UTILITY LOCATING IDENTIFIES AND MARKS underground public and private utilities, including sewer and water, electric, oil and gas, telecommunications, fiber optics, and more.
Locators provide detailed information about the presence and location of underground infrastructure assets to prevent possible damages during excavation and other activities. Not only do underground infrastructure assets need to be protected, but they can also pose a potential safety hazard to workers onsite, the public, and property if damaged.
Like the buried infrastructure they are seeking and identifying, locators are generally unknown to the public. And, like all buried infrastructure and utilities that we all depend upon at home and at work, locators are everywhere! Locators can be found working on quiet residential streets or busy thoroughfares and highways, in dense urban cityscapes and across farmlands.
Locators are employed by municipalities and utilities, specialized locating companies, engineering firms and excavation contractors in order to enable hundreds of construction, geotechnical and engineering projects throughout the world, every day.
The Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance (ORCGA) runs a very successful Damage Prevention Technician, DPT® Certification Program that provides instruction on the fundamentals of locating based on processes employed by specific industries.
Developed with the Province of Ontario, Humber College, and numerous subject matter experts, the program combines in-class instruction, field awareness review, and an on-the-job competency assessment.
Recognizing that not all locators have received the same type of training, ORCGA ensures all locators receive the same base material. Based on observed skills, employers provide the confirmation that the individual is performing their tasks in a competent manner.
The program is broken down into two parts. Part 1 of the DPT® Certification Program, DPT 100, is open to anyone. DPT 100 is a 40-hour (5 day) course combining theory and technical knowledge and is of interest to both current locators and those new to the industry. DPT 200 is a 24-hour (3 day) advanced course designed specifically for utility locators with a minimum of three years in the locating industry. In order to qualify for DPT 200, applicants must provide a signed letter from their employer, on company letterhead, confirming they have the required practical experience. This accelerated program covers the same material as DPT 100 but with a large portion of pre-work completed prior to class.
After successfully completing the DPT 100 or DPT 200 course, with a passing score of 80% or greater, the student receives and retains a copy of their transcripts. After the required practical locating experience requirements have been met (DPT 100 is a minimum of 6 months, DPT 200 is a minimum of 36 months), the certification process can be initiated. The certification process includes submitting the following to ORCGA for certification:
• competency assessment
• copy of applicant’s transcript
• letter from employer on company letterhead verifying applicant’s work experience
The program recognizes these groups: gas/oil, power, telecom, sonde, and water & sewer.
ORCGA is proud of the capable individuals who perform this work. We encourage them, true to their title of Damage Prevention Technician, to fully embrace their role in the prevention of damage. Learn more about this program at orcga.com/damageprevention-training/course-info/.