On 1 January 2002 the new HES regulatory requirements for the shelf entered into force. In order to increase knowledge of the regulatory requirements and awareness of health, the environment and safety, the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF) and the Norwegian Shipowners' Association took on the challenge from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and started this training project, which is called RVK (Regulatory Competence). The purpose is both to provide competence in the regulatory requirements and to introduce a new form of training.
The HES regulatory requirements for the Norwegian shelf have been developed through a unique collaboration between the authorities, employers and employees. The Regulatory Competence Project (RVK) continues this principle. The content of the course is the result of extensive work, where the parties sat down together and discussed how the new regulatory requirements should be understood and put into practice on the part of both the authorities and the users.
The authorities participate in this commitment through the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority and the Norwegian Board of Health. LO Industri/NOPEF (the Norwegian Oil and Petrochemical Workers' Union), the Federation of Oil Workers' Trade Unions and Lederne participate on behalf of the employees. The Norwegian School of Management (BI) is responsible for organizing the educational program and administering the training package, which in time will be standardized in accordance with BI's credits system.
The objectives of the program are to provide the participants with thorough knowledge of the regulatory requirements' structure and content, as well as examples of how they are put into practice. In addition, the training is to provide relevant target groups with in-depth training in active use of the regulatory requirements to promote continuous improvement of HES, economy and other values. The basic course is the starting point for the training program. Supplementary courses will also be organized and tailored to various target groups. Courses are currently offered in drilling and wells, development projects and modifications, and operations and maintenance. BI has also arranged a separate Bachelor's program with 10 credits in HES, where these courses form the basis.
The RVK courses will also be an arena for the development of viewpoints on and experiences with the regulatory requirements for the shelf, as a result of broadly composed groups of course participants.
According to the RVK Project Coordinator, Ingvil Smines Josdal, it has been important to adapt the training program to a broad target group. The training program is to be relevant for everyone who must directly or indirectly take account of HES and the new regulatory requirements for the Norwegian shelf.
"The HES regulatory requirements are concerned with everything except license law, fiscal or tax law matters. In other words, nearly everyone who works in the petroleum industry will benefit from being familiar with such essential and important regulatory requirements," says Josdal.
REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS IN SCHOOL: Hilde Gillestad, Norsk Hydro (closest); Aina Eltervåg, Pride; Bjørn Birkeland, BP and Thore Hauptmann, Schlumberger were given a two-day introduction this week into the HES regulatory requirements for the petroleum industry.
Photo: Øyvind Midttun
Course Manager Bjørn Arvesen explains that the course participants have very different backgrounds.
"Many of the participants work offshore or as engineers in drilling and well units. But we have also had cooks, catering personnel and cleaning personnel. Several of the companies in the industry require all their personnel to attend an RVK course," says Arvesen, who formerly worked for Statoil and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.
Magne Ognedal, Director for Supervision of Activities in the NPD, believes the RVK project is a very important contribution to understanding the regulatory requirements in the petroleum industry, and at same time regards the project as a natural continuation of the trilateral collaboration on the HES regulatory requirements for the petroleum industry on the Norwegian shelf.
"Over time the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate saw that knowledge of the regulatory requirements in the industry was deficient. This also clearly emerged from the two committee reports from the "Lenning" and "Ognedal" Committees, which were appointed to identify special Norwegian requirements in the safety regulations in relation to the British shelf, and to identify reasons for differences in interpretation of the regulatory requirements and how they were put into practice It would be entirely impossible to achieve adherence to the new regulatory requirements without training in relation to the philosophy behind the regulatory requirements and the interpretation and use of these.
"The NPD raised this problem with OLF and proposed that OLF, as the responsible industry organization, establish a training service. In this connection, the NPD offered to be a contributor. Fortunately, OLF accepted the challenge in a very positive manner, and we now see the results through the RVK project," says Ognedal.
DISCUSSING FUTURE CHANNELS: The course service is constantly growing and BI will soon offer a credit course for regulatory competence. Here Anders Toft from the NPD (from left) and Ingrid E. Årstad discuss experiences and challenges with Per Willy Hetland and Ingvil Smines Josdal from BI/RVK.
Photo: Øyvind Midttun