Case Study

North American Refining Company Ensuring Safe and Consistent Operations

Client Need

This domestic refinery needed a solution to provide a more detailed and consistent training program for field personnel and control room personnel. This new training program had two main focuses:
  • Ensuring operators were able to control their processes safely within operating limits in compliance with regulatory requirements
  • Ensuring that all operating units and job positions, as well as multiple refinery locations, followed a consistent and systematic approach to training that provided efficient initial qualification along with continuing advancement of knowledge and skills throughout an operator’s career
Additionally, the refinery was looking for a “best practice” solution from a source with experience and capabilities that matched their need.

GP Strategies Solution

GP Strategies™ met with plant leadership to establish an approach to the scope of work, determine resource needs, and arrange schedule and budget. After the initial planning and scheduling, GP Strategies assembled a team of specialists to develop the following:
  • Large control diagrams based on existing piping & instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) and process flow drawings
  • Unit description manuals based on existing process safety information and interviews with subject matter experts (SMEs) for over 30 refinery units at multiple refineries
  • Structured operator training guides and evaluation tools based on unit operating procedures, SME input, and data contained in each unit’s description manual
  • Detailed troubleshooting exercises for each control room operator using the proven Technical Operations Performance Support (TOPS™) systematic troubleshooting methodology
  • What-if drills and crew training drills to enable quick, accurate, and efficient response to refinery emergencies
GP Strategies used the innovative TOPS—a set of training methodologies and interventions designed to establish a solid foundation of skills and knowledge. TOPS materials were used to help improve operator competency measurements. Historically, TOPS has resulted in improvements of these measurements by up to 70 percent. Additionally, the TOPS methodology sets the stage for obtaining more advanced and comprehensive skills.

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