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The process and criteria in OSD for consideration of the award of specialist pay (offshore discipline) on level transfer

SPC/Admin/78

OG status:
Fully open
Author unit / section:
OSD
Target audience:
All OSD inspectors and managers
Version:
3

Purpose

This SPC, agreed by the OSD Management team, provides the framework to allow HSE staff on level transfer or promotion to demonstrate and achieve equivalence with their discipline specialist colleagues. It covers initial equivalence and, where applicable, arrangements for movement to higher offshore pay ranges.

The SPC should be read in conjunction with HSE's Equivalence Arrangements.

The arrangements for onshore and offshore diving are provided in Annex 1.

Background

Pay in HSE is determined by a number of factors but in particular job weight, specialist skills and knowledge. Job weight is determined by the nature of the job and its range of responsibilities. HSE does however recognise that, for certain specialist work, additional skills, knowledge and experience, often attracting additional market premiums, are required to achieve maximum effectiveness. This is the case for the various offshore disciplines.

In many cases, these additional offshore discipline specialist requirements are obtained by directly recruiting staff from the offshore or related industries. Such recruits are paid on a salary scale which reflects the external market and the need to recruit and retain them in a competitive environment.

Staff moving from other parts of HSE on level transfer or promotion to deliver the functions that attract offshore pay, may not in the first instance, have the full relevant offshore industry experience. Whilst they may be undertaking work of a similar job weight, they will also be progressively acquiring the additional skills, knowledge and experience necessary to operate competently across the relevant specialist area. Acquiring and demonstrating the appropriate levels of skills, knowledge and experience will require a combination of training and experience working on a range of relevant activities in the Offshore Division.

As part of the 2011/12 pay negotiations, and in recognition of the continuing recruitment and retention difficulties in defined critical, technical disciplines, new, higher offshore pay ranges were created. These will sit alongside the existing offshore pay ranges and offshore inspectors and specialists achieving an enhanced level of offshore experience, skills and competence will be eligible to move to the new pay range via the equivalence process.

The process

As soon as a (specialist) inspector or team leader is recruited internally from another Division, a competency gap analysis should be carried out by their line manager (LM) as soon as possible, and a development plan agreed with the recruit. This should clearly map out the training, experience and competencies that need to be achieved to meet the initial level of equivalence to carry out the relevant range of work in the discipline effectively. The LM and the recruit should regularly monitor progress against the development plan.

Where applicable, a similar process should then occur to agree and create a development plan for the individual's progress towards the enhanced level of offshore specialist skills, knowledge and experience.

Once the LM considers that an inspector has reached the appropriate level of Offshore Discipline equivalence (initial or enhanced), the matter should be discussed with the appraisal manager. In deciding if a business case should be prepared the timescales to reach equivalence (detailed below) should be considered together with the competencies, experience and knowledge of the individual. The preparation of a business case to support equivalence is the responsibility of the LM.

The business case should include information on the extent to which the inspector has met the criteria for award with sufficient detail to ensure that managers unfamiliar with the inspector put forward for equivalence can make reliable judgements on competence. The LM should also confirm that the individual is able to perform the required range of work and to the appropriate level of competence for the relevant offshore discipline, taking account of the timescales given below. In addition, the LM should comment on the range of skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience to indicate how this broadly compares with other staff of similar timescale in OSD but who are already in the discipline (at either the initial or enhance level of equivalence).

The business case should be passed to the appraisal manager for review. If the appraisal manager considers it satisfactory another, appropriately experienced and knowledgeable OSD senior manager will be asked to undertake a second review.

Once the case has been successfully reviewed by a second appraisal manager, it must be sent to the Head of Division together with a view as to the performance of the inspector relative to others in the Offshore Discipline grade and confirmation of the date at which the relevant level of equivalence was felt to have been achieved. This will assist decision making on the entry point to the relevant Offshore Discipline pay scale if the Head of Division considers the business case is successful. When the business case is for a move to enhanced equivalence, the Head of Division will also be informed by the views of an OSD DMM Moderation Panel before a decision is made.

Timescales to equivalence

Staff recruited from other HSE Division on level transfer or promotion and undertaking equivalence development fall into three broad categories:

  1. Those who have skills and knowledge of major hazard work, but job related training development and experience is needed to develop the required competence and marketability (for example, staff currently working in HID CI/SI or others with substantive experience of major hazard industries). In this case, Line Managers need to decide, through continuous assessment, when the inspector has acquired the necessary experience, knowledge and skills and submit a business case for initial equivalence. Other than in exceptional circumstances, in order to ensure the inspector has gained sufficient experience of offshore sector work, a business case will not be considered before time in OSD of at least 18 months.
  2. Those who need full training in their new specialism (e.g. Inspectors with no or limited experience of major hazard work). In this case, a more comprehensive and lengthier training programme will need to be agreed. Again, Line Managers will decide when the full job related experience, knowledge and skills have been acquired and make the business case for initial equivalence. A business case will not be considered before time in OSD of at least 2 years.
  3. Those who have achieved the required competence and marketability under 1. or 2. above and who have progressed to the standard offshore pay range but who are undertaking further post-equivalence consolidation and development in order to achieve the enhanced range of offshore experience, skills and competence appropriate to the relevant offshore (higher) pay range. Under normal circumstances, it is envisaged that it will take inspectors at least a further three years following their initial equivalence to achieve this.

Note that time spent on non-offshore related work or on any non-offshore additional training may mean these minimum equivalence periods are extended according to the particular circumstances.

For all categories, staff will remain on their existing discipline group salary until the completion of their agreed development programme.

Criteria for award

Line Managers will assess staff on the basis of acquiring most of the following core competencies, skills and experience. These should be formally recorded in a Development Action Plan (DAP) and progress against plan monitored by the Line Manager.

Initial Equivalence to Intermediate Offshore pay ranges

The following competencies should be acquired before moving to the relevant intermediate offshore pay range:

Industry knowledge

  1. In depth knowledge of how the upstream oil and gas industry is structured and the relationship between the key stakeholders. The role of operators, duty holders and license holders should be clearly understood.
  2. An appreciation of the role and function of the key industry and partnership associations [e.g. OGUK, IADC, BROA, IMCA etc] and their key areas of influence.
  3. An awareness of the formal joint working organisations to which OSD contribute, such as NSOAF, Step Change, International Regulators Forum, etc.
  4. An understanding of the verification regime for safety-critical elements and the role of the independent competent person.
  5. An understanding of the role and areas of responsibility of the other offshore regulators such as DECC, MCA, MAIB, CAA and AAIB and our joint working arrangements.
  6. An understanding of the different types of installation, both fixed and mobile, drilling and production etc. and the key features of their design and operation.
  7. A basic understanding of the principal industrial processes and systems including:
    • Drilling and drilling systems
    • Wells and well control systems
    • The ocean environment
    • Structures and foundations
    • Marine systems and their operation
    • Marine and aviation systems and operations
    • Process systems and their operation
    • Control and instrumentation systems
    • Pressure systems
    • Maintenance systems
    • Emergency detection and response systems
    • Evacuation, escape and rescue systems
    • Pipelines and pipeline systems
    • Utilities, including power generation and distribution
    • Accommodation and life support systems
    • Diving and diving systems
    • Lifting operations

An understanding of the major hazards typically associated with offshore installations, the associated risks and how these are managed, and a thorough understanding of the associated risk assessment techniques and their application.

An understanding of OSD's strategy and associated key programs.

Inspection

A number of planned inspections should be completed as Lead Inspector (or in the case of a specialist, lead within their discipline) of fixed installations, MODUs and FPSO's after which the Inspector should be able to demonstrate an understanding of ALARP principles in a major hazard environment as well as the role of the safety management system in managing offshore risk reduction and mitigation measures.

IMT inspectors should also be able to demonstrate their ability to manage a multi disciplinary team during an offshore visit and be able to collate the team findings in challenging circumstances.

Investigation

Inspectors should be able to demonstrate an ability to carry out investigations of significant incidents in an offshore environment using formal techniques where appropriate and be able to take appropriate enforcement action in a challenging legal environment.

Safety case assessment

Inspectors must be familiar with the offshore permissioning regime using in depth knowledge of Aposc and SCHAM and the safety case legal framework. IMT inspectors should develop expertise as Deputy Case Managers for the assessment of safety cases for a variety of offshore installations, particularly those which present difficult challenges. Specialist inspectors should be familiar with standards and guidance to carry out technical assessments as Technical Assessors at B3 level and Technical Assessment Managers at B2 grade.

