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IADC: More than half of IADC training providers now using WellSharp

By Linda Hsieh, Managing Editor 

More than 50% of IADC’s training providers have transitioned to the new WellSharp training and assessment program, the association announced last week at the 2015 Offshore Europe Conference in Aberdeen, UK. Collectively, the providers who are now using WellSharp are responsible for training approximately 80% of all trainees in the industry. Training passing rates currently stand at 85%.

IADC President/CEO Stephen Colville noted that WellSharp was developed through a collaborative industry effort and represents a response to increasing expectations from regulators around the world. “They’ve looked at WellSharp, and they say this has to be the standard everybody is coming up to. It’s a huge step forward,” Mr Colville said during a news conference at Offshore Europe.

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Further, he questioned companies that have not taken this step forward along with the rest of the drilling industry. “Right now, because we have a fit-for-purpose well control and assessment program through WellSharp, if companies are not using that, I would question whether they are fit to operate and whether their operations are fit for purpose.”

WellSharp lies at the core of IADC’s objective to demonstrate the industry’s fitness to operate, Mr Colville stated. “If we’re to obtain and retain that license to operate, we must be trusted, and there has to be some objective measures by which they can tell that we are fit to undertake operations.”

Launched in April 2015, WellSharp offers content on prevention, situation awareness, barriers and risk awareness and management. It encourages blended learning with required electronic testing to enhance the quality and value of the training. Dr Brenda Kelly, IADC Senior Director for Program Development, explains that one of the most notable changes made with WellSharp is around how students are assessed. “Every individual is assessed to their particular role and responsibility, and the assessments are standardized globally,” Dr Kelly said. “This means they are leaving the training with more confidence that they have the knowledge they need and they have developed the skills they need to perform in their particular role.”

Through WellSharp, IADC also has the ability to monitor feedback from students, as well as monitor performance on individual training providers. “We can go back to an instructor and say that your students consistently miss a certain type of question. That suggests that you may not be adequately covering the content as was outlined in the course curriculum,” Dr Kelly explained.

All features that have been incorporated into WellSharp will help to enhance well control training and, on a higher level, they will help the industry to become a high-reliability industry. Regulators are pushing harder and harder on this front, Mr Colville said.

“The enhancements that have been made means there is more time that people will spend on the training process, and more time spent on training means additional costs. But the industry is recognizing that as an investment,” Mr Colville said. “The business case for WellSharp is compelling. If you can reduce nonproductive time, if you can eliminate injuries and if you have more efficient operations, that is a huge financial saver.”

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