WPTW digital solution

The Next Evolution of WPTW

The digital solution Project represents a significant strategic investment by the Association in terms of the digitalisation of the industry standard WPTW system for use at remote wellsite operational environments.

The Association has engaged a Software Developer to undertake the planning, design, implementation, ongoing development, maintenance and support of an integrated solution that will enable the development, review, approval, issue and closeout of Permits to Work on wellsites, in conjunction with a new Certified User and Membership database system to support WPTWA administrative activities.

The Project is structured in 3 phases:

The project approach being used involves a high level of collaboration between project participants including Members, WPTW Users, the WPTWA Admin Team, and the Developer. The effectiveness of the outcome will be measured by its responsiveness to user requirements.

We encourage all WPTWA Members and Users of the WPTW System to get involved in the development of the WPTW digital solution by contacting the Project Team or WPTWA Administration.

The 3 Phases are:


  1.    WPTW Field Application – a stand alone permit generation tool
  2.    WPTW Core Networking – testing of site: server connectivity; data transfer; and wellsite connectivity
  3.    WPTW System Integration – implementation of the full WPTW digital solution

We encourage Users to contact your WPTWA Member Representative to forward an expression of interest  … or contact the Project Team by emailing digital@wellsite.org.au

Frequently Asked Questions

The Section B checklist on the Rev 3 Permit is a key part of the safety process. Is it retained?

We Agree. The discussion about required Work Precautions is an important element of establishing a safe work environment.

The system can print a hard copy Verification Checklist which replicates the Rev3 approach, but only details the required Work Precautions and Isolations, rather than the full Section B. This means that users can focus on the required controls.

The Verification Checklist is used in the same way as the current process, with a verifier initialing against each control to verify that it is in place.

Can we attach electronic documents to the permit, like JHAs or work procedures?

Permits and other documents can be printed to PDF if required, but there is no provision for digital attachment of documents. The Reference Documents tab would allow a document link to be pasted in, but it will not be an active link.

Electronic attachments would result in very large Permit Packs being continually uploaded to the Central Server. These documents are already on the Member Company system and further duplication to the WPTWA server is not seen to be a useful arrangement.

Will the paper-based permit forms be available during the transition to digital?

We would recommend that the paper-based system is retained as a backup during the transition period. Synchronisation between multiple devices on site should resolve any concerns about data loss due to single device failure, but having a hard copy system in reserve would be recommended practice.

How does the WPTW digital solution work on wellsites with no reliable internet connection?

The digital solution is not a ‘Cloud Application’ – it doesn’t need high connection speeds to work. In fact it doesn’t need any internet at all to develop and issue Permits.

One of the key requirements is that it must be able to work on remote wellsites, sites that might not have internet access. As a result the Field Application (App) that will be used to develop, and issue permits is being designed to be fully autonomous – i.e. it can be installed on a computer or other device and then can run fully independent of the internet.

Internet connectivity will be used to upload permit data back to a central server so Member Companies can access site permit information, and for downloading Application and Certified User database updates, but connection speeds will not affect the responsiveness of the App for site use.

How many people can be listed as Work Party in the WPTW digital solution?

One of the limitations of the hard-copy WPTW Rev3 Permit Form is that only four people could be listed on the Permit as Work Party. That meant that any job needing more than four people required the Work Party Acceptance Form to be added to the Permit.

The digital solution will allow you to add as many Work Party Members as you need to the Permit before it is Issued. It just keeps adding more rows for extra people.

How will we identify new Users if they're not already in our company's database of users?

Each ‘Instance’ (installation) of the App will have the full WPTW Certified User database ‘onboard’, which will be constantly updated from the WPTW Central Server any time there is an internet connection. This means that potential users on your site are not limited to a company database of users but extend to any person certified in WPTW. We currently have over 12,000 certified WPTW System Users.

Searching for users is easy. All you need is their WPW (Certification) Number and Full Name. They will also have a registered password to allow you to authenticate who they are, and once they are registered on the Instance they can be called up from a list of regular users.

How do you control who can issue a Permit with the App?

Any person performing any role will need to be Authenticated before they can use the system, and role-specific functions limit what can be done by a certified WPH and a certified OCR, so only a certified WPA can issue a Permit.