Formal training

Unless the competencies have already been attained additional training may be required depending on the inspector’s role. In assessing competency and training needs, line managers should consider training offered via HID’s Technical training programme and any other training offered by external training providers. Training must remain targeted and tailored to individual needs.

As a minimum, Offshore Inspectors must have successfully completed:

  1. An offshore medical certificate
  2. An offshore survival course
  3. Minimum Industry Safety Training (MIST)

In addition, line managers must consider the relevant courses from the HID Training Prospectus in consultation with HID HQ. These courses are not mandatory where candidates already have the required competencies:

Code Title

HID A

An Introduction to the Principles of Regulation in HID

HID B

Principles of Process Safety

HID C

Principles of Human Factors

HID D

Principles of Major Hazards Risk Assessment

HID F

Electrical, Control and Instrumentation Systems

HID G

Assessing Health and Safety Management

HID H

Pressure Systems

HID J

Maintaining Plant Integrity

HID M

Introduction to Wells Operation

HID O Part 1

Confined Spaces / Permit to Work Part 1

HID O Part 2

Confined Spaces / Permit to Work Part 2

HID P

Offshore Lifting

HID Q

Process Safety Standards

HID R

Offshore Safety Assessment

HID S

Offshore Regulations and Principle Guidance

Line managers should appreciate that attainment of competency for equivalence is not a tick box process and that important judgments will have to be made as to the quality of progress and achievements of individual inspectors. Clearly, for some inspectors, opportunities to demonstrate high levels of competence may occur more often in their particular team and they will achieve equivalence more quickly.

Information relating to training is available on the intranet Learning and Development pages.

Enhanced Equivalence to Higher Offshore pay ranges

Under the 2011/12 offshore specialist pay settlement, there was recognition that those inspectors who entered the (intermediate) offshore pay scales via the equivalence route would still need a further post-equivalence period of consolidation and development to achieve the full range of offshore experience, skills and competences that would equate to the level of industrial experience on which the pay benchmarking was based.

The following levels of competency and experience should be acquired before progression to the offshore (higher) pay ranges.

(Note: the examples tend to refer to Band 3s undertaking equivalence. Where equivalence is at Band 2, requisite changes should be made to reflect the different responsibilities, and the appreciation that less offshore time is expected from team leaders).

It is envisaged that an inspector or specialist might achieve the required level of competence, skills and experience to attain enhanced equivalence after a further period of around three years working in the sector after initial equivalence.

Industry knowledge

A significant depth of knowledge of the upstream oil and gas industry, including the roles and functions of key industry, regulatory and partnership bodies is required. This enhanced knowledge should be a substantial build on the levels of general awareness and appreciation achieved for initial equivalence, with the purpose being to equip the inspector with the knowledge and applied experience to enable them to influence at senior levels within the industry. In addition to wider generic offshore industry issues, this enhanced knowledge should include:

  1. In depth knowledge of the different installation types, both fixed and mobile, drilling and production etc. including the key features of their design and operation.
  2. A detailed understanding of the principal industrial processes and systems including:
    • Drilling and drilling systems
    • Wells and well control systems
    • The ocean environment
    • Structures and foundations
    • Marine systems and their operation
    • Marine and aviation systems and operations
    • Process systems and their operation
    • Control and instrumentation systems
    • Pressure systems
    • Maintenance systems
    • Emergency detection and response systems
    • Evacuation, escape and rescue systems
    • Pipelines and pipeline systems
    • Utilities, including power generation and distribution
    • Accommodation and life support systems
    • Diving and diving systems
    • Lifting operations
  3. A detailed understanding of the major hazards typically associated with offshore installations, the associated risks and how these are managed, and a thorough understanding of the associated risk assessment techniques and their application.
  4. A thorough understanding of OSD's strategy and associated key programs.
  5. The ability to talk credibly and with authority about the history of the offshore sector, including its significant incidents and the impact these have had on the development of regulatory regimes in the UK, Europe and across the World.

Inspection

Significant experience of leading planned (including complex) inspections, (or in the case of a specialist, leading within their discipline) across a range of installations and operations.

