WellSharp Information & FAQ

The goal of WellSharp:  To produce qualified personnel who have a position-specific comprehension of well control concepts and who have demonstrated effective well control skills.

Q. What is the passing rate on WellSharp exams?

The passing rate on the Driller and Supervisor exams has improved over time and, in 2018, has improved to ~90% and ~95%, respectively.

Q. What measures are in place to assist poor test-takers?

IADC put a number of measures in place to assist the poor test-takers, such as making sample tests available on the IADC website, allowing test retakes, and enlisting the help of language experts to ensure that the questions are as clearly and simply stated as possible.

Q. What is the protocol for disputing the accuracy of an answer?

When trainees review their missed questions immediately after taking the exam, they can request that any question be reviewed by a panel of IADC-member industry experts to verify that the question is correct and not misleading.

Q. Why did IADC decide to transition to WellSharp?

IADC members (through committees and workgroups) recognized that 1) lessons learned from the previous program could lead to improvements; 2) content in the previous program needed to be updated due to changing technologies, processes, and best practices; 3) the public and the major players in our industry have increasingly demanded quality and credibility in terms of well control training; and 4) other organizations, such as IOGP, were recommending additional content and a more consistent approach to well control training worldwide.

Q. Why was the centralized, online test database created?

In the legacy WellCAP system, each school developed their own test, which was then approved by a technical reviewer for accuracy. One of the lessons learned was that—whether intentionally or unintentionally—some instructors would “teach to” their own test. The new centralized, online exams pull content from a vast pool of questions that are categorized by topic, and then answer choices are shuffled. Each test is unique. In the new system, instructors cannot know what questions each student will get; therefore, they must teach the entire curriculum, and trainees must learn and be able to apply well control concepts—the fundamentals of well control. There are simply too many questions (e.g., more than 700 in just one test bank) for an instructor to effectively “teach to the test.”

To add another layer of security, IADC’s expert workgroups periodically alter questions (e.g., changing the measurement parameters), so the questions and answers do not remain stagnant. Finally, IADC’s position is that any trainee who is capable of memorizing answers to more than 700 questions (that have a constantly shuffled order of answers) is more than capable of passing the test without memorizing answers. Every effort has been taken to prevent dishonesty and to level the playing field for training providers, instructors, and trainees. This system and the corresponding robust testing protocols are the only and best response to lessons learned from previous iterations of well control training.

Q. What is IADC doing to continuously improve the various WellSharp exams?

In addition to reviewing question/answer disputes submitted by instructors and trainees, IADC’s SME workgroups periodically review full exams for accuracy and needed updates, as well as alter questions slightly as an additional barrier to dishonesty (e.g., attempts to memorize answers). IADC also identifies and addresses issues that are reported in surveys, as well as opportunities to improve the testing protocols to help ensure the integrity of the test.

Q. How many questions are in the WellSharp exam database?

The exam database currently has more than 3,300 questions, and new questions continue to be added.

Q. How are the questions pulled from the database to allow for each candidate’s exam to be unique?

The questions are categorized by learning objective (topic) and by level of difficulty. Every exam pulls the same number of questions for each topic and at the same level of difficulty. Answer choices are listed in varying order for each question.

Q. How does IADC know if a specific instructor or examinee has attempted to be dishonest to improve exam scores?

IADC monitors testing security in multiple ways: (1) Proctors attend every exam session and complete surveys after each session, providing specific information that alerts IADC staff to potential issues. (2) Trainees complete surveys that immediately appear in IADC’s exam database. (3) IADC staff periodically review the database analytics for trends and anomalies that suggest suspicious activities. (4) IADC receives information through various means from outside the database system. All such information is investigated and addressed, as needed.

Q. How does IADC ensure that WellSharp instructors can provide quality instruction?

In addition to meeting the experience requirements, WellSharp instructors are required to pass the WellSharp Instructor Exam, which meets a higher standard than the exam for the course(s) they teach. Instructors must also successfully complete a train-the-trainer course that focuses on adult learning principles and on strategies to maximize learning and retention. To satisfy this requirement, many instructors have taken IADC’s Facilitator Certification course, which is an intense 4 days of teamwork and skills practice that culminates in a skills assessment designed to ensure each instructor is able to deliver WellSharp content to IADC’s standard.

Q. In what way does WellSharp encourage teamwork?

The WellSharp Driller and Supervisor Drilling Operations courses require 30% of the course time (content delivery) to involve simulation, which comprises teams working with simulated well control scenarios. IADC’s Facilitator course also provides WellSharp instructors with strategies to teach well control using teams/groups. Additionally, beginning in late 2018, training providers can gain accreditation for WellSharp Plus (formerly WellCAP Plus), which is an option for experienced personnel renewing their WellSharp credentials. WellSharp Plus is a fully team- and scenario-based well control course.

Q. How are well control skills addressed in WellSharp?

The WellSharp Driller and Supervisor Drilling Operations courses require 30% of the course time (content delivery) to involve simulation. These courses also require trainees to successfully complete a skills assessment on the simulator.