Training Courses to Improve Offshore SafetyWed, 01/25/2012 - 17:25
Q: What were the ambitions of DEECSA when the company was created in Ciudad del Carmen?
A: DEECSA was founded in 1997 in Ciudad del Carmen. Back then on the island, there were few companies offering training, despite the fact that Pemex needed partners that could offer such solutions. Therefore, we decided to create DEECSA. We started by offering training courses to the administrative side of the oil and gas industry, targeting Pemex’s subcontractors rather than the NOC itself. In the following years we started offering courses to Pemex ranging from public legislation, administrative matters and quality in accordance with ISO 9000 standards, which were implemented over a three-year period for Pemex’s southeastern marine region.
Q: What drives the development of your portfolio of training services today?
A: We comply with the programme of Pemex, and the guidelines regarding safety and environment that the company has implemented. It is our responsibility to ensure that all the employees of the subcontractors that we work with have passed the 10 or 20 basic courses that Pemex has designed. All our courses and instructors are certified by the Labour Ministry, which is the entity that regulates training courses in Mexico.
These courses are mandatory, and each and every person on a platform has had to complete them. First, we offer the basic course before they go to the platform. Then, once they are off duty and come back onshore, we continue with the follow-up courses. However, on some occasions we have gone to the platforms to give the courses.
Q: Do you see differences in demand for training courses between Mexican and international companies?
A: Not really. All the basic courses have to be taught to every company, since they have to comply with Pemex’s requirements. Pemex dictates which training courses and certifications are required to work offshore. Each year, Pemex issues a decree and all the companies will have to comply with these requirements.
Our basic principal is to be honest with our clients, whether they are new or established in Mexico. Our training courses are based on quality, speed of delivery and recognized certification. We need to deliver, because in turn our clients need to deliver their employees certified and on time as agreed with Pemex. If we would fail, they would fail as a consequence.
One thing that we are very strict about is security and the environment. If a course takes 40 hours it will last 40 hours, because it would be unforgivable if something were to happen to the personnel that we train. Because of the frequency at which Pemex updates its certification requirements and conducts audits of paperwork at offshore platforms, it can be tempting for contractors to find companies that are willing to sell certifications to personnel without appropriate training. However, our customers know that we will not do this, because we cannot in good conscience allow employees to work in dangerous offshore environments without receiving the necessary training. Because of our unwillingness to simply sell certifications, we have gained a good reputation in the industry, and Pemex knows that certifications that come from DEECSA mean that the worker has been well trained before coming out to the platform. Our good track record is due to our professional work ethic.
Q: How does the fact that the management team is comprised of only women influence your work and what are the reactions of your mostly male clients?
A: We are very well accepted nowadays, but no one could understand us at the very beginning. It was difficult because men rule the oil and gas industry. We knocked at many doors and people would not receive us because we were women. They didn’t believe in us.
However, today, we have realized that our clients trust us more when they realize that we are women. There is no disadvantage in being a woman now, because people realize that we deliver a quality product.