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Unique cooperation between PSA and UiS

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway has entered into a cooperation with the University of Stavanger (UiS) to elevate factual expertise to formal expertise in areas which are important to our agency. An important milestone was reached when the credits of three PSA employees were approved after they had completed a course in investigation.

Investigation is the first stage in a number of exam-related courses which the PSA wants to offer to our employees (and collaborating government agencies) together with UiS.

Objective: Master's degree - MA
"Our objective is to organise risk management, audit and framework setting (HSE regulation) along the same lines. With some supplement, this combination could lead to an MA within fields which constitute the core of our own everyday life", says Øyvind Tuntland, director of the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway.

For the PSA it has been important to formalise the factual expertise in the agency.

"At the same time we create an arena for learning between UiS and the PSA which will contribute towards maintaining, upgrading and renewing the knowledge and expertise of the PSA employees within defined core areas where the PSA is required to have cutting-edge expertise", the head of department stresses.

In addition to formalising existing knowledge and experience in the organisation, the UiS cooperation contributes towards creating a joint standard and quality level for employees with dissimilar education and background.

Investigation in three modules
The exam-related investigation course which the PSA has developed in cooperation with the University of Stavanger now consists of three modules: a course seminar, a group assignment where the participants also have to review around 500 pages of professional material and an oral exam where they must demonstrate their investigation expertise and defend their assignment. The investigation discipline is graded based on an evaluation of the group assignment and the oral exam.

The first of the PSA UiS-educated investigators took their exam on 19 June, and left UiS well content with the grade "B". A very good result for them, but an even better result for the PSA as a government agency.

"In the first place we have gained acceptance of the principle that factual expertise combined with a certain academic supplement can be converted into formal expertise, i.e. credits. And secondly we have a tool which will ensure that our employees are among the best in the business to carry out investigations, and thirdly we are in the driver's seat among other HSE agencies when it comes to investigation training", says Tuntland.

This has resulted in an increasing number of collaborating government agencies asking for information about our courses and wanting to participate.

Contacts in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway: