Beware of false training accreditation claims

Posted on 08 November 2010

By Steve Kropla, IADC

The time-honored phrase “Caveat Emptor” (Buyer Beware) holds as true for the drilling industry as in all other walks of life.

Quality training is an essential part of the drilling industry. Regulatory agencies, operators, drilling contractors, service companies and the public are all expecting competent employees. Training is a key component to ensuring employee competency.

IADC and other industry accreditation bodies have developed criteria and standards for various types of instruction. To obtain accreditation, training providers must show that they meet these standards. Initial or periodic audits are required in most cases to verify compliance with program requirements.

Unfortunately, there are always those unscrupulous companies that prefer to operate outside the boundaries. They advertise fictitious credentials to unsuspecting members of the industry. This, of course, is a disservice to the many reputable industry training providers that follow the rules, offer quality training, and continuously seek to improve their products and services to meet customer needs.

Over the years, IADC has taken a number of measures to discourage companies from using the IADC logo in attempts to mislead potential customers into believing that certificates with the IADC logo – even the member logo – purport to represent official IADC accreditation for this training.  The IADC logo, the WellCAP logo, and the terms “IADC Well Control Accreditation Program” and “WellCAP” are registered trademarks of the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC). Unauthorized use of these items will be subject to legal action. IADC’s website bears this notice in that regard:

“The official IADC logo is a trademark of the International Association of Drilling Contractors and is protected by international copyright laws. Downloading or copying the IADC logo for corporate or personal use without the permission of IADC is a violation of these laws. Members of IADC are entitled to use the special ‘Member’ logo, which can be downloaded from the ‘Members Only’ section of this website. However, use of the ‘Member’ logo is not permitted on training certificates or in any fashion that may signify IADC accreditation or endorsement of any program, contract or service. The official IADC logo is reserved for official IADC use and may be used by members only in presentations made at IADC-organized conferences.”

IADC urges members to verify the credentials of any organization purporting to provide training accredited by industry organizations. A number of reports indicate some training providers may be advertising “approved” or “accredited” courses they are not authorized to provide. There have also been reports of non-accredited providers issuing falsified training certificates, as well as organizations that are no longer accredited not acknowledging this fact to customers.

At a minimum, companies should request a copy of the training provider’s Certificate of Accreditation to verify that the organization is accredited for the type of instruction to be provided and that the accreditation is still valid. Members may consider directly contacting the accrediting body to verify the current status of the provider’s accreditation. Validity of IADC accredited providers and training certificates can be verified via e-mail at and, respectively. For other accredited training, members should contact the appropriate organization directly.

IADC has issued a number of bulletins to clarify procedures that WellCAP-accredited providers are to use when issuing certificates and to reinforce restrictions against the unauthorized use of IADC trademarks by any party. However, there are a number of items training providers can also do to help avoid confusion over whether the certificates they issue are considered “legitimate.”

Only accredited WellCAP schools are authorized to obtain and issue standard WellCAP certificates and wallet cards (Form WCT-7 or WCT-8). Use or reproduction of these items by any other party is prohibited and could be subject to legal action.

When issuing a student certificate and/or wallet card other than a standard WellCAP certificate and wallet card, accredited WellCAP providers are authorized to use these items only when both of the following conditions are met:

• The certificate/card uses the standard template described by IADC in bulletin 00-01 (issued August 2000), or the certificate uses a design that has been reviewed and approved by the IADC WellCAP Review Panel.

• The certificate/card carries a valid WellCAP certificate number that IADC has issued to the provider and for which the training provider has reported student data to IADC in accordance with established recordkeeping requirements (see Handbook for Accreditation, Form WCT-1).

Under no other circumstances may a WellCAP-accredited provider issue a certificate that bears any of the aforementioned IADC trademarks unless expressly authorized by IADC. Failure to comply with this provision could result in disciplinary action under WellCAP procedures. Non-accredited providers that use any of the aforementioned trademarks on student certificates/cards may be subject to legal action. For more information on WellCAP accredited providers, documents and procedures, contact IADC or consult the WellCAP web site at

Steve Kropla is IADC group VP – operations & accreditation.

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Louis Ejakita Says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I am about to enrole for a drilling course with MARITIME DRILLING SCHOOLS LTD in Nova Scotia, Canada. The school claims to be IADC accredited.
    Please i would like you to confirm if this institution is really accredited by IADC.
    Your response will be most appreciated,
    Thank you.

  2. Rachid Irzouni Says:


    My small company named BOSHA (Bureau of occupational Safety and Health Algeria) is an OSHAcademy training provider.
    As a general manager I would like to grow the company and be also an IADC accredited training provider for Algeria.

    Please write down the requirements.


    Rachid Irzouni

  3. Reg MacDonald Says:

    Hello Louis,

    Maritime Drilling Schools Limited is a fully accredited school accredited by IADC and you can go to website and see Maritime Drilling Schools Limited is accredited under accredited providers in well control and rig pass.

    The School is also registered with the Private Career Colleges of Nova Scotia and regulated by Government under the Private Career College Act.

    Best regards,


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