All Posts By

Kirsten Howkins

Well Control in Design and Lifecycle Management Programme Updates

By News

IWCF‘s Well Control in Design and Lifecycle Management programme is designed for engineers, supervisors and managers in key roles related to well construction, well interventions and well integrity. This programme aims to ensure that these personnel are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to prevent well control incidents and manage wells effectively throughout the well lifecycle. 

While levels 1-4 of well control training do not focus on the crucial well design, planning and maintenance phases,  IWCF‘s Well Control in Design and Lifecycle Management programme offers an aspirational certification for these key roles.  

Aligned with our overarching goal to ensure no risk to life, assets or the natural environment, this innovative programme aims to enhance safety and reduce the number of well control incidents. 


What are the objectives of the programme? 

The programme aims to: 

  • Recognise the impact that design, planning and programming can have on the construction phase and on well integrity assurance throughout the lifecycle of the well.   
  • Identify and specify well control actions that can be taken when working outside of the normal operating envelope.  
  • Ensure that engineers in office-based functions have well control competence in support of rig/wellsite operations.  


What topics does it cover? 

The latest revision of IOGP report 476 included an update on topics that should be included in the programme. For a better overall learning experience, IWCF have separated those into compulsory and optional topics. Programme applicants can also choose from the list of optional topics and can propose alternative topics for consideration.  

Compulsory topics include: 

  • Subsurface impact 
  • Holistic design 
  • Design uncertainties  
  • Barrier management 
  • Cement integrity  
  • Verification methods 
  • Dealing with pressure influx 
  • Lifecycle well integrity 
  • Risk management 

Optional topics include: 

  • Human and organizational performance 
  • Corrosion design and material selection 
  • Well maintenance 
  • Well integrity assurance 
  • Shallow gas 
  • Abandonment 
  • Tertiary well control 
  • Other lifecycle considerations 
  • Well planning considerations 
  • Barrier integrity assurance 
  • Regulatory requirements.  


How can I attend this training? 

Accredited training providers can be found on our website map. Simply search for ‘Well Control in Design and Lifecycle’ in the programme filter.’ Please contact your chosen training centre for upcoming course schedules and costs.  


How can my training provider become accredited to offer this programme? 

IWCF have recently published a guidance document for the Well Control in Design and Lifecycle Management programme. This provides a comprehensive overview of the programme, including: 

  • Course structure 
  • Candidate requirements 
  • Instructor requirements 
  • Accreditation applications 
  • Case study project 
  • Assessment information. 

The Well Control in Design and Lifecycle Management programme guidance can be downloaded here 

Please contact if you have any questions.  

Office Closure – Queen Elizabeth II Bank Holiday

By News

All at IWCF are deeply saddened by the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. We offer our sincere condolences to the Royal Family and everyone mourning around the world.

To pay our respects on the day of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, the IWCF Head Office will close on Monday 19 September 2022.

If you have an urgent query during this time, please call the out of hours service on +44 (0)1674 678120. This service will be available from 06.30 to 19.00 (BST).

The Australian Office will close on Thursday 22 September 2022 to mark Australia’s National Day of Mourning. During this time the UK Head Office will be open and the out of hours service will be available. Please call +44 (0)1674 678120 if you have an urgent enquiry during this time.

Well Control And Pressure Control Calculations

By News

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new Well Control and Pressure Control Calculations eLearning resource which is available for free on the IWCF website here.

Previously the website hosted three downloadable PDF documents related to drilling calculations. These PDFs consisted of more than 500 pages.

We worked to adapt this content into an online platform, making the content much more interactive and accessible for candidates.

The platform offers basic, awareness-level modules on the following topics.

  • Module 1 – Introduction to calculations
  • Module 2 – Volumes, capacities and displacements
  • Module 3 – Tripping and wellbore geometry
  • Module 4 – Gas and gas laws
  • Module 5 – The circulating system.

The structure allows for targeted study, so that candidates can leave and return to the modules in their own time.

Although the platform aims to help candidates understand basic oilfield calculations, it is not a substitute for instructor-led training. It can be used as a useful resource to help candidates before they attend well control training.

We would like to thank IWCF’s UK Branch who funded this new resource. Clive Battisby, UK Branch Chairperson commented on the introduction of the new initiative.

“The UK branch are delighted to be able to fund and support this exciting new initiative that is available for free on the IWCF website. Well control calculations are a vital part of candidates’ learning and these modules will offer great benefits to not only users, but employers and the industry.

