OSDR - The Competent Authority

Since the UK left the EU, the Offshore Major Accident Regulator (OMAR) is now the UKs Offshore Competent Authority (previously known as the Offshore Safety Directive Regulator (OSDR). How HSE regulate the offshore industry stays the same. Our guidance will be updated to reflect this change.

The Offshore Safety Directive Regulator (OSDR) is the Competent Authority (CA) responsible for implementing the requirements of the EU Directive on the safety of offshore oil and gas operations.

On the 28th June 2013, the EU published the Directive with the aim to reduce, as far as possible, the occurrence of major accidents related to offshore oil and gas operations, and to limit their consequences. The UK implemented the requirements of the Directive, including the setting up of a Competent Authority (CA), in 2015.

The role of the CA is to oversee industry compliance with the Directive and to undertake related functions such as accepting, assessing, approving and/or inspecting relevant Safety Cases, Oil Pollution Emergency Plans, Well Notifications and other notifications. Reporting of incidents are included as are intervention planning and investigation work.

BEIS and HSE will work in partnership as OSDR to deliver the CA functions as required under the Directive.

Currently BEIS's Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment & Decommissioning unit (OPRED) is responsible for implementing offshore environmental legislation. HSE's Energy Division (ED) is responsible for implementing health and safety legislation for offshore oil and gas operations.

OPRED and HSE work closely together under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for liaison between the two organisations and their regimes. Examples include a coordinated sign-off procedure for all new exploration and appraisal wells, and joint environmental and safety inspections where this is appropriate. The operational MoU is overseen by a high-level cross-Departmental group.

A Senior Oversight Board governs OSDR, providing organisation and direction, and a forum to agree, implement and monitor arrangements and pursue shared strategic regulatory goals.

Whilst OPRED and HSE will still have separate functions outside the scope of the Directive, the functions of the CA will be delivered by the relevant sections of  OPRED and HSE's ED, under a set of common operational arrangements.

Updated: 2021-02-18