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World-Class Learning Certification for the Oil and Gas Industry Launches in Aberdeen

23 February 2009

The oil and gas industry is today launching a major initiative aimed at helping employers ease the pressure of the current economic climate by saving the UK oil and gas sector an estimated £5million every year.

Within this, employers spend an estimated 66,000 man-hours annually trying to evaluate the quality, applicability and value-for-money of the multitude of training courses available on the open market.

The new rigorous certification process introduced by OPITO – The Oil & Gas Academy will set the bar for quality learning products around the globe, allowing employers and employees to quickly identify world class learning products that meet a robust set of criteria in terms of quality and relevance for their individual sector.

The first ever industry-regulated certification scheme, it is the latest addition to the Academy's world class learning supply chain and complements international efforts to secure the UK's position as a global centre of excellence and skills hub for the oil and gas industry.

Successful pilot schemes have already been carried out with Aberdeen-based e-learning specialist Atlas Interactive and management learning and development specialists Eglinton, in Edinburgh.

Jamie Bennett, CEO of Atlas Interactive, said: “Within the oil and gas industry supply chain, purchasers have limited methods of qualifying the effectiveness of learning products. The new certification award from the Academy will deliver a level of rigour and standardisation, assuring purchasers of the quality and effectiveness of the learning products independently of the course provider.”

Willie Maltman, director of Eglinton, said: “We are delighted to be working with a forward thinking organisation like the Academy who, like us, are passionate about promoting high standards across the sector. It is clearly important that leaders within the oil and gas industry have access to the best resources for upskilling their people. This is especially true in areas where there is high demand and a need for increased effectiveness and enhanced performance.”

Jim Cameron, the Academy's director of approvals and competence services, said: “The certification process will benefit providers by offering a quality assurance process which demonstrates their product meets a rigorous set of audit criteria, whilst simultaneously helping employers and employees source the highest quality suppliers.”

As the industry's focal point for skills, learning and workforce development, the Oil & Gas Academy provides an effective link between the industry, learning establishments and training providers throughout the world to improve the supply of skilled people into the oil and gas sector.

“A highly skilled workforce is essential for ensuring the health and longevity of the oil and gas industry but until now there has been no benchmark by which to measure the quality of individual learning products available on the open market,” added Mr Cameron.

“With many companies offering similar products employers have had little in the way of independent assurance as to which ones offer the highest quality learning provision. Not only will this new scheme ensure that learning products bearing OPITO – The Oil & Gas Academy certification are of a recognised quality, it will also make it easier for employers to understand what learning and development their employees have undertaken and eventually drive up standards across the industry.

To date, 25 countries worldwide use OPITO – The Oil & Gas Academy's training standards and learning products, helping 110,000 workers improve their learning and development in 2008.

“The UK has an established reputation as a global centre of excellence in terms of the export of our people, services and products,” concluded Mr Cameron.

“This initiative emphasises the Academy's position as a vitally important channel through which the industry can further its collaborative efforts to develop a workforce capable of providing a sustainable future for both the UK industry and the international supply chain which it supports.”

Learning products with either a proven track record for success or a high level of established users will be eligible to apply for triennial certification with an annual review. They will undergo a stringent audit to establish that they fulfil a market requirement, compliment a recognised occupational standard and demonstrate an established usage.

For more information visit or contact 01224 787800.