A Transformational change in the way the global oil and gas workforce can undertake safety-critical emergency response training has been unveiled today (Wednesday, November 16th) at a world-wide gathering of industry leaders.
Recognising the significant adjustments the sector has undergone in terms of size and structure as it seeks to remain efficient in the lower oil price era, the creation of digital safety and training standards is a long-term, demand-led initiative to create a change in workforce training through technology-driven innovation.
Spearheaded by the industry-owned, not-for-profit safety and workforce development organisation OPITO, the Digital Standards Integration addresses the industry’s call for regulated, consistent online learning with world-class credibility and compliance.
Acknowledged as the best in the world, OPITO standards have been adopted by major international and national oil and gas companies in over 45 countries. Over 250,000 people per year train to OPITO standards across the globe.
“What we have done in the past may not be appropriate for the workforce of the future. The oil and gas industry is facing challenges like never before and a paradigm shift is already underway where smart businesses know there is opportunity in reinvention,” said OPITO Group chief executive David Doig.
“As an industry we must change the way we think about how we set standards, train people and assess competence. Critical to the market and sought by a number of major employers, the inclusion of a digital element in the training offering will drive real efficiency in oil and gas industry workforce training.
“Providing an alternative to the traditional classroom-based element of the standard for the first time, it will enhance safety and give time back to workers, employers and training organisations through increased flexibility.
“Funded through OPITO, this investment by industry for industry, will be available on an opt-in basis but is being introduced now to enable a fundamental learning choice for new generations of entrants going forward into the oil and gas sector.”
The need for, and introduction of, digital standards has been unanimously supported by oil and gas employers across the Americas, Africa, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, UK and Europe.
As the primary emergency response standard, the Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET) and Tropical BOSIET will be the first course launched in the digital offering.
Available to learners at any time and from any location where they can access the internet, the digital standard will include a new ongoing assessment component to better measure an individual’s understanding of the learning content and competency to travel and work in the sector.
The verifying assessment of a learner’s performance during the practical elements of the standard will remain unchanged and will continue to be delivered by OPITO’s network of over 190 approved training providers around the world.
The digital BOSIET and TBOSIET will be available from Summer 2017. Further standards in the OPITO emergency response framework, including Minimum Industry Safety Training (MIST) and its international counterpart, IMIST, will follow as part of a phased integration.
OPITO is partnering with international learning technologies leader Atlas Knowledge Group on the development of the digital standards and the creation of an access portal for industry.
The organisation will work with a network of employers and training providers across a range of geographic regions to develop and pilot the digital standards going forward.
The initiative was the first of two major announcements unveiled at the seventh annual OPITO Safety and Competency Conference (OSCC) which is taking place in Kuala Lumpur.
Attended by around 450 operators, contractors and delegates from across the supply chain, OSCC 2016 also saw the launch of the first ever onshore OPITO standards, bringing the same robust emergency response framework OPITO delivers to the offshore sector to onshore operators for the first time.
The new Onshore Petroleum Processing & Refining Facilities Standards encompass a number of key specialist roles, whose function is to manage any emergency, coordinate the response and respond to instructions around controlling an incident. These include control room operators, plant managers, incident commanders and fire/emergency response team leaders.
Underpinning these specialist roles is the BOSIET and International Minimum Industry Safety Training, as well as the Basic H2S standard, which all employees will train to.
“These new standards are another part of OPITO’s response to the changing landscape of the oil and gas industry,” added Mr Doig.
“With an increasing number of companies working across sectors, their introduction builds on our 30 years plus of offshore experience and will allow plant employers to implement an emergency response framework which is fit for purpose for the onshore community and do it with confidence knowing they have been developed following the same vigorous process used for the offshore sector.”