Competent or compliant?

In its drive to improve and align safety and competence standards in the global oil and gas industry, Opito International has commissioned new research to discover how companies are assuring the workforce is competent, rather than simply compliant.

‘The tragedy that was Macondo has shaken the industry and put the spotlight firmly back on safety of people and systems which inevitably leads to the issue of competency,' says David Doig, Opito Group chief executive. ‘Safety is not just about compliance. The industry has to make sure its training programmes deliver people who can do the job competently and safely. This research is aiming to gather an understanding of how the industry measures competency over compliance so that we can then roll-out best practice that will create a step-change and avoid another tragic incident.'

David Doig

The Aberdeen Business School at Robert Gordon University is undertaking the independent study, code-named ‘Tick Safety Not Boxes' and involving interviews with around 40 senior decisionmakers from multi-national oil companies, independents and IOCs, along with major contractors and drilling companies.

The study team is tasked with exploring the primary goals of organisations in relation to addressing compliance and competence issues, identifying the key drivers for competency and determining how compliance management systems integrate with competence management systems.

‘Safety is paramount and the industry has a fundamental duty to make sure that its people are competent and trained to the best possible standards,' stresses Doig. ‘Our aim at Opito is to work across the industry around the world to ensure that training is delivered to common, high standards that will result in competent people and significantly improved safety.' Opito plans to present the findings of this study at its 2011 safety and competence conference in Abu Dhabi on 22 November. OE

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