Ask any international organisation what one of the biggest drawbacks is to have multiple sites around the globe, and issues with consistency of approach across operations will often be highlighted as a concern.
That was certainly the case for leading independent oil and gas operator Premier Oil when it considered the need for a new, centralised training and competency management system for its 1,000 staff in the North Sea and Southeast Asia.
Premier Oil, which has an impressive track record of exploration and production activities, also needed any new system to reflect the requirements of the many independent contractors who support the core workforce.
Operating in a safety-critical industry where the wellbeing of people, assets, and environment are paramount, Premier was determined to seek a solution that could deliver efficiencies without compromising on health and safety.
Darren Eatock, group health and safety manager for Premier Oil, said the company considered effective and efficient training and competency management as key to its success.
He explained: “Our training and competency management was already being managed quite well but we lacked some consistency between regions.
“We certainly aspired to have one central system that incorporated all the aspects of efficiency, delivery, recording, reporting, and verification, both internally and externally with verification bodies. This was also to be in line with OPITO and other industry standards.
“Having placed Mintra alongside other industry competitors, our evaluation made it clear that Trainingportal was the appropriate, cost-effective solution and that it was right for our business.”
One of the main reasons for selecting Mintra was the proactive support and interaction provided, and this was borne out as the team got straight to work planning the build and helping Premier Oil move historical training records into the new solution – Trainingportal.
It is a best-in-class solution that combines digital learning with competency management – a system that allows organisations to identify the competencies required by each employee to safely perform their role and ensure they meet those requirements through training and certification.
The competency module was used to help Premier Oil classify safety-critical roles and procedures within the organisation, bringing that information together in a centralised place rather than a scattered approach of both digital and paper-based records.
Within a month, Mintra created two Premier Oil-branded Trainingportal interfaces with the same functionality – one for staff and the other for contractors – and rolled this out to the UK North Sea sector.
Segregation means that the main company landing page is streamlined and clutter-free, and different training materials can be rolled out on each. The branded portals allow for customer notifications, certificates, and alerts, giving the site a bespoke rather than generic appearance.
But it’s not all about looks: Premier Oil has made full use of the functionality within Trainingportal. For example, it used the PowerPoint converter tool to utilise their existing learning content that could previously only be issued via email.
As well as using some of the digital learning courses created by Mintra, Premier Oil has been able to add its own training courses to the portal. Administrators now also have a ‘live’ picture of course completions.
A desire to deliver high-quality, engaging solutions saw Mintra use feedback from the UK employees to further improve the build before rolling it out to all other regions.
Mr. Eatock described the initial safety-critical roles exercise as the building block for all future activities on Trainingportal, and while it proved to be one of the most challenging parts of the project, it was essential that the detail reflected the maturity of the organisation.
He lauded the reporting functionality within Trainingportal, which generates automatic reports on roles and their competency requirements.
“We have certainly proved to our organisation that consistency is king,” explained Mr. Eatock. “We are now able to provide our HSES board, our executive committee, and senior management at the right level of the organisation the visibility of our training competency right across the business, and we can do this at the touch of a button.
“Any shortfalls can be highlighted through the reporting; it can be highlighted at the right level and appropriate action can be taken to close the gaps.
“Feedback on the system from our personnel has been extremely positive and they have all had access to the training system that they requested through our workforce engagement survey. Our personnel wanted to see more training offered to our staff, so we took the opportunity to give them what they asked for.
“We look forward to extending the scope into other functions as the requirements continue to develop. Aspirations to have one central system that incorporated all the aspects of efficiency, delivery, recording, reporting, and verification – have all been met. I certainly have no hesitation in recommending Mintra as a chosen partner.”
“As a result of this project, we now have a great understanding of the OPITO framework and the templates and guidelines required to develop a system in line with these requirements." Liam Smith, Service Centre Manager
Liam Smith, service centre manager at Mintra, manages support and deployment services and works with customers including Premier Oil to identify and develop solutions that meet their own specific needs.
He said: “The individual competency levels, descriptions, and role requirements are built in line with OPITO standards. Once more of their roles are built into the system and it is used across all the regions, Premier Oil aims to achieve full OPITO accreditation for their online competence management system.
“Premier Oil has laid some solid groundworks in the system and this will give them a great platform to expand across their business. They will be able to demonstrate compliance to their customers and have a reliable system behind them for audit purposes.
“As a result of this project, we now have a great understanding of the OPITO framework and the templates and guidelines required to develop a system in line with these requirements. This will benefit any future client that may have very little information stored at the moment but are looking to develop a system online.”
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