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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Engineering Inspectors and Regulatory Officers (2262)

Engineering inspectors and regulatory officers inspect transportation vehicles such as aircraft, watercraft, automobiles and trucks and weighing and measuring devices such as scales and meters as well as industrial instruments, processes and equipment for conformity to government and industry standards and regulations. They are employed by government agencies and the private sector.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read text entries in forms and comments on drawings and other documents. For example, air transport inspectors read short entries in maintenance reports which explain how faults were repaired. (1)
  • Read warnings, directions for use and other short text passages on labels and product packaging. (1)
  • Read articles in newsletters and trade magazines for information about new products, alternative inspection procedures and current events in their industries. For example, boiler inspectors read articles in the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors' Bulletin for instructions on how to test flooded boiler systems. (2)
  • Read memos and e-mail from supervisors, colleagues, customers and suppliers. For example, an elevator inspector may read an e-mail from a building superintendent requesting information about interim certification requirements for elevator hoistway door interlocks. (2)
  • Read field guides, instruction manuals and reports. For example, loss prevention inspectors may read procedural field guides to learn about inspection and maintenance procedures. Aviation enforcement officers read procedure manuals to learn how to conduct themselves during investigations and how to delegate authority. Boiler inspectors may read reports that outline the metallurgy of power boilers. (3)
  • Read regulations, safety codes and acts of Parliament relevant to their practices. For example, air transport inspectors read regulations published by bodies such as Transport Canada to learn about the procedures to follow when completing airworthiness reports. Elevator inspectors read regulations issued by provincial regulatory bodies to understand the roles and responsibilities of inspectors and the regulations governing the construction and operation of elevators. (4)
  • May read detailed accident reports and witnesses' interview transcripts to learn about the causes of incidents and to compare eyewitness accounts with known facts. For example, railway accident investigators read detailed accident reports published by the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation Board and the National Transportation Safety Board to compare features of other incidents with those currently under investigation. (4)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Observe hazard, warning and regulatory signs. For example, ship inspectors scan signs to learn about the dangers of slippery floors in cargo holds, high pressure boilers and hot pipes. (1)
  • Scan labels on product packaging and equipment to locate make and model numbers and operating specifications. For example, radio interference officers scan labels on transmitters to locate power ratings. (1)
  • Obtain quantitative data from graphs. For example, railway accident investigators scan graphs to locate crack initiation rates for steel rails under various loads and stresses. (2)
  • Scan maps to locate place names, geographical coordinates, property lines and other boundaries. For example, radio interference officers view maps and map overlays to locate the geographical coverage of radio transmitters. (2)
  • Obtain data from lists and tables. For example, boiler safety officers locate prices, model numbers and sizes in suppliers' price lists. Aviation enforcement officers use volume correction tables to correct for fuel temperature differences during inspections. (3)
  • Complete entry forms such as damage assessments, inspection reports, risk assessment reports, device inspection certificates, orders of intervention, notices of defects and loading reports. They enter data such as contact information, dates and times, permit and serial numbers, fees, weights, code reference numbers and inspection outcomes. (3)
  • May study schematics for electrical, ventilation, hydraulic and water circulation systems to understand their operation. For example, boiler inspectors review schematics to determine the flows of water through heating systems. Aircraft inspectors and railway inspectors view complex wiring schematics to locate devices, connections and circuits. (3)
  • May scan complex technical drawings to locate parts, fixtures and supports. For example, marine damage surveyors may view scale drawings showing various views of ships' structures to determine the parts and components that may have been damaged by collisions and groundings. Aircraft inspectors use highly detailed assembly drawings to pin-point the correct location of airframe parts such as bulkheads, gussets and supports. (4)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write reminder notes in daybooks and descriptions, observations, instructions and other text passages in entry forms. For example, they write notes to remind themselves of examination protocols. They note observations and findings in inspection report forms. (1)
  • Write short e-mail, memos and business letters. For example, railway accident investigators and radio interference officers write memos to update supervisors on the status of investigations. Elevator inspectors write letters to notify building owners about specific infractions, required upgrades and the legal proceedings that will result from missed compliance deadlines. (2)
  • May write detailed procedures for inspection and audit procedures. For example, weights and measures officers write audit plans to explain audit procedures and to specify the responsibilities of audited firms. (3)
  • May write reports to record the outcomes of detailed assessments, inspections, audits and accident investigations. For example, insurance loss prevention officers write assessment reports describing organizations' exposure to risks such as sabotage, terrorism, fire and catastrophic equipment failure. Railway accident investigators write accident investigation reports to outline findings, present analyses of causal factors and to offer conclusions and recommendations. (4)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Money Math
  • May calculate expense claim amounts for travel and supplies. For example, crane inspectors may calculate reimbursements for the use of personal vehicles at per kilometre rates. (2)
  • May calculate prices for inspections. For example, ship inspectors calculate inspection fees according to hourly inspection rates. They apply discounts for preferred customers and calculate applicable taxes. (3)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • May create schedules for inspections and set timelines for compliance orders. For example, radio interference officers schedule inspections of radio transmitters with owners and operators. Elevator inspectors set deadlines for property owners to rectify deficiencies uncovered during inspections. (1)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Take measurements using basic measuring tools such as rulers, tapes and thermometers. For example, ship inspectors measure the sizes of hull breaches using measuring tapes. Railway accident investigators measure the lengths of vehicles' skid marks using measuring wheels. (1)
