Monday, 13 July 2021 10:04

OPITO reports interest in workforce competency has increased 250% in the last year

OPITO managing director John McDonald

Oil and gas industry skills organisation OPITO has reported a 250% rise in the number of North Sea energy firms investing in systems which assess, develop and demonstrate workforce competence over the first half of 2015.

BP has become the latest major operator to achieve approval for its in-house competence management system (CMS) after a series of independent audits carried out by OPITO found the processes within BP met all 20 best practice points of the criteria necessary to help ensure competence.

The accreditation makes the operator one of only three organisations in the UK Continental Shelf to achieve an auditor’s recommendation of approval outright following a comprehensive audit of its CMS.

Gaining OPITO approval demonstrates BP’s commitment to mitigating risk through achieving and maintaining industry CMS criteria and ensuring the continual development of its workforce. BP will also use OPITO CMS criteria to benchmark their contractors, facilitating a consistent approach to measure how effectively competence is assessed and demonstrated internally, and across their supply chain.

OPITO managing director John McDonald said the increasing number of companies electing to have a more formal and independently audited CMS is directly related to the current industry climate.

“In the current climate, rising costs and tight budgets have made the retention of existing personnel imperative to business sustainability. Identifying gaps and cultivating skills enables managers to develop a safe and competent workforce and properly map out succession plans while employees develop attainable career paths,” he said.

“We have seen a tremendous rise in the number of companies in the UK seeking OPITO CMS approval over the past six to 12 months and BP is one of only a few to have completed the audit and gained approval without any recommendations for change to its internal competence structure.

“This is a very clear demonstration of the commitment and importance the operator places on setting and maintaining high standards in their working practices and to ensure all personnel employed are of the same high quality, across all operations.

“This assurance of a skilled and competent workforce is vital to the future of the UKCS. By working together with industry, we can continue to deliver robust systems for companies who in turn can support their staff which will ultimately benefit the industry as a whole.”

The scope of the OPITO approval applies to maintenance, production and control room technicians, working across BP’s onshore and offshore across the North Sea.

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