The modules can be accessed at any time to refresh knowledge, so can be incorporated easily into users on-going learning throughout their certification cycles.

I would encourage candidates to access the modules to see the variety of topics they cover and discover how the resource can be applied or incorporated into their roles.”

The free resource can be accessed on the IWCF website here.

Virtual AGM 2021

By News

Virtual AGM 2021

Our 4th Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held in webinar format on Tuesday 23 November 2021 at 0800 hrs GMT.

The invite and link to book your place at the online event was sent to all members on 11 October 2021.

Please contact if you have any questions.

Virtual Train the Trainer Blog

By Blog

Virtual Train the Trainer Blog

COVID-19 changed how we operated, with the delivery of our Train the Trainer and Assessor Training courses impacted. We could no longer hold these courses face to face in global locations due to the global travel restrictions imposed from March 2020.

We had to quickly diversify and adapt our delivery methods to ensure we could continue to effectively deliver these courses and maintain competency standards for new instructor and assessors seeking accreditation.

Tracey Jayne Little who delivers our Train the Trainer course, has written a short blog explaining her experience of adapting the Train the Trainer course for the virtual world and the impact this has had on her training of instructors.

“I have been involved in the development and delivery of e-learning for the past 15 years; the events of the last 12 months have really pushed companies to look at alternatives to classroom-based learning.

Our Train the Trainer programme is very well-suited to virtual classroom (Zoom). Breakout rooms facilitate discussion and activities in small groups as learners are very much in control of their own learning. This is then strengthened by them writing their answers on a virtual whiteboard in breakout rooms and then sharing it in main classroom. This type of hands-on interactive activity embeds the learning. I have actually found it generates more discussion than in the real-life classroom, plus learners’ love being in control of the sharing!

I also have found the ‘chat’ function in Zoom is a huge teaching aid. Not only does it encourage quieter learners to ask questions privately, but I can also use it to privately message learners (when you see eyes down and you know the mobile phone has made an appearance!). Also, for those learners who may experience some difficulty in understanding real-time speed English but can read perfectly, I continually put key points in the ‘chat’ and write key points of every topic on a whiteboard, sharing it on chat-file share. I feel this really adds to the learning. The use of emojis echoes Smartphone technology – learners love them, and it lightens the lesson. I also use a WhatsApp group to support learners – easily accessible technology.

I absolutely love teaching by virtual classroom. I believe it can be a dynamic, inspirational, supportive and inspiring learning solution. The key is using all its functionality so that it truly stays student-centred and keeps the learners engaged. You have to make it mirror the real-life classroom such as possible with pre-class “virtual coffees” and putting learners into breakout rooms in breaks so they can build relationships.

I feel, based on learner feedback and results, that virtual classroom has enhanced the whole Train the Trainer learner experience. In line with good practice, the course was extended from three real-life classroom days to four on guidance from ILM (part of the City & Guilds Group) who also endorse this qualification globally as TJS International is an ILM global Recognised Provider. This creates more course time, shorter days with frequent breaks and increased learner support. This embeds the learning more fully as seen in the results since the use of virtual classroom. Learners do take advantage of the support time and stay behind at the end of class for 1-1 time in breakout rooms whereas in the real-life classroom, everyone gets their coat on!

I feel that Train the Trainer by virtual classroom offers a highly accessible, engaging learner journey with some added benefits for global training.”


Places are available on our Train the Trainer courses in August, September and October 2021. Click here for more information and the upcoming course dates.

Board Chair Retirement

By News

Mr Zdenek Sehnal (pictured below) has informed the IWCF Board of his retirement from his role as IWCF Board Chairman. 

Mr Sehnal has held the position of IWCF Board Chairman since 2016, while also representing the Norwegian Branch as Branch Chair. He has led the organisation through a period of substantial change, most recently navigating the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and the introduction of virtual training and assessments.  

Mr Jamie Wilson, Vice Chair of the IWCF Board of Trustees will adopt the role of Acting Board Chair, effective immediately.  

IWCF’s Board and administration would like to thank Mr Sehnal for his hard work and dedication as we’ve worked towards furthering our mission and vision.  

Mr Wilson commented. “Zdenek assumed the Chairman’s role at a pivotal time of the IWCF’s direction. With his calm manner and diplomacy, coupled with very considerable personal effort, he enabled the Board to enjoy a period of effective and harmonised activity. Furthermore, he has been instrumental in leading the development of IWCF’s strategy to deliver well control training to a standard expected by the global industry.  