  • May take measurements using specialized equipment. For example, radio interference officers measure signal strengths using spectrum analyzers. Crane inspectors measure the lengths of hidden cracks in metal using ultrasonic testing equipment. (3)
  • Calculate attributes such as loads, capacities, speeds, volumes, and durations in order to describe processes and equipment. For example, aircraft inspectors calculate acceptable flight durations by factoring burn rates and cargo weights. Ship inspectors calculate the storage volume limits of cargo holds. Railway accident investigation officers may calculate bending stresses exerted on rails by carriage wheels. (4)
Data Analysis Math
  • Compare speeds, pressure readings, dimensions, angles, densities, temperatures, voltages and other measurements to specifications. For example, radio interference officers compare transmitter power outputs to specifications to determine compliances to regulations. (1)
  • Collect, organize and analyze measurement data. For example, airworthiness inspectors analyze jet engine thrust readings to determine the airworthiness of aircraft. Elevator inspectors calculate safe elevator operating specifications by analyzing factors such as forces, loads and pressures. Railway accident investigators analyze data such as speeds, impact forces and weights to help determine the causal factors of accidents. (3)
Numerical Estimation
  • May estimate times to complete inspections and investigations. They consider the requirements of inspection and investigation tasks and times taken to complete similar tasks in the past. (2)
  • Estimate slopes, heights, speeds, depths, lengths, thicknesses, weights, loads and angles. For example, radio interference officers may estimate the heights of antennas using proxy measures such as building heights. Railway accident investigators estimate the speeds of railway cars prior to derailments by measuring the distances they travelled after derailment. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Exchange information about regulations and operating practices with workers, managers, suppliers and business owners. For example, boiler and crane inspectors provide operators and business owners with detailed descriptions of deficiencies uncovered during inspections. Weights and measures inspectors discuss appropriate produce weighing protocols with grocery store owners. (2)
  • Exchange technical information with representatives from regulatory bodies, supervisors and other engineering inspectors and regulatory officers. For example, marine survey inspectors exchange ideas and discuss outcomes with supervisors and co-workers. (3)
  • May talk to consumers who lodge complaints. For example, weights and measures inspectors explain investigative procedures and the outcomes of investigations to consumers who lodge complaints against store keepers. (3)
  • May conduct interviews with equipment and vehicle operators, witnesses and accident victims. For example, railway accident investigators question distraught witnesses and accident victims to establish facts and help determine probable causes. Marine surveyors question ship crew members to determine the events that led to collisions. (4)
  • May present opinions, evaluations and recommendations at meetings and testify at quasi-judicial and judicial discovery and court hearings. For example, aviation enforcement officers and railway accident investigators may explain highly complex and technical information provided as evidence at tribunal hearings and public enquiries. (4)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • Are delayed by equipment failures and adverse weather conditions. For example, crane inspectors postpone inspections when rain, snow and ice create unsafe working conditions. Radio interference officers wait for replacement equipment when faulty spectrum analyzers are unable to locate sources of audio rectification. (1)
  • Find they lack information needed to approve plans and issue operating permits. For example, elevator inspectors inform building owners who have submitted incomplete plans that additional information is required before permit applications can be reviewed and approved. Air worthiness inspectors request additional information from airline operators when applications for certification of airworthiness lack the details needed to judge the adequacy of repairs and modifications. (2)
  • May encounter operators, property owners and eyewitnesses involved in incidents who refuse to participate in investigations. They explain their roles as engineering inspectors and regulatory officers, stress that investigations help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future and outline the repercussions for failing to providing information. They may issue summons and subpoenas to those who refuse to willingly provide information. (3)
Decision Making
  • Select the parts, tools and equipment required to carry out inspections. They consider the scopes of inspections and policies and protocols established by regulatory bodies. (1)
  • Choose enforcement priorities, timelines and methods. For example, boiler inspectors may allow boiler operators to delay the shutdown of defective boilers until needed parts arrive. Elevator inspectors may decide to increase the frequency of inspections at sites where deficiencies were uncovered during past inspections. Weights and measures inspectors decide how many scales to test when auditing retail establishments. (3)
  • May decide what evidence to collect at accident sites. For example, aviation and railway accident investigators choose which witnesses to interview and which parts and wreckage items to analyze by considering their importance to the investigation. (3)
Critical Thinking
  • Judge the condition of parts and equipment. For example, crane inspectors judge the condition of ropes, reeving and slings by noting signs of wear, twist, stretch, kinks and broken wires. (2)
  • Evaluate compliance to regulations and established protocols. For example, weights and measures inspectors assess retailer's compliance to regulations by reviewing their policies and procedures and testing their weighing devices. Elevator inspectors assess the installation of elevators by considering equipment readings, specifications and the functioning of components. (2)
  • May assess the accuracy of information gathered from equipment operators, passengers and witnesses and data recorders. For example, railway accident investigators consider measurement data when they assess the accuracy of witnesses' statements and the integrity of data collected from sensors. (3)
  • May assess the appropriateness of responses by crew members and emergency responders to accidents. For example, a railway accident investigator may assess appropriateness of crew members' and emergency responders' actions at a railway crossing accident. The investigator considers the applicable policies and procedures and the risks and hazards posed by the collision. (3)
  • May judge the significance of factors contributing to accidents and near miss incidents. For example, a ship inspector may lead an investigation into a ship's sinking to determine the significance of ocean currents, tides, winds, crew members' actions and the positioning of loads, ships, shoals and protruding land masses. (4)
Job Task Planning and Organizing

