Since its establishment in 1992, IADC’s Rig Pass safety orientation program has issued approximately 200,000 certificates to the drilling industry. As of April, Rig Pass courses are being taught in 12 languages and in 30 countries covering all the major producing markets around the world.
The program has always been a cornerstone of IADC’s accreditation and certification programs, but, now more than ever, Rig Pass has become a key initiative within IADC’s strategy to catalyze improved performance for the drilling industry. Rig Pass is a field-proven tool that is part of the association’s goal to deliver value-added programs that are of the members, by the members, for the members. By ensuring the safety employees in the field, industry will undertake safer, better, faster and cheaper operations, resulting in a reduction of nonproductive time, zero incidents and zero injuries.
1 Rig Pass is SafeLandUSA, Rig Pass is SafeGulf
IADC’s Rig Pass is endorsed by both SafeLandUSA and SafeGulf to accredit training providers to teach courses that follow a set standard of safety defined by the two operator groups. Further, Rig Pass actually goes beyond the requirements of SafeLandUSA and SafeGulf curriculums, providing more extensive safety training than simply what is required. Trainers can be accredited to all three programs or any combination of the three.
“There’s some confusion within the industry as to what training systems in the industry are actually compliant with SafeGulf and SafeLandUSA due to some trade names involved, but absolutely both SafeGulf and SafeLandUSA have endorsed IADC’s Rig Pass,” Mark Denkowski, vice president of IADC’s accreditation & credentialing division, explained. While training providers will need to be separately accredited to teach SafeLandUSA and SafeGulf, Rig Pass meets or exceeds the majority of oil and gas companies’ requirements with topics like electrical safety, transportation, environmental protection, PPE and emergency response.
“Rig Pass even addresses what to do if you’re getting competing instructions from different supervisors,” Dr Brenda Kelly, IADC senior director of program development, said.
2 Rig Pass takes a flexible and interactive approach to training
Instead of creating rigid courses that every company must follow, Rig Pass allows companies to write their own courses that conform to the unique needs of each company, as long as it follows the core curriculum.
Joe Hurt, vice president of IADC’s onshore division, explained that Rig Pass acknowledges the standardized syllabus accepted by operators across the industry. “Rig Pass takes that syllabus and allows companies to make it fit their needs; you have to meet the criteria, but you can do it in a way that’s best for your company. That’s what makes Rig Pass so much better than any other program that’s out there.”
Rig Pass courses also lean toward interactive discussions and engagement with students, not lectures. Shannon Thomas, HSE manager for WISCO, said she was able to develop her own course using Rig Pass while in a previous position with the Williston State College.
“Rig Pass was clearly designed toward the adult learning process, whereas other programs are all PowerPoint-based, which you don’t get a lot out of. Essentially that means the quality of education and training the employees are getting with other programs is non-existent,” Ms Thomas, a former Rig Pass instructor, said.
“In some programs, you don’t have that opportunity because you have 150-plus slides in the first module. That’s not how you teach and not how you learn. With Rig Pass, we have a lot more flexibility with actually engaging the students and more opportunity for activities that really allow them to think and process information more effectively. The unfortunate thing is that other programs are really doing an injustice to these young men and women that have to go out into this industry. With Rig Pass, you’re putting out a better training product for your employees.”
3 Rig Pass is not just for drilling contractors
Although the program is supported by IADC, Rig Pass was designed to benefit more than just drilling contractors. It prepares new-hires in the drilling industry for almost any operating environment, at almost any site, onshore or offshore. “It’s a safety orientation for the industry. It could be upstream or downstream; it’s for everybody,” Mr Denkowski said.
Further, anybody can be certified to be a Rig Pass instructor, whether for their own company or as an independent training consultant. The subject matter relevance, such as for electrical safety or working at heights, can be broadly applied. “No matter where you work, the principles are the same,” he continued.
4 Pre-packaged Rig Pass To Go builds in convenience
For companies that don’t want to spend resources building their own custom course, IADC has developed the pre-packaged Rig Pass To Go. It meets every requirement as the regular Rig Pass courses and is compliant with SafeGulf and SafeLandUSA.
“The great thing about the Rig Pass To Go course content is that it’s not teacher-lecture based; it’s facilitator based. What that means is there is a lot of team training. With that method of teaching, there’s a higher rate of retention of material versus straight lecture,” said Don Caffey, training manager for Latshaw Drilling. Mr Caffey was among many industry veterans that participated in the development of Rig Pass To Go.
“At the end of the class, everybody is going to be introduced or reintroduced to safety-critical information that’s needed to perform their everyday functions. It’s critical they can retain the most possible from that class and take it out in the field,” Mr Caffey continued. “That’s where the team-teaching environment comes into play. When you have peers learning together and teaching each other, that’s when they’ll go out into their work environment and thrive, whether they are a 25-year veteran or a two-week-old new employee.”
Dr Kelly noted that the facilitated-style delivery of Rig Pass To Go is not typical within the industry. “The students have to read, they have to learn, they have to explore, they have discuss, they have to present, and they have to interact with the material. There’s just a whole different dynamic in a class environment like that,” she said.
5 Rig Pass is not just for newhires
Although a primary function of Rig Pass is to provide safety induction for new employees, the program is also used to reinforce safe behaviors for experienced hands. “It doesn’t hurt for an experienced hand to go back and talk about the basics. Changes might have been made since they went through orientation, and there’s always something new that can be added or be discussed,” Mr Denkowski said. “Plus, you may work on a rig for years and never be exposed to an element that’s briefly covered in this orientation. It’s good to get refreshed.”
Having more experienced employees involved in Rig Pass courses can also be beneficial to the newhires because they can learn from industry veterans. “One of the best ways to stimulate these younger generations is to listen to some of the veteran guys who are going through the same courses and share their experiences,” Ms Thomas said. “We had guys in class that were victims of some of those oilfield incidents, and they really believed in the safety aspect of it. That helped push our end goal, which was learning a little more about how to work safely in our industry.”
6 Rig Pass represents Vast collection of industry experience
The Rig Pass is overseen by HSE professionals through the IADC HSE Committee, which includes members representing operators, drilling contractors, OEMs, and service and training companies. “Rig Pass was an industry member initiative. It’s the product of the best of minds in safety,” Dr Kelly said.
From an IADC perspective, creating a standard safety orientation program like Rig Pass was essential to ensure operational integrity across the industry. “Standardization brought a more consistent level on safety,” Dr Kelly said, adding that the HSE Committee continues an evergreen effort to maintain the currency and relevance of the course content because Rig Pass is ever evolving to stay current with trends, technology and the requirements of the industry. For instance, when SEMS training became a requirement by SafeGulf, the course was refined to include the new topic.
Rig Pass To Go, as well, takes advantage of the subject matter expertise among IADC members. “Rig Pass To Go was developed though utilizing those type of individuals,” Mr Caffey said. “It’s content that is proven from our subject matter experts, and it gives companies that edge they need to help keep employees safe.”
Click here for a fact sheet on Rig Pass.
Click here for more details and required forms for Rig Pass accreditation.