Level I – Basic PPD 

  2. Uses generally accepted practices to route, support and assure pipe stays within an existing layout of process equipment arrangement.
  3. Identifies basic process equipment, pipe, valves, and fittings from either photographs, drawings or generally accepted 2D and 3D symbols and identifies their nozzles and other points of connection and attachment.
  4. Can trace out, sketch and correctly identify process lines on the Process Engineer’s P&ID and on a corresponding 2D or 3D representation (Piping Isometrics, Plans, Sections, Renderings) and verify their correctness.
  5. Identifies and lists the proper materials for a given piping specification.
  6. Identifies situations requiring the application of publicly available piping design standards, including ASME B31.3, B31.1 and API 1104.
  7. Designs pipe appropriately to commonly available fabrication and erection methods.
  8. Designs pipe to accommodate reasonably foreseeable inspection and maintenance practices. 
  9. Uses a Computer Aided Design (CAD) system to correctly represent a schematic and dimensioned piping drawings and backup electronic client appropriately.

Level III – Senior PPD

  2. A Senior PPD will have located, orientated equipment using generally accepted practices with consideration for constructability, site infrastructure & supporting structures.
  3. Explain the layout implications (equipment required, generalcharacteristics of products involved, operation, maintenance, safety, etc.) of the following processes:
    Combustion and Furnace Heating
    Heat Exchangers
    Cooling & Refrigeration
    Water treatment
    Reactors & Catalyzation
    Steam generation and distribution
    Waste Water Collection and Disposal
    Pressure and Level Control
  1. Correctly orient basic process equipment, their nozzles and other points of connection, attachment, assembly, access, inspection, and maintenance.Orientation shoulddemonstrate knowledge of the internal workings of equipment and its impact on inspection, maintenance and construction.Such equipment includes :
    1. Compressors
    2. Drums
    3. Exchangers
    4. Cooling Towers
    5. Furnaces
    6. Reactors
    7. Distillation Towers
    8. Pipe Racks
    9. Structures
    10. Underground Piping
    11. Instrumentation
    12. Storage Tanks
  1. Apply customer furnished plant layout specifications.
  2. Identify the impact on piping design of plant unit commissioning, start-up shutdown, turnaround and normal operation including thermal expansion, contraction, constructor, operator and maintainer access, common modes of equipment failure, etc..,
  3. Identify situations requiring the application of publicly available plant layout design standards, including those specifying minimum and/or maximum spacing, recommended elevations, placing of handrails/platforms, etc.
  4. Layout process equipment appropriately andextract necessary data to support commonly available fabrication and erection methods and to accommodate reasonably foreseeable inspection and maintenance practices.

Regrettably, SPED has never had an inexperienced, fresh graduate of a two year associates degree program pass the PPD Level I exam without industrial experience or targeted training. Most Engineering firms commit resources to train new graduates to project readiness.

SPED now has four companies that have pledged to get 100% of their pipers PPD Certified for at least office {Dow (Houston), SNC Lavalin (Houston), Power Engineers (Boise), Worley Parsons (Calgary), AMEC (Canada)}. Individual companies use PPD Certification outcomes in setting job descriptions, determining compensation and demonstrating competence to perform contracts.

In addition to requesting PPD Exam scores, SPED Corporate Members have the right to test anyone at a discount. It seems a natural extension to refer job candidates to SPED for testing as part of the qualification and hiring process.

William G. Beazley, PhD

Executive Director, SPED