Behavioural Rating of Drillers' Cognitive Skills

Ruby Clyde Roberts, Rhona Flin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract Objectives/Scope
Large scale drilling disasters, such as Macondo and Montara, as well as recent industry guidelines (e.g. IOGP, 2014) have highlighted the importance of non-technical skills, including Situation Awareness (SA) and Decision Making (DM). Behavioural marker systems have been used in other high risk domains to assess and train non-technical skills. Offshore drillers’ ability to maintain high level SA of the well state and surrounding environment is essential for effective DM. The objective of this study was to develop an evidence–based behavioural rating tool for drillers’ SA and DM.

Methods, Procedure, Process
The Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) techniques of interviews, observations and video analysis as well as an accident analysis, extracted expert knowledge about a driller's SA and DM, to produce preliminary skills taxonomy. The cognitive elements and exemplar behaviours were refined by a review panel and an online survey was then conducted with 15 drilling personnel to further refine and validate the behaviours.

Results, Observations, Conclusions
A refined taxonomy was produced including the key SA and DM skills, as well as observable examples of good and poor behavioural (markers). Three SA skills were identified: (1) gathers information, (2) understands the well and situation and (3) anticipates how the situation may develop in the future. Three DM skills were identified: (1) identifies and discusses options, (2) selects an option, as well as implements it and (3) reviews the decision taken. A further category of Maintains Own Abilities was identified as being important (e.g. removes distractions). The online evaluation suggested that the identified skills were relevant for maintaining safety and performance. Consequently, the skills taxonomy has the potential to be highly beneficial for assisting training and assessment, particularly when used in conjunction with a rating system.

Novel/Additive Information
Whilst the increase in simulation facilities and non-technical skills is welcomed, to maximise training effectiveness, tools need to be evidence based. This empirical, domain specific taxonomy/tool has direct applications for formative assessment and assisting training in simulated environments so as to improve safety and performance in drilling. Further development of similar non-technical skills sets will facilitate industry standard training and assessment tools to enhance efficiency and safety
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSPE International Conference and Exhibition on Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility, 11-13 April, Stavanger, Norway
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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