Own Job Planning and Organizing

Engineering inspectors and regulatory officers generally plan job tasks to accomplish work assigned by their supervisors. They schedule inspections and investigations to ensure the efficient use of their time. (2)

Planning and Organizing for Others

Engineering inspectors and regulatory officers may delegate tasks such as setting up appointments to administrative assistants. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember references for particular clauses, sentences and paragraphs in legislation, regulations codes and acts.
  • Remember specifications such as threshold values for equipment and installations.
Finding Information
  • Find information about maintenance and repair histories by speaking with operators, owners, supervisors and co-workers and by reviewing previously completed work orders, maintenance logs and inspection reports. (2)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • Use word processing. For example, they use basic text editing and text formatting features of word processing programs such as Word to write inspection and accident investigation reports and letters of notification. (2)
  • Use graphics software. For example, they may use photo editing software such as Photoshop to crop, brighten and enlarge digital photographs. They may create slide shows using presentation programs such as PowerPoint. (2)
  • Use databases. For example, they may use their organizations' databases to enter inspection results and to access reports, case studies, forms and regulations. They use basic database search and retrieve functions to input, locate and retrieve information. (2)
  • May use spreadsheets. For example, they may create spreadsheets to record measurement data and to track expenses and hours worked. (2)
  • Use communications software. For example, they use e-mail to communicate with customers, co-workers and supervisors and to send and receive attachments such as inspection reports. (2)
  • Use the Internet. For example, they may launch browsers such as Internet Explorer to access on-line databases and bookmarked Internet websites. They locate and retrieve forms and documents such as procedures, specifications, studies, reports, bulletins and newsletters. (2)
  • May use other computer and software applications. For example, radio interference officers use advanced features of mapping programs such as MapInfo to overlay maps with a wide range of data such as band frequencies and coordinates. Weights and measures inspectors may use computer software to determine whether scales weigh goods within specified tolerances. (3)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Engineering inspectors and regulatory officers may co-ordinate their activities with co-workers and with other engineering inspectors and regulatory officers. For example, when conducting accident investigations, railway accident investigators work as members of teams composed of other railway accident investigators and engineering, human factors and rail specialists. (3)

Continuous Learning

Engineering inspectors and regulatory officers need to keep abreast of changes to regulations and industry practices. They learn through conferences, seminars and workshops offered by safety and engineering associations, equipment manufacturers, post-secondary institutions and private trainers. They read industry newsletters, trade magazines, textbooks, manuals, research reports and bulletins published by organizations such as the Canadian Standards Association and provincial safety codes councils. They may be required to take certification and recertification courses as conditions of employment. (3)

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