IHRDC International Qualifications

International Human Resources Development Corporation (IHRDC)

For more than 45 years, International Human Resources Development Corporation (IHRDC) has been a worldwide leader in training and competency development for the oil and gas industry. IHRDC offers innovative, high quality products and services that include instructional programmes, e-learning solutions, and competency management. In recent years, it has created blended learning solutions to accelerate the competency development of its participants.

In December 2016, IHRDC became an SQA centre. It currently offers SVQs in Engineering Maintenance and Process Operation: Hydrocarbons, Assess Workplace Competence Using Direct and Indirect Methods (FD4104), and Internally Monitor and Maintain the Quality of Workplace Assessment (FD4304). IHRDC employs a number of SQA qualified assessors and internal verifiers, who cover all the technical disciplines associated with the oil and gas industry.

Supporting skills development

Throughout its history, oil and gas companies — often from OECD countries — have led the exploration and production of resources in nations with developing economies, but have often failed to hire a significant percentage of local nationals to carry out the work. This reduces the potential economic benefit to a country if jobs are provided to expatriates rather than to local nationals. Fortunately, governments now require international companies to hire more local workers.

One of the key factors for international companies is the competency of local nationals graduating from their educational programmes. In developing countries, these programmes do not always meet OECD educational standards and thus, a gap exists between the skills of those graduating and the entry-level skills required by the companies. As a training provider, IHRDC not only provides training solutions and curricula, but also helps oil and gas companies define the competency requirements for entry-level positions in industry. As such, it is in a unique position to help all parties, including international oil and gas companies, national governments, and the local nationals seeking employment.

Reasons for working with SQA

IHRDC worked with SQA to align its competency models with SQA vocational standards. Consequently, graduates of IHRDC’s approved process receive an internationally recognised certificate, which fulfils the standard expected by international oil companies. IHRDC incorporated this into its induction programmes — working with national governments to set minimum industry standards, and helping local institutions to improve their training programmes.


1 Competitive advantage

Working with SQA has enabled IHRDC to deliver an internationally accredited innovative programme at a low cost

2 Blended learning programmes

Qualifications that incorporate a variety of learning techniques including instructor-led training, e-learning, and workshop materials to keep the qualifications current and adaptable

3 Up-Skilling of IHRDC employees

Training and mentorship from its own employees and contractors to assist in delivering the 18-month programme which in turn encourages ownership and employee retention

4 Qualified to industry standards

SQA worked closely with IHRDC and industry partners to develop new qualifications that meet the changing and evolving needs of their country and sector. IHRDC and the oil and gas company delivered a lower-cost, innovative programme, which was internationally accredited in their country. IHRDC first used the new vocational qualifications as part of a training programme with an international oil and gas company, in which 69 new operations and maintenance technicians achieved their respective SQA qualifications.


We are grateful to work with SQA, an established organisation with rigorous, internationally recognised vocational standards that have made a positive impact on the education and employment potential for many individuals. As a global training organisation, we see a distinct need to provide these same vocational qualifications to developed and developing economies — providing benefits to personnel on a much broader scale. We hope to work with clients around the world to help deliver these qualifications to our industry.

Brad Donohue, Vice President of Competency Management at IHRDC.

Working in Partnership

The process

IHRDC’s experience of becoming an SQA centre was easy, thanks to the friendly support from SQA personnel involved in the application. Although IHRDC had many of the required policies and procedures in place, the process provided an opportunity to revise and improve its documentation to support the delivery of SVQs and other qualifications. A key benefit of this process was reviewing their documentation and Content Management System Online product, to bring them in line with SQA requirements, allowing for a smooth transition.

IHRDC’s future plans

IHRDC will continue to work with SQA, delivering SVQs as opportunities arise, and enhancing the IHRDC CMS Online software to evaluate, train and qualify client employees. IHRDC plans to work with all industry parties, including governments, oil and gas companies, and local training institutions. The company believes that, by leveraging its own assets, it can help local training institutions to improve their programmes and satisfy the needs of the industry, thereby contributing to economic development. IHRDC plans to expand its range of SVQs to incorporate other disciplines and trades found within the oil and gas industries.