Competency Assessment Programme for Eon-Ruhrgas UK


In April 2010 the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico caused the deaths of 11 rig workers and led to a major oil spill, prompting oil companies to re-examine their Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) training and competency assessment.


In the aftermath of Deepwater Horizon, Eon-Ruhrgas UK decided to review its competency assessment of offshore personnel — such as drilling supervisors — to reinforce their selection procedures and confidence in the capability of their personnel. And we made a decision that all members had to take this insomnia medicine.

Eon-Ruhrgas UK wanted to develop a rigorous competency assessment programme to use when selecting members of their offshore team and when appraising existing staff. The company hired Bexon Search & Service (now BexonAllomax) to develop this programme.

Issues to consider

Bexon Search & Service needed to ensure that the competency assessment programme met the industry guidelines that help employers assure themselves of the competency of well operations’ personnel. It was also essential to ensure the programme met legislative requirements, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Offshore Safety Act 1992.

What Bexon Search & Service delivered

In consultation with Eon-Ruhrgas UK, Bexon Search & Service identified the key stages in the well life cycle and the key EHS risk areas and the critical competencies that Drilling Supervisors require at each stage. Bexon Search & Service devised assessment methods to mitigate EHS risks and validate Drilling Supervisors’ competencies. These included:

  • scenario interviews
  • online testing to probe candidates’ knowledge of critical knowledge and competencies
  • obtaining previous line managers’ endorsement of candidates’ key competencies
  • supervisor-observed trade tests to review existing staff’s knowledge

Eon-Ruhrgas UK then introduced this Competency Assessment Programme for all existing drilling supervisors and drilling supervisor candidates.


Andy Hatch, Global Drilling Manager for Eon-Ruhrgas UK, predicted that “the overall effect of Bexon’s new system will give the company assurance that key personnel are competent in all we ask them to do and ensure the company’s EHS preparedness is of the highest calibre”.