Key Finding

Evidence suggests that the Common Safety Training Program (CSTP) is effective in improving trainees’ safety related decision-making, especially in regards to promoting the prioritisation of safety.

Background and Research Aims

Across 2012-2013, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) introduced the Common Safety Training Program (CSTP) as a compulsory entry step for workers to commence a career in the offshore oil and gas industry. In collaboration with ERGT Australia (a major provider of the CSTP), researchers from The University of Western Australia assessed the effectiveness of this training program.

How was this Research Conducted?

The project comprised three phases:

  1.  Contextual Examination: This involved a series of semi-structured interviews with experienced workers from the industry, in order to elicit contextually relevant examples of safety-related decisions.
  2.  Survey Design:  A series of scenario-based survey items was designed to assess safety-relevant decision making in the oil and gas industry. This was called the “Safety Scenario Survey”.
  3. Assessment: Trainees undertaking the 3-day CSTP course at ERGT participated in the assessment exercise.

Trainees completed the “Safety Scenario Survey” before and after the completion of formal training.

What was discovered?

A variety of analyses demonstrated that trainees improved their safety-related decision making from Day 1 to Day 3, providing evidence for the effectiveness of ERGT’s delivery of the CSTP.  

By the end of the training:

  • Trainees reported higher likelihood of carrying out actions that prioritise safety and lower likelihood of carrying out actions that prioritise conflicting goals, and were making these effective distinctions more consistently.
  • Trainees increased the number of times they ranked safety as the top priority and were also more consistent with these decisions.

Overall, these results provide evidence that the CSTP is effective in improving trainees’ safety related decision-making, and it is particularly effective at promoting the prioritisation of safety. 


Prof. Gillian Yeo
Assistant Prof. Karina Jorritsma

Winthrop Prof. Mark Griffin
Winthrop Professor David Day
Stacey Wang
Clare McPherson
Lily Cheng