Following several major incidents, the energy industry is keen to use only those operations practitioners who, when responsible for delivering work used in safety-critical aspects of planning and executing wells, can demonstrate their competency. The legal – and environmental – consequences of failing to prove this are serious; yet demonstrating competency can be challenging for these practitioners.
Christine Telford, a member of Operations Geoscience International Competency Assessment (OGICA), speaking, on behalf of OGICA, in Canada, at the GeoConvention 2021 – a virtual event – held from 13th to 15th September, explains, “Professional organisations appraise practitioners’ abilities based on education, references, continuing professional development (CPD) and work experience, together with organisational membership.
“While these are important components of a Competency Management System (CMS), they don’t validate the proficiency for the practitioner to work to a recognised standard. OGICA believes what’s needed is an impartial technical skills assessment.”
So, inspired by a mandate, and support, from the Geological Society of London’s Operations Geoscience conferences over the last seven years, OGICA has developed and launched a unique, objective skills self-assessment tool for all those working operationally in upstream oil & gas geoscience.
The tool’s robust question database, populated by OGICA, experienced industry specialists and peers, is accessed via eNetAssess, an online software platform. This platform is supplied by eCom (Scotland), a leading provider of online training and assessment which, over the last 25 years, has been building an enviable worldwide reputation for the quality and reliability of its solutions.
The tool allows operations geoscientists to assess – and benchmark – their current skill levels objectively. Highlighting skill gaps, which individuals can address via further experience and/or training as part of their career CPD, the output is a visual representation of their results. A digital badge is also issued which can be uploaded for sharing of results online.
“The system offers a cost-effective, anytime self-assessment for operational geoscientists around the world, enabling them to demonstrate the skills they have,” said Christine Telford. “It’s also been identified for use as a first stage in operator and service company competency assessment and could form a universal first stage for use in competency programmes in the consultant operations geoscience community.”
“Accessing the online assessment via a web link. The candidate registers, pays a small fee and takes the 90-minute multiple choice assessment,” explained eCom’s Managing Director, Wendy Edie. “Results are delivered immediately in the form of downloadable graphics and a digital badge for sharing online. There’s no pass or fail – and the results are confidential to the candidate.”
Oil company and service company employees, independent consultants and one major oil & gas company in the Middle East are using the assessment framework in-house, and several major international operators are currently exploring how the framework can support their activities.
Comprising some 3.8% of the global economy, with revenues of some $3.3 trillion in 2019, the oil and gas drilling industry affects the life of every person on the planet. The largest global producers of oil are the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia – together accounting for some 54% of total world production.