencies, alarm management, fatigue management and information management – and outlined them in a guidance document.

Assessing current practices

All 12 member companies used the guidance document to assess their control room systems, processes and procedures around these focus areas.

Focusing on higher standards

The results of the self-assessment were analyzed by CEPA to determine areas of improvement and opportunities to share leading practices among member companies.

Sharing results

Members shared their action plans with other members, enabling each to advance their own control room management practices, so controllers have the right information to make timely and informed decisions.

Member companies will continue to improve on their own, but also alongside member companies working with control room experts who are part of the control room management knowledge network (CRMKN) to share leading practices and advance control room performance.

This process is followed for each Integrity First priority, providing a collaborative approach to continuous improvement to the highest level.

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