IPMA Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary of Achieving ISO-9001 Certification and 4 Years of Operation
12 April, 2022 – Georgetown, Guyana – This month IPMA celebrates two anniversaries: one year from being awarded ISO 9001 certification, with accreditation by the United Kingdom Assessment Service (UKAS) organization, and four years of operation. From its start in early 2018, IPMA has focused on the development of local capacity to international standards to service the energy industry of Guyana. Two groups of Guyanese are targeted: newcomers to the workplace looking to build a long term career, and those with skills readily adapted to available positions with minimal training, for example from the mining or sugar industries. To date more than 550 Guyanese have been trained and certified at the Academy.
Operating to International Standards
Anyone who has engaged the new Guyana energy industry at the sharp end of delivering or supporting onshore/offshore activities has likely experienced the many regulations and standards being applied to ensure safe, environmentally responsible operations. These standards may be international ones, for example those of the American Petroleum Institute (API), be industry society driven, for example by the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), or developed by specific companies to meet the unique requirements of their products and services, for example by ExxonMobil, SBM Offshore, TechnipFMC, BakerHughes, Halliburton, Schlumberger, and others.
These standards are particularly important in Guyana, where the deepwater environment is among the most challenging in the world. For a number of offshore activities, there are a limited number of companies able to operate to the standards required, ExxonMobil and its major contractors being leaders.
The Importance of ISO Certification
ISO 9001 sets out the criteria for a quality management system and can be used by any organization, large or small, regardless of its field of activity. There are more than one million companies and organizations in over 170 countries certified to ISO 9001. Certification is common in the energy industry, where companies benefit from having external expert validation of the quality of their management system and conformance to it.
“When we started IPMA in early 2018 we had ISO 9001 certification as an objective”, said TOTALTEC CEO Lars Mangal, “From day one, the management processes we put in place, the instructors we brought in and the companies we worked with were able to meet the standard.”
From the ISO website: “This standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement. These principles are explained in more detail in ISO’s quality management principles. Using ISO 9001 helps ensure that customers get consistent, good-quality products and services, which in turn brings many business benefits.”
Mangal continued, “We were patient in getting everything in place, having the right team, building a strong safety and quality culture, before going for certification. For the high standards demanded by the international companies, the ISO standard validates the IPMA management system quality, what it delivers, and sets it apart.”
IPMA operates on an 80,000 sq. ft. area adjacent to the Guyana Shore Base, Inc. (GYSBI). The facility offers both classroom and practical training, with equipment and layouts that replicate actual working environments.
There are a number of foundation courses focused on safety, environment, and industry basics, as well as ones targeting common oilfield positions, for example forklift and crane operations, or emergency response. Courses can be customized for specific needs of companies operating in Guyana, and given at the Academy or at customer sites.
“We are particularly proud of our first Guyanese instructor, Courtney John, who has been with us from early days,” said Mangal. “Courtney is an example of someone with strong foundational experience gained in the Guyana Defense Force and mining industry, able to quickly adapt to energy.”
More than 550 Guyanese have taken courses and been certified through IPMA, with many now working at GYSBI. Recent courses include ‘Working in Confined Spaces’, ‘Working at Heights’, and ‘Gas Detection and Monitoring’.
The Guyana energy industry bright future has established international companies looking to have more training carried out locally, both through local companies or using their own resources. Some establishing regional headquarters in the country would mean training provided to those from other countries.
Said Mangal, “Guyana has a unique opportunity to establish world class training, making use of the latest technology and techniques, from e-learning to simulation to facilities that match the work environment.” He continued, “The challenge for companies getting started will be have a management system performing to international standards and be able to prove it.”
See websites referenced in this article: IPMA, GYSBI, ISO, UKAS.
https://www.ipma.gy/ Visit the IPMA website to explore training opportunities, including customizable options for an organization’s specific needs.
https://www.gysbi.com/ The Guyana Shore Base, Inc. is located south of the capital of Georgetown on 28 acres of land, with 2, now moving to 4 berths, with an adjacent 100 acre industrial estate.
https://www.iso.org/iso-9001-quality-management.html Read about ISO 9001, which sets out the standard for a Quality Management System.
https://www.iso.org/files/live/sites/isoorg/files/store/en/PUB100080.pdf Download a pdf of the seven Quality Management Principles that ISO 9000/9001 and other related quality management standards are based on.
https://www.ukas.com/ Visit the website of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), appointed by the UK government to assess and certify organization’s management systems.
An aerial view of the Guyana Shore Base taken in March 2022 showing the construction of berths 3 & 4, with IPMA located in the image just to the left of the center-left silver roofed building (Schlumberger facilities).
TOTALTEC is focused on the success of the energy industry in Guyana for the benefit of the country, its people, and partner companies. It does this through three areas: people, partnerships, and facilities. Qualified and motivated Guyanese develop through the International Petroleum & Maritime Academy, where more than 600 have been trained. Partnerships prioritize products and services that are starting points to grow from, creating new Guyanese led companies, for example Jaguar Oilfield Services. Facilities include Guyana Shore Base Inc (GYSBI, also a partnership) providing a complete range of services to offshore operations. The TOTALTEC 94% Guyanese workforce includes 6 nationalities with more than 160 years of international oilfield experience. https://www.totaltec-os.com