By NASSCO Member Ronnie Flannery-Guy, Business Development, Aqua Data
Software certified by NASSCO’s Pipeline Assessment Certification Program (PACP) is required to generate and import a standard database file that is fully compatible with PACP. Contractors and system owners across the country have invested in PACP-certified software for data collection. Many of those system owners have taken the additional step of acquiring NASSCO-certified Asset Management software to most effectively use the PACP data collected to project future rehabilitation needs and budgets.
Software that is PACP-certified must provide, among other things, a means to both import and export PACP data. Before receiving PACP-certification, vendors must submit software to NASSCO for thorough testing and validation to ensure full integrity in the way data are collected and used. It is very important to note that when using PACP-certified software, always make sure you are using the latest version your vendor provides. If your software version is not the most current version, it will not have met the rigorous tests for PACP, including LACP (Lateral Assessment Certification Program) or MACP (Manhole Assessment Certification Program).
Unfortunately, some software vendors have marketed and sold their software, or versions of it, as “PACP Certified” without meeting the strict requirements of NASSCO. In many of these cases, the software does not have the capability to both import and export PACP data. Software that is PACP-certified allows for both the collection of data in the field, as well as the import of that data to the office environment (provided the PACP database file imported is of the same version).
Without the capability to both import and export PACP data, not only are you forced to use the non-certified software, but contractors that you hire to conduct CCTV investigations are also forced to purchase that specific software. By restricting the CCTV work to software that is not certified by PACP, many qualified CCTV contractors will be discouraged from bidding on your project, and other contractors may be forced to purchase new software that their employees will need to learn. This typically results in fewer bidders, added time, and increased expenses for contractors. Ultimately, it results in increased project costs for the utility owner.
If you are currently using software that is PACP-certified but does not allow you to import or export PACP data, it is within your rights to require your software vendor to provide both import and export capability at no additional charge. We also encourage you to contact NASSCO for support. We will work to identify software discrepancies and take steps to ensure the software vendor is meeting their obligation to provide PACP import and export functionality to all of their customers.
NASSCO’s mission is to set standards for the assessment, maintenance and rehabilitation of underground infrastructure and to assure the continued acceptance and growth of trenchless technologies. Delivering consistent methods to import, export and use PACP data is just one of the ways we accomplish this goal, and NASSCO is working hard to ensure that all PACP-certified software platforms meet specific requirements. Understanding the benefits of using the exchange database will help municipalities keep costs down by taking full advantage of the many benefits of PACP.
A complete list of PACP-certified software vendors may be found by visiting nassco.org.