Knowledge Retention & Education for our Workforce (KREW)

IADC’s new Knowledge Retention & Education for our Workforce (KREW) system addresses well-researched knowledge decay issues, particularly during the two-year period between required training.

About the Program

KREW is an online learning tool, designed to provide continuous learning opportunities for well control concepts to improve knowledge retention and, ultimately, to enhance critical on-the-job skills.

The system is designed to:

  • Provide learning opportunities for well control concepts and skills via library of modules
  • Measure effectiveness of these learning modules
  • Guide individual learning opportunities based on analytics and industry-wide learning gaps


Continuous-Learning System

KREW is more than a learning platform. It’s an entire continuous-learning system that provides the tools necessary to help well control personnel retain and enhance the knowledge necessary to maintain well control.

As an entire system, it connects on-the-go learning tools with critical content to enhance on-the-job skill sets. The content is focused on high-risk well control topics within WellSharp curriculum, including:

  • BOP Stack, Stack Valves, Wellhead Components
  • BOP Closing Unit & Control Panels
  • Equivalent Circulating Density & Bottomhole Pressure
  • Driller’s Method
  • Analysis of Shut-In Conditions
  • Handling Kill Problems & Effect of Incorrect Procedures
  • Wait and Weight Method
  • Pump Start-up & Shut-down Procedure

What is KREW?

KREW – Knowledge Retention & Education for our Workforce – is a learning management system, designed for continuous-learning to reinforce knowledge retention of critical well control concepts for the industry’s workforce with manageable, “bite-sized” pieces.

KREW is more than a simple online course platform. KREW is an entire information system developed to deliver, document, track, report, and automate how the drilling industry receives instructional courses, training programs, and interactive simulations.

The KREW system consists of 2 key components:

The brainchild of IADC’s Well Control Committee, KREW is the product of 3 years of collaborative planning, design, and development. The majority of the work was done by a KREW Advisory panel the WellSharp Advisory panel, both of which are made up of drilling contractors, operators, and field service companies.

KREW is built to fit into the jam-packed schedules of everyday life. KREW’s array of learning opportunities are delivered in micro-learning sessions. KREW was planned, designed, and developed with the industry schedules and logistics in mind.

Why Do We Need KREW?

The Knowledge Retention & Education for our Workforce (KREW) system is an online learning management system, designed to improve knowledge retention and, ultimately, to enhance critical on-the-job skills. It achieves this by slowly reinforcing critical well control concepts during spaced micro-learning sessions spread throughout the two-year period between required well control re-certification training.

Why is Knowledge Retention Important?

Academic research regarding how people learn and remember information highlights the importance of addressing knowledge decay – a concern across all industries. The widely accepted ‘learning and forgetting curves’ suggest forgetting is severe very quickly upon completion of initial training.

Despite continuous improvement in well control training over the years, concern about retention of key concepts remains. WellSharp data suggests that trainees fail to grasp 20-30% of critical concepts, and informal data from training providers confirmed a 30% retention-level of information from previous training at outset of recertification.

Source:  Thalheimer, W. February 2006. Spacing Learning Events Over Time: What the Research Says. Available at:

The Forgetting Curve

The root cause was determined to be knowledge decay – a naturally occurring human phenomenon where explicit knowledge is lost over time.

Everyone knows about “The Learning Curve.” What is less commonly understood is “The Forgetting Curve.”

In the same way in which knowledge is slowly gained over time, with steeper slopes representing more dramatic changes in new knowledge, the forgetting curve works in the opposite direction.

As the concepts in well control training are not immediately utilized on the jobsite after leaving an educational environment, a trainee isn’t reinforcing the new neural pathways created during recertification training.

The purpose of KREW was to prevent this steep decline.

Solving the Knowledge Decay Problem

Knowledge decay can be solved by improving knowledge retention.

Reinforcing previous well control training can be achieved by focusing on the key components of knowledge retention:

  1. Effective initial learning
  2. Structured continuous learning
  3. Application of the learning

Source:  Thalheimer, W. February 2006. Spacing Learning Events Over Time: What the Research Says. Available at:

The ultimate goal of training is knowledge application. As such, the on-the-job transfer of training concepts into real-world situations requires the following:

  • Structured, spaced micro-learning and retrieval practice
  • Tracking analytics creating a feedback loop
  • A variety of content to address various learner needs
  • Learning path flexibility

KREW offers all of these, with an ultimate goal of improving safety during drilling operations. The structure, tracking, and flexibility built into KREW provides users low-friction opportunities to minimize The Forgetting Curve.

Ongoing micro-learning opportunities over the 2-year gap in training will help ensure workers with well control responsibilities are as prepared as possible to mitigate and handle high-risk well control events.

How Does KREW Work?

The Knowledge Retention & Education for our Workforce (KREW) system is an online learning system, designed to improve knowledge retention and, ultimately, to enhance critical on-the-job skills.

KREW improves knowledge retention by facilitating various learning opportunities between the two-year period between well control recertification training. Effective 1 May 2021, a WellSharp Live Driller/Supervisor Level test code includes 2-year access to KREW.

Completion of KREW coursework requires both the acquisition and retrieval of well control concepts in micro-learning sessions. This bite-sized delivery of well control training provides an interactive reinforcement of the information. As the KREW usercompletes training modules and simulations, they will minimize the Forgetting Curve and retain important well control concepts.

How to Get Started with KREW?

KREW is designed with the industry in mind. To maximize user engagement, the KREW online learning platform has flexibility engineered into it to fill identified knowledge gaps.

KREW offers trainees or companies two ways to participate:

Structured Learning Path
  • System provides fixed curricula planned over the two-year period
  • Covers most critical well control concepts
  • Requires completion of prescribed modules each quarter to proceed
Self-Guided Path
  • System provides skills gap assessment
  • KREW user selects modules themselves

Completing either path helps ensure that key WellSharp content is reinforced and knowledge retention is improved.

Key Steps

  1. Learner completes WellSharp well control skills assessment
  2. Learner creates profile on KREW platform
  3. Learner chooses path:
    1. Structured Learning Path: Trainee completes required modules on quarterly basis over 2-year period
    2. Self-Guided Path: Trainee chooses modules they wish to complete
  4. Learner enrolls in recertification training

WellSharp Connection

WellSharp has a 30-year history of industry-driven collaboration to provide comprehensive well control training standards for the global drilling industry. Over that time, WellSharp continually provides trainees with in-depth knowledge, well-honed role-specific skills, and greater confidence in how to handle, and even prevent, well control incidents.

Developed by IADC members representing operators, drilling contractors, well servicing companies, professional trainers, and well control specialists, in collaboration with IADC’s Well Control Committee and other industry groups, WellSharp & KREW are the products of innovation.

WellSharp Live represents that next evolution. Initially created to comply with stay-in-place regulations and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IADC introduced WellSharp Live, a new distance-learning option for WellSharp Drilling and Well Servicing well control courses.

Together, WellSharp Live & KREW incorporate new learnings from a continuously evolving industry and substantial academic discoveries in adult learning theory. Adding in the technological enhancement of algorithmic personalization, the KREW system is designed to solve the challenge of knowledge retention and skill decay within our industry.

This is why the standards supported in the WellSharp program are incorporated into the initial user’s profile as well as the real-time feedback loop on skills gaps.

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