The Board has requested Mr Sehnal to assume a consulting role with the IWCF Administration to continue assisting with the implementation of the strategy and support the CEO with various technical and training matters.


Translations: Why a glossary is a valuable translation tool

By Blog

The IWCF translation team is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the translation of IWCF exam content into 16 languages. The team are working to embed a new translation process which aims to improve quality. This includes the development of an expanded translation team, the use of new technology to improve workflows and developing linguistic resources to assist translators and reviewers. One of our areas of responsibility is to help build and maintain glossaries for the most commonly used languages in IWCF centres. While not the only factor in maintaining quality, these glossaries are very important for preserving consistency across a complex field, which make them valuable resources for IWCF and our stakeholders.

The field is vast, but the glossaries are a select choice of terms which act as a point of reference, and they are focused on the terms that appear most often in assessments. These help the translators and reviewers make sure that the correct technical terms are used, especially when there is more than one possible option. If translators did not have access to them, it would be like a reconnaissance team trying to complete a mission in thick fog with no GPS or map – some would go north, others would go south, and every so often someone might get stuck in a bog or fall off a cliff – in the worst-case scenario of course!

We don’t expect IWCF translators to over-rely on a glossary in place of their own knowledge and experience. However, the terms have been specifically selected for inclusion to help maintain consistency and quality, therefore our job is to ensure adherence.

To date we have piloted the use of glossaries in 5 languages (French, German, Italian, Norwegian and Russian) and are working with the branches to continuously improve their content. However, there are a few other languages where it has made sense to draft glossaries based on the work taking place. For example, as part of the process to translate the drilling question bank into Azeri we have recorded how technical terms are used and these inform the translators as they work through the project.

The IWCF translation team wants to make sure that the glossary and its equivalent translated versions contain the most up-to-date and accurate terminology for each language. This can be a challenge, but by working with our branches we can harness the expert technical knowledge of our members to aid us in the task. We aim to extend this process to cover all languages we offer.

You are welcome to discuss the importance of glossaries at Branch level and can contact the Translation Team at for more information.

Virtual Training and Assessments Update

By News

IWCF introduced virtual training and assessments in 2020 due to the impact that COVID-19 had upon face-to-face training. Piloting this alternative method of training enabled well control personnel to maintain competency despite travel restrictions and social distancing measures that have been in place.

To help us maintain and assure the high standards of quality and integrity expected at IWCF, we have been conducting extensive analysis of data throughout this period. This evaluation has demonstrated the efficacy of IWCF virtual classroom training and remote assessments.

This evidence-based approach has also been utilised to measure performance, monitor success and identify opportunities for improvement. One of the key findings from the analysis, supported by statistical evidence, show that there is no functional difference in candidate assessment results between those who completed an IWCF virtual classroom course versus IWCF face-to-face classroom training.

Accrediting and supporting our members to deliver virtual classroom training and assessment has allowed us to work towards our mission, while enabling our members to provide an accessible and cost-effective solution during the pandemic.

The results of the analysis performed allow us to continue to offer virtual training and assessments as an option for all IWCF accredited training providers, subject to compliance with IWCF guidelines and requirements.

Due to the successful implementation of this initiative, we will close the process for eCert extensions for both renewing and resit candidates from 31st March 2021.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Branch Elections – France and UK

By News

The French Branch elections were recently held following on from the retirement of the French Branch Chair, Alain Jost.

Alain worked with IWCF since the company formed in 1992, with over 16 years’ experience as the vice-chair of the IWCF Board. We would like to thank Alain for his long service and wish him well in his retirement from his position.

Fabien Manuel from IFP Training was elected as the new chairperson, and Raphael Alonso from Ecole Francaise de Forage elected as the new vice-chair.

In the UK, the vice-chair elections were also recently held with Jamie McHattie from Maersk Training UK appointed to the vice-chair position.

We would like to welcome Fabien, Raphael and Jamie into their branch chair and vice-chair positions and look forward to working with them all in 2021.

If you would like to see our full board structure you can download the structure chart here.

New UK Branch Chair

By News

The UK branch chair election was held recently, with Clive Battisby of Drilling Systems elected as the new chairperson.

We would like to welcome Clive onto our board of directors and look forward to working with him in the future.

If you would like to see our full board structure you can download the structure chart here.