A key element in managing contractors is evaluating their policies, management system and statistical performance. Many companies use some form of questionnaire that is either submitted to the contractor directly or through an agent. The depth of these questionnaires varies which has led to efforts within our industry to consolidate and agree upon a standardized questionnaire. However, despite these efforts there are still a number of questionnaires that are used annually, quarterly, monthly and ad hoc.
The ultimate goal would be to create a single questionnaire that incorporates many of the typically asked questions and is used by everyone. This would save time for both companies and their contractors by eliminating redundant effort in creation and response to the questionnaires. The time saved on this would then be put to use improving performance or further evaluation of the responses with on-site visits.
In 2005 a project was launched within API’s Petroleum Information Electronic Data Exchange Committee (PIDX) to consolidate HSE questionnaires. The base questionnaire that was revised is an appendix to API Recommended Practice 76 – Contractor Safety Management for Oil and Gas Drilling and Production Operations.
In the first phase of the project a variety of questionnaires were chosen and questions were consolidated. Additional categories and questions were added as necessary. A comprehensive list of definitions was also created for the questionnaire to narrow the range of interpretations of the questions. In the second phase of the project, an electronic message will be created to allow companies exchanging the information to do so in a much more expeditious manner. Contractors will have the option to provide data electronically to customers or their agents using a standard XML message format.
In the final analysis, the entire industry benefits from the updated standard and the mechanism to request future updates. Companies wishing to transact electronically benefit from the standardized XML format based on the industry standard. Contractors can respond more quickly to requests for information. Operators and their agents can receive data electronically, mapping responses directly into their applications and eliminating the need for manual processing.
The end result is a harmonized contractor safety questionnaire that will help streamline the process, allowing for a better comparison of contractors and leading to improved HSE performance.