The Section of Utilities utilizes a semi-self-paced training program called the Personnel
Qualification System (PQS), designed to develop an individual that possesses basic
mechanical skills — along with meeting the minimum basic education requirements —
and train them to become qualified Utility Plant Operators.
About the Personnel Qualification System
In 1987, the Section of Utilities implemented the mandatory Personnel Qualification
System (PQS) to enhance the safety, reliability, and efficiency of day-to-day operations
of the Central Heating and Cooling Plants (CHACPs). PQS provides minimum standards
for employees to qualify as Utility Plant Operators.
The PQS program is a compilation of engineering fundamentals, plant operating systems,
and casualty control procedures for which Plant Operators must demonstrate adequate
knowledge and understanding. Employee progress is easily measured by a point system
assigned to each specific task.
To qualify to the next level, employees must pass a comprehensive written examination
and an oral board comprised of employees and supervisors. A Task Assigned Group (TAG)
made up of Plant Operators drafted the intensive PQS Operating Policy & Procedure
Governing Qualification, Advancement, and Disciplinary Action.
What Makes Up PQS?
PQS is composed of four sections:
Identifies the basic knowledge and theory of "how" processes occur. This includes
but is not limited to the theory of boilers, turbines, thermodynamics, fluid power,
pumps, valves, and refrigeration.
Identifies the function, components, parameters, interrelationships, and safety precautions
within a particular plant operating system. This section includes all of the operating
systems at the CHACPs.
Identifies numerous possible plant casualties. Employees must learn symptoms, causes,
possible related casualties, and the immediate actions required for safe recovery.
Identifies practical tasks the employee must perform or demonstrate. Specific tasks
include starting, operating, and stopping plant equipment and controls, performing
maintenance tasks, and water chemistry analysis. In addition to PQS weekly training,
the section training budget allows employees to attend courses, seminars, and workshops.
Employees are also required to complete the Bureau of Labor Apprenticeship Program
for Utility Plant Operator, First-Line Supervisor Training Course, and certify as
a Universal Refrigerant Handling Technician.
Levels of Qualification
The PQS program is divided into the following levels of qualification:
- Utilities Trainee
- Utilities Operator I
- Utilities Operator II
- Utilities Operator III
- Utilities Operator IV
- Lead Utility Operator
For additional information, please contact John Gallant at (806) 742-0369 or firstname.lastname@example.org.