SAIT Ever Evolving

Date PublishedJanuary 30, 2014
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PULSE Interactive

SAIT Ever Evolving


Operations & Maintenance Program (O&M)

SAIT Polytechnic has modernized the delivery of a long-running program to give the oil and gas industry even more say in the specific training their employees are receiving. The Operations and Maintenance Program (O&M) has been re-vamped and re-launched with new interactive learning modules that can be customized to meet the specific needs of each company.

O&M began at SAIT 25 years ago at the request of the oil and gas industry. They were looking for trained technicians, specifically in the area of production field operations. Fast forward to present day. Employers are still working to increase the safety, skills, knowledge, and productivity of their workers, but not necessarily in a one-size-fits-all format.

“Being so closely aligned with the industry gives us the unique advantage of designing programs that turn out workers trained to tackle the jobsite challenges of today,” says John Carlson, who is the Associate Vice President of Energy at SAIT.

Carlson says the customization of training solutions has been a key factor for industry choosing to work with SAIT. Companies pick and choose courses that are relevant and important for their specific operations. Their choices range from a few modules to entire certificates. Most organizations choose to customize the entire Production Field Operations and Gas Process Operations certificate programs for their employees.

Apache Corporation, one of the world’s top independent oil and gas exploration and production companies, has put more than 130 staff through O&M training at SAIT in the last year to enhance their hands-on, in-house training programs.

“It’s an industry wide training package that can be applied to operations for many different oil and gas companies,” says Darcy Gruntman, an Apache Canada spokesperson. “For us, it’s really our primary training package that complements our hands-on training.”

Carlson says enhanced and effective training typically results in a safer work environment. According to Worksafe Alberta, WCB saw 145 fatalities, more than 52,000 disabling injury claims, and close to 27,000 lost-time claims in 2012. Carlson hopes to see those numbers decrease as more people take SAIT’s O&M training.

“Clients of our O&M training program tell us they are seeing increased efficiencies in their operations, fewer incidents, and more uptime,” he says.

Innovative and interactive, modules for the program offer a 2D and 3D visual learning experience with narration to assist students throughout the course.

“Through these advanced training applications, we are able to layer new content easily, keep our training current, and have the ability to package our courses in a way that meets the needs of our trainees,” says Dave Osborne, the Dean of SAIT’s MacPhail School of Energy.

O&M training includes everything from Gas Process Operations to Worker Safety Awareness to Industrial Environmental Awareness.

SAIT has set the industry standard in gas and field operator training. To date, SAIT has trained over 10,000 operators and is currently working with close to 30 oil and gas producers, a dozen high schools, and four colleges to deliver this training.