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CompEx Remembers Piper Alpha Tragedy and Celebrates Success Over Past 25 Years

13 June 2019     JTL

The board of JT Limited - which owns and manages the CompEx Scheme – celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2018, and recently held its annual board meeting in Aberdeen, on a date that coincided with the 31st anniversary of the Piper Alpha Disaster in the North Sea - which gave rise to the need for a scheme to improve safety through validation of worker core competencies in hazardous locations containing explosive atmospheres.


The CompEx Scheme has become the recognised Global Competency Scheme of choice for the major oil, gas and chemical users who want to protect both their workers and their capital assets. During 2018, it celebrated the significant impact it has had on improved safety in the workplace during that time.

The CompEx Scheme came about as a direct result of Lord Cullen’s 13-month investigation into the Piper Alpha tragedy that happened on 6th July 1988 – 31 years ago - and led to 106 recommendations that transformed the North Sea oil and gas industry into a global leader in safety in these hazardous environments. The CompEx scheme was launched in 1993 and the phenomenal success of the scheme has been marked with many milestones along the way, with Aberdeen College subsidiary ASET the first commercial centre in 1994, ten years later the scheme was celebrating the 10,000 candidate certificated for Gas & Vapour and in 2010 that number had risen to 25,000. Electronic online examinations were introduced in 2013 and JT Limited took over ownership of the scheme from EEMUA a year later, in 2014.

The magic 50,000 candidates certificated target was passed in 2015 and now in 2019, that figure has moved significantly past 75,000 candidate certificates issued to increase safety in explosive atmospheres and CompEx has opened its 60th worldwide centre.

This year’s board meeting first saw the board visit the Piper Alpha Memorial in Hazlehead Park in Aberdeen, followed by a roundtable meeting with senior health and safety executives from some of the major oil companies in Aberdeen, to focus on the industry’s perception of CompEx and to help with future planning. 

In the evening a buffet event was hosted for executives from the CompEx centres and some of their key clients. The Board meeting was held at the Unite offices in Aberdeen on the following morning.

Steve Bratt who chairs the CompEx Board that oversees the CompEx scheme: “The role CompEx plays 25 years after it was brought into being, is vitally important and has played a huge part in raising safety in these hazardous working environments. We should applaud the efforts of those responsible then to have the forethought to ensure that CompEx became a reality.  It is responsible in no small measure for the safe environments in which so many people work today, day in, day out around the world.

“The visit to the memorial was a moving one, as we remembered the 167 who died on Piper Alpha, some 120 miles to the north east of Aberdeen, deep out in the North Sea.  Although it was as a result of this tragedy that CompEx was devised and has developed year by year, it will never be possible to agree on how many lives have been saved as a result of the safety training carried out under the CompEx Scheme. But with more than 75,000 certificates awarded and 60 centres now operating right across the world, we can be very proud of the efforts that have gone into doing everything we can to ensure that a Piper Alpha type tragedy never happens again.”

For further information about CompEx, visit www.compex.org.uk.

The board of JT Ltd visits Piper Alpha Memorial in Aberdeen

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