Did you know that almost every aspect of the petroleum industry
is regulated? This includes drilling, oil and gas production, and
pipeline construction and operations. Regulations address
environmental, safety, public consultation, and health
requirements, to name a few.
Regulatory Affairs Professionals represent companies,
third-party consulting firms or regulators. The work environment
varies, and may include on-site inspection, formal hearings,
meetings with regulators, industry organizations and other parties
with vested interests.
Canada's complex regulatory framework offers intrigue and
challenge to professionals working within it. The work is demanding
and the stakes are high - companies can have their operations
suspended for non-compliance! If you see yourself helping others
interpret and comply with national and provincial legislation,
regulations and guidelines, this may be the career for you!
What does a Regulatory Affairs Professional do?
Regulatory Affairs Professionals provide
consulting and specialist services regardingregulatory
interpretation and compliance. They apply for permits, licenses
andapprovals and liaise with regulatory bodies. Where possible,
they influence theregulatory framework on behalf of industry.
Specialists: Develop regulatory strategies and plans,
submit applications, and ensure compliance. They also coordinate
site inspections and represent the company in meetings with
regulators and other stakeholders.
- Inspectors - Regulatory
Compliance: Conduct inspections of drilling and well
servicing sites, production and processing facilities, and
pipelines. They also ensure compliance with regulations and
- Legal Counsel:
Provide advice and guidance on all regulatory legal issues
affecting the company's assets.
- Industrial Benefits Analysts
- Offshore Projects: Develop detailed project benefits
(e.g., direct employment) to Canada and the local economy. They
also work with regulatory boards to obtain approvals, and monitor
results achieved over the project's lifecycle.
How do I become a Regulatory Affairs Professional?
Regulatory Affairs Professionals typically require
post-secondary education. Some jobs require very specific
qualifications for example:
- A law degree is required for jobs as
Legal Counsel, and the person must be a member in good standing
with the provincial Law Society.
- A degree or post-secondary diploma in
business, economics, finances, engineering or environmental
sciences is required for most other jobs.
In-depth knowledge of the business is beneficial. A valid
driver's license is required as you may need to travel to conduct
inspections or attend hearings.
What are the working conditions like?
Regulatory Affairs Professionals work in office settings with
some located in plant or facility sites. Here they may be exposed
to contaminants, noise and other potentially hazardous conditions.
While conducting outdoor inspections, individuals may experience
inclement weather and rough terrain. Following safety protocols is
essential. Worker safety is of great concern to the oil and gas
Do I fit the bill?
Do you think you have what it takes to become a
Regulatory Affairs Professional?
- I appreciate the importance of rules
- I can positively influence other
people to follow established protocols when doing their day-to-day
- I can negotiate successfully with
individuals and groups.
- I relate well to a wide variety of
people, with different backgrounds and experience.
- I can confidently make decisions
using critical thinking and common sense.
- I am comfortable reading and
interpreting detailed contracts, documents and reports.
- I like to do detailed analyses and
present my findings in oral and written form.
- I like to use computer software to
develop spreadsheets, databases, graphs, and manage
- I can work in fast-paced
environments, juggle changing priorities and meet tight
- I am well-organized and have strong
project management skills.
- I think a career as a Regulatory
Affairs Professional is exciting, and I'm up for the challenge and
Quick tips and next steps!
- Learn about a major regulator, the
National Energy Board (NEB), by watching thevideo In the Public
Interest. Also, read the brochure Partners in Responsible
EnergyDevelopment for Canadians, and study information on the
website at www.neb.gc.ca.
- Browse through websites of regulatory agencies for information
about legislation and regulations. For example, the Energy
Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) outlines Alberta's rules,
regulations and requirements at www.ercb.ca.
- Review Pipelines 101, including the
standards, regulation and legislation section, onthe Canadian
Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) website at
- Review policy and regulatory
publications in the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
(CAPP) website library at www.capp.ca.
- Check with employment centres,
educational institutions, newspapers, petroleumrelatedmagazines and
the internet for information on industry career fairs.
Want more info?
For information on other industry occupations check out