Colin Matthews knows it’s important to T.E.S.T. his crew.
The Rig Manager on Rig 40, presently drilling north of Fort St. John, B.C., was trained in implementing Trinidad’s competency-assurance program, also known as Trinidad Essential Skills Training, or T.E.S.T.
So you could say he’s a T.E.S.T. expert — not only on the skills required on a rig, but how to evaluate them.
“It’s a skills training program for all hands that work for Trinidad, be it new hands, or hands that are already working,” said Matthews. “I was also trained to be an assessor.”
The responsibility of an assessor is to evaluate the competencies and skills of the worker as identified by the T.E.S.T. program.
Trinidad crews are among the most skilled and knowledgeable in the drilling business, and we’re committed to growing their careers and keeping them safe. Trinidad therefore created T.E.S.T. to help ensure members of our team have a safe and successful career.
The program clearly defines competencies for each position on a rig. The assessment is designed to ensure field hands have the knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes required to do their job correctly and safely.
Not just new, but unique too
For Matthews, who has previously worked with other companies, T.E.S.T. was a new concept.
“This was nothing like I’ve seen at any other drilling contractor. It’s unique to Trinidad,” he explained.
“It’s very detailed. Every area and every job that’s done is broken down into certain points of each job.”
When Trinidad employees are hired, they are enrolled at the appropriate level and assigned a task book outlining the competencies for that position. From there, trainers and assessors work with new employees to ensure they complete the T.E.S.T. program at their level.
Matthews really appreciates the transferability of T.E.S.T., since it is a global Trinidad program.
“When we get a transferred employee, we get a record indicating the skills they’ve been assessed on from their previous rig. I know what that employee has been trained in and what to expect of him.”
T.E.S.T. makes us safer
Because T.E.S.T. carefully evaluates skills, it also contributes to the safety of the rig.
“We know what they know,” said Matthews.
T.E.S.T. also helps assess an employee’s attitude, and attitude goes a long way toward doing jobs correctly and safely.
“You can tell a hand that’s eager to learn, eager to complete all of his skills and learn as much as he can, as opposed to someone with a ‘whatever’ attitude,” he said.
Most employees like the program, he added, because it gives them a guideline of what they should be learning and what questions to ask.
Responsibility on the rig
T.E.S.T. comes with a high level of responsibility for Trinidad Rig Managers like Matthews.
“I have to put my initials beside those skills, saying I believe he’s knowledgeable in that skill and can assess the risks and make sure the job is done safely,” he said.
“It creates a standard for making sure that people are trained appropriately. And, it shows that Trinidad cares about their employees, and that they’re raising knowledgeable hands, creating the same standard throughout the company.”