Exploration & Production Accounting & Audit Courses: What makes a great one?

Published on 24.08.2016

Accounting is never likely to win a gold medal for the ‘world’s most interesting subject’ so just what makes MDT International’s Oil & Gas Accounting/Audit courses so engaging?

Great course material and excellent trainers is a good place to start! Trainers who can bring the course material to life provide the ideal learning environment for participants. By being able to answer questions based on their own actual experience in the industry and provide a platform for all those taking part to share knowledge around the topics being covered, they can ensure that the skills gained will be embedded and used proactively back in the workplace.

Everyone will have their own opinion on what makes a great training course, or perhaps successful is a better word to use. At MDT our aim is to provide motivational, stimulating and fun sessions which have clear objectives and defined outcomes.

We have a number of expert trainers, all of whom have spent many years sharing their knowledge of E&P Accounting & Audit with course participants around the world. When we first chatted to one of the team, Robert, regarding his thoughts on MDT’s courses and “what makes a great one” his response was – “Robert Hockley as your trainer!!” Although said in jest I have to say that if you have participated in one of Robert’s classes you are likely to agree!

Here are some of Roberts’s musings:

Tell us what your time in the O&G Industry brings to our courses?

“A wealth of experience and hands on knowledge that help me to make MDT courses relevant to real world situations that arise in the work place and ensure they are not just an exercise in theoretical accounting. It’s about giving our students practical knowledge that they can readily understand and apply in their jobs and careers.”

Tell us a bit about the O&G Industry courses which you deliver?

“Among others, I deliver MDT’s full range of Finance, Accounting and Audit courses. They are all intended to give students an understanding about the unique aspects of operations in the oil and gas industry and the accounting and audit implications that arise from these. The courses help students develop skills and awareness that will enable them to grow in their competencies and thereby enhance their careers.”

What are the courses key learning points?

“Many and varied. At MDT, we accept that the world is awash with competent finance and audit professionals, our aim is to offer MDT course participants ‘added value’ – we do that by stressing the importance of understanding the industry activity for which they are accounting/auditing and equally the importance of ‘getting on’ with colleagues. Ensuring that the debits and credits are right is vital but career success demands more. At MDT we believe we offer additional insight that sets our training courses apart.”

What are your thoughts about where the industry is in 2016?

The past two years have been very challenging for the industry. However, I believe that most companies have taken the essential steps to adjust to the new oil price environment. Reduced headcount and less training activity were obvious reactions to the lower commodity price. That said, organisations still have a commitment to develop their personnel, and job specific external training will continue to play an important part in motivating staff. Looking forward, I’m expecting the oil & gas industry to ‘enjoy’ a period of steady recovery and related growth. Needless to say from an MDT perspective we hope that this will lead to an upturn in the volume of training activity.”

How would you define a ‘successful’ course?

“Course participants who find that their learning outcomes have far exceeded their expectations and that their time in class has passed quickly and enjoyably. And that they are already looking forward to their next MDT course!”

What makes a good O&G Industry trainer?

“Someone who has a wealth of experience in the industry, is a good communicator and has a passion to share their knowledge and experiences with the students to enrich and enlighten the course material. In essence, to bring the subject alive for the participants and inspire them to want to learn more.”

There is a lot of travel involved with delivering courses for MDT, can you give us an insight into your time away from home?

“I’m a great fan of Skype – and not only for keeping in touch with friends and family. As a lifelong Liverpool fan (yes I know, one of the lucky ones!) keeping up with their matches when abroad can sometimes be difficult, however there are ways and means. While in Rio de Janeiro, I had my son position his computer in front of our TV at home and managed to watch a Liverpool game ‘live’ in my hotel room! And of course a beer in the hotel bar is a great way to either celebrate a win or drown my sorrows!

I have had the opportunity to visit some wonderful places in my time with MDT and have many favourites. One of these is Perth in Western Australia and particularly the Margaret River area. In March this year I was swimming at a wonderful location called Castle Bay, amazing scenery, glorious weather and clear warm water. Just about as perfect as it could be, when suddenly close by I saw a black fin in the water! I swam to the shore faster than Michael Phelps in an Olympic final! When I staggered out of the sea more than a little breathless I saw a group of Aussie locals in fits of laughter. “Don’t worry mate, they said, it’s only a dolphin”! “

Thanks to Robert for sharing his thoughts and stories, we are glad that the swimming drama turned out to be a false alarm - much safer staying in the classroom!

Anyone who has attended a training course will understand the importance of how course content is delivered, the whole learning experience is vital to what each participant takes away from their time in the classroom and those delivering the course play such an important part.

We hope that those reading this article will have the opportunity to attend one of our ‘great’ training courses and we will look forward to hearing about your experience!