IMT inspectors must also have substantial experience in managing multi-disciplinary teams during challenging offshore visits.

It is envisaged that at least a further 75 days should be spent offshore since achieving initial equivalence.

Investigation

Inspectors should be able to demonstrate significant experience in investigating major and significant incidents in an offshore environment using formal techniques where appropriate and be able to take appropriate enforcement action in a challenging legal environment.

It is envisaged that inspectors should complete a further 10 offshore investigations whilst working toward this enhanced equivalence, conducted as lead IMT inspector or lead topic specialist.

Safety case assessment

Inspectors must have a deep understanding of the offshore permissioning regime using in depth knowledge of Aposc and SCHAM and the safety case legal framework. Inspectors should be experienced (as a DCM or TA) in the assessment of the full range of design, initial and material, change safety cases for a variety of offshore installations, particularly those that present difficult challenges. Specialist inspectors should possess in depth knowledge of standards and guidance to carry out technical assessments as experienced Technical Assessors at B3 level and experienced Technical Assessment Managers at B2 grade.

Formal training

Inspectors will need to provide a statement of their offshore industrial/technical CPD undertaken since initial equivalence, demonstrating the extent of technical knowledge gained. Further specific formal technical training may be required to demonstrate suitability for the enhanced equivalence competence.

Inspectors will be expected to demonstrate growth through continuing professional development as evidenced against development plans, reviews and attainment records.

Note, similar arrangements apply for offshore and onshore/inland diving disciplines. These are set out in Annex 1.

Annex 1: Additional Equivalence Arrangements for Offshore Diving Inspectors

This annex sets out the criteria, process and review mechanisms by which offshore and other diving inspectors are eligible for the new, higher offshore discipline pay range.

Criteria

To be eligible for the new offshore higher pay range staff will need to meet two criteria, that they are appropriately knowledgeable and skilled, and are predominantly regulating the Offshore Diving Industry.

1. Competence

Staff will need to meet all of the following competence criteria to be eligible for the higher pay range:

Staff will be expected to continue to maintain and develop the depth and breadth of these skills through continuing professional development.

2. Predominantly Regulating in the Offshore Diving Industry

Staff will need to demonstrate that they are predominantly engaged in work activities that involve regulation of the Offshore Diving Industry.  In this context predominantly is defined as at least 70% of their overall time and their front line time as outlined in COIN. Further, the proportions of chargeable and common good work will be consistent with other offshore topic specialist inspectors. This will be reflected in the Group and Team Diving Plans and individual Performance Agreements.

Process for Eligibility

For staff to move onto the new offshore higher pay range (either on their initial introduction or subsequently through the equivalence process eg from an onshore and inland diving), justifications will need to be made by line managers confirming that the above two criteria have been met.

1. Competence

The Chief Inspector of Diving will confirm in writing that the competence criteria have been met.

2. Predominantly Regulating the Offshore Diving Industry

The line manager will demonstrate that the member of staff is predominantly working in the regulation of the Offshore Diving Industry. As outlined above this demonstration will involve presentation of the Diving Group and Team Plans, their Performance Agreement and a staff member's COIN plan. For initial eligibility, staff will need to demonstrate at least 3 months delivery of these plans.

All cases for payment on the higher scale must be approved by the responsible B1 and then the Head of Division who will be responsible for informing HR of all movements onto the higher scale in conjunction with the HID HR Business Partner.

(For external appointees, competence will be gauged through the assessment process with candidates appointed to this higher range where these are met and appointment is to a designated predominantly offshore diving post).

Continuing Eligibility

All Diving Group staff COIN records will be reviewed, alongside performance against individual performance agreements, on a 6 monthly basis in line with the normal mid and end of year reviews. Where staff have not met the 'predominantly regulating the offshore diving industry' criteria within a half yearly period they may lose their eligibility for the higher offshore discipline pay range. This decision will be discussed at checkpoint and end of year reviews.

Staff may remain on the higher offshore pay range if they have not met the 'predominantly offshore' criteria by approval of the responsible B1. This approval will only be given where the B1 considers there to be exceptional business reasons and must be endorsed by the Head of Division in writing.

Updated 2012-08-17