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CMDS Recognized by Conference Board of Canada

November 26, 2009 

"Keyera is innovative and shows leadership," are just some of the accolades we recently received from the Conference Board of Canada.

In a September 2009 Case Study, the Conference Board of Canada reviewed Keyera's Competency Management Development System (CMDS), which Keyera developed to provide workplace training and competency management.  The Conference Board wrote, "It is not surprising that Keyera Energy has received industry-wide recognition and that the system is used by 38 energy companies within the CMDS user consortium.  The program lives up to the Conference Board of Canada's expectations of its case studies: it is an outstanding education and lifelong learning initiative that addresses the impact of workplace literacy and essential skills on employee health and safety."


Back in 1999, Keyera undertook the development of CMDS as a way to provide a safe and healthy work environment.  CMDS is an on-line tool used to assess a workers understanding of their job requirements, and to maintain a continuous and credible record of achieved skills.  This online system is designed to be competency-based, skill profile-oriented, and third-party audited to comply with the requirements of due diligence.

Another excerpt from the Conference Board of Canada's Case Study reads, "The greatest accomplishment of the CMDS has been a competent and well-trained workforce, which resulted in steady productivity growth and safe company operations."

The Conference Board also listed specific impacts and benefits of the system:

  • Safe work practices are viewed as a top priority by all employees.
  • New employees can acquire essential and technical competencies in a faster and more systemic way.
  • Communications and problem-solving skills have improved in field operator teams.
  • Employees feel there is a corporate commitment to their safety and well-being.
  • A comfortable work environment has been created in which lack of competency is not stigmatized but rather serves as an incentive for learning.
  • The company can maintain a continuous record of employee skills and training.
  • Several CMDS user companies have gone a full year without a workplace incident.
  • The system facilitates labour mobility by providing easier transfer and recognition of skills within the industry.
  • Training received through the CMDS in 13 oil and gas industry occupations is recognized as equivalent to a college certificate.1

Although the original intent of the CMDS was not to invent a new model for training in the oil and gas sector, it has since been adopted for use in 38 petroleum and gas companies in western Canada. These companies have workforces ranging in size from as small as six employees to as large as 900 employees, and they include some multinational corporations. The program has also been accepted by two post secondary institutes, with CMDS forming the basis for Certificate and Diploma programs at Lakeland College in Alberta and Northern Lights College in British Columbia.

1. Case Study September 2009, "Building Skills for a Safe Workplace Competency Management at Keyera Energy," Conference Board of Canada.