Description of the Material

This paper describes the experience of an Abu Dhabi upstream operating company in the implementation of a competency assurance system for entry-level employees. The implementation and tracking processes which form the core of the system were designed with project management and engineering principles in mind. They therefore lend themselves to the technologies that project managers and engineers use, such as databases, project planning systems, and graphical reports and scorecards. The company's use of these technologies based on coupling clarity of business requirements with simplicity of IT solutions resulted in a rapid and successful implementation of the competence assurance system.


This material is applicable to organizations considering or implementing a competence development and assurance system.

Results, Observations, and Conclusions

The methods described in this paper, derived and proven in practice, have helped the company:

  • Monitor development progress,

  • Be proactive in making interventions when needed to sustain progress,

  • Quality control implementation and assurance processes,

  • Ensure fair treatment of program graduates, and

  • Manage performance.

As a result, the company has achieved a high success rate in moving employees through the system quickly and efficiently.

The paper will also describe how the engineered approach alone is not enough when developing human competencies. Effective marketing, leadership, reward, and knowledge management systems are also critical to successful implementation.

Significance of Subject Matter

As oil and gas companies strive to achieve performance excellence and meet tough HSE goals, the challenge faced by all is to find, develop and retain competent people. This challenge is magnified as the current employees' demographics alert high risk of skills dilution and when advances in technology drive renewed development efforts. Competence assurance processes that are structured, systematic, and measurable are important tools for companies to use for achieving this desired result.

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