Editorial: People at the heart of IADC initiatives to catalyze improved drilling performance
By Stephen Colville, IADC President/CEO
Momentum is building in the drilling industry around human factors. There is increasing recognition by operators and drilling contractors alike that human factors is the next frontier in safety performance.
As the authoritative body in the drilling space, IADC is leading the industry with multiple initiatives aimed at enhancing the people part of the performance equation.
You likely already know about the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities competencies database and the Workforce Attraction & Development Initiative. IADC also continues to collaborate with other industry organizations on projects that aim to catalyze improved performance. Our work with the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP), in particular, exemplifies the type of collaboration between operators and drilling contractors that the industry urgently needs.
IADC has participated in the Wells Expert Committee since its inception in 2011 – ensuring drilling contractors have a seat at the table and that our voice is heard.
Through our work with the WEC Human Factors Task Force, several deliverables have been completed over the past couple of years.
In November 2012, OGP Report 476 was issued. It detailed recommended improvements to industry well control training, examination and certification processes. It also defined philosophies that should be adopted throughout the industry to improve well control preparedness and performance.
Key recommendations from this report were incorporated as IADC built and launched the Well Control Institute (WCI) in 2013. Through this milestone organization, IADC recognizes that well control is the industry’s highest process safety challenge. With a belief that well control impacts – and is impacted by – every facet of the drilling industry and process, WCI ensures that operators, contractors, equipment manufacturers, regulators and service providers have a forum to collaborate on well control initiatives and work products for the industry.
Then, in April this year, OGP Report 501 was published. This report lays the groundwork for how well operations personnel can be trained on non-technical skills, also known as crew resource management (CRM) skills. The six core CRM skills are communication, teamwork, leadership, situation awareness, decision making and stress/fatigue management. (See Page 70 for more on human factors.)
The Human Factors Task Force, now chaired by IADC, is drafting Report 502. These guidelines will provide even more practical guidance for the industry on how to build a CRM course. Learning objectives will be defined, and recommendations will be made on training delivery and assessment, as well as on qualifications and knowledge of CRM instructors. Completion of Report 502 is expected by late 2014.
Once both reports are out, IADC stands ready to work with our members to ensure the guidelines find practical applications within the drilling industry. We’re already in discussions with key industry players to form a workgroup that will specifically tackle human factors for the drilling space. The goal is to help companies better incorporate human factors elements into training for all safety-critical operations.
Through its Workforce Development Committee, IADC also is in the early stages of drafting accreditation standards for mentoring programs and for competence assessors. Other accreditation initiatives are in the works as well, including programs for crane operators and riggers.
The goal is to help the drilling industry fulfill the three C’s of competence: capability (they know what to do), compliance (they do the right things in the right way) and credentialing (they’ve been verified against industry standards to be properly skilled, trained and competent).
Multiple highly technical and high-risk industries have already recognized the importance of human factors. These include commercial aviation, medical, chemical and maritime.
Many of these industries initially questioned the validity and value of human factors, but significant improvements in their safety performances have silenced the skeptics.
As our industry begins to learn about human factors and implement it within drilling operations and training programs, let’s not forget that people have always been and will always be our biggest assets. Nothing is more worthy of our time and efforts.