The BDA Audit – Demystified Through Webinar

October 18, 2020

The recent and first British Drilling Association (BDA) webinar – “Demystifying the BDA Audit” – took place 15 October 2020 and attracted over 60 registrants. Hosted by BDA Chair, Richard Fielden, BDA Audit Manager and Keith Spires, the webinar began with a little bit of history about the Audit and the roles of the various committees in the BDA and BDA Audit. It then moved onto why the Audit was established, but more importantly, why it is an essential component of the BDA’s remit to improve safety, getting the sector to conform to standards whilst raising the overall professionalism within the drilling sector and its status too. The BDA Handbook was also introduced.

Specifically, the webinar covered the role of the Technical and Standard’s committee work within the BDA, the work it does in developing industry standards, but also its work in developing appropriate standards within the Audit. How the Health and Safety committee took ownership of Audit within last 12 months, as safety was clearly the main driver, was also discussed, before moving on to how the development of the improved Audit, by ‘going back to basics’, was key to ensuring reference to legal compliance. It was emphasised that the Audit is based on legal standards and not, as is often thought, BDA standards, and the Audit’s content was then run through focusing on the areas recognised where members often struggle. Of note though was the discussion on what the BDA Audit can offer members and the drilling sector – as a differentiator, it has the genuine ability to raise not only standard but also allow members to win business.

Keith continued with an explanation of the Audit process itself (contact, payment, audit, post audit, what if non-conform or safety critical cancellation, post audit communication), as well as touching on the common problems or expected problems encountered. Keith also emphasised that there are and never will be any changes to the Audit and its content without prior notification. The plan, or roadmap towards the Audit’s ultimate MPA External Verification and Quality Assurance was also discussed.

Concluding the webinar, the session was thrown over to questions and answers, before Richard Fielden re-affirmed the BDA’s remit of raising standards and ensuring safety, as well as need to collect statistics to further guide development. He spoke also of how the BDA will gather feedback from members and the goal to increase Audit numbers from circa 200 to circa 400, as well as encourage different disciplines (well drilling, grouting etc) to consider its benefits.

The PowerPoint presentation referred to throughout the webinar is available by clicking here

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