But the digital solution also has two authorisation settings:

  • Open List allows any person that has WPA certification in the WPTW Certified User database to issue permits
  • Closed List only allows persons specifically authorised by the Member Company to act as the WPA and issue Permits

These settings are established through the Instance Configuration process and allow Member Companies to control who can issue permits on their behalf.

Will we have to put in all of the 'standard' information all of the time?

The digital solution has a number of innovations that are designed to improve efficiency for the development of Permits, allowing you to concentrate on the important things.

Instance Configuration allows an authorised WPA to lock in some of the information that won’t change from Permit to Permit, such as the Rig Name/Number, Wellsite Location, Operating Company (where applicable), etc.

Copy to New functionality will allow a Closed Permit to be replicated for the same job in the future, with all of the key information such as Scope of Work, Reference Documents, required Work Precautions, Isolations, Ongoing Controls and other details already populated into the document.
All of the Verification and Authorisation information will be stripped out, so the Permit will still need to be fully reviewed and all controls will need to be verified in place before Permit Issue, but this should dramatically reduce permit development time, while still maintaining the necessary control over setting up the job safely.

Will we be limited to the Work Precautions listed on the current Rev 3 Permit Form?

No. There is provision to Add controls to any Work Hazard Category Work Precautions in the digital solution, and those added controls will be saved within the App for future use if required.

That means you don’t have to type them in each time, you can just select them from the list. A real time saver.

What if Work Party Members aren’t trained and certified in WPTW? How do we add them to the Permit?

There are a couple of answers to that question. The first is that the Association is developing ‘Introduction to WPTW’ training for Work Party Members. This will be a short overview training that gives new starts a handle on the Wellsite system and logs them as a Work Party User in the User database.

The second part to the answer is that people not in the User database can still be added as Work Party. They will need to provide some basic name and identification information to authenticate who they are. They will only be logged on that site and will have to do the same process for every site they go to.

By completing the ‘Introduction to WPTW’ training they will be logged for every site using the WPTW digital solution across the entire industry.

Will the WPTW digital solution reduce paperwork?

The current paper-based WPTW Permit Form contains a lot of information that is not always used. That’s a legacy of the ‘one size fits all’ approach required for paper-based forms.

The hard-copy print out from the App will only include the information that’s needed for the documented scope of work, so all of the information on the Permit will be relevant to the job.

Some other examples include:

  • If a Work Hazard Category doesn’t apply to the work, non-required Work Precautions aren’t printed on the Permit
  • If there are no associated Isolations or Ongoing Controls, those sections won’t be on the Permit
  • More than four Work Party can be listed on the Permit, rather than a separate Work Party Acceptance Form
  • Requirements for Work in Confined Spaces will be included on the Permit itself, not a separate CSE Certificate
  • etc.

So even if the Permits are printed out after Issue, the digital solution should reduce the volume of paper associated with each Permit … and some sites may choose to go fully electronic.

It’s also possible that both the OCR and the WPA will no longer need to have hard-copies of each Permit because all permit information will be available to them electronically on site. There’s an added benefit that WPTWA Member Companies will have direct access to all Permit data through their Member Portal on the WPTWA Central Server. Depending on company policy, the transport and archiving of completed permits may become a thing of the past through electronic archiving.

So, yes, we believe that the WPTW digital solution should see a dramatic reduction in ‘paperwork’.

When will the WPTW digital solution be rolled out to Member companies?

Currently, the intention is to have a Preliminary Implementation Trial in early June to work with a small number of Member organisations and fine tune the integrated solution.

Following an Association review of Trial outcomes, identified issues will be resolved to allow a more general rollout of Wellsite Digital to our Member companies in July.

Will all businesses currently using WPTW have access to the digital solution?

The Wellsite Permit to Work System is managed and administered by the WPTWA on behalf of Association Member companies. Current Member companies will be provided access to the WPTW digital solution to support the development, review, and issue of permits.

Employees of non-Member companies that are Certified Users of the System will be able to hold permits (i.e. certified WPH user) in the new System, but non-Member companies will not be able to issue permits using Wellsite Digital.

Can a permit that isn’t signed by pen be legally valid?

Yes, with electronic communications becoming an indispensable part of business electronic signatures have gained legal status.

In order for an electronic signature to be valid under the Electronic Transaction legislation in Australia, it must satisfy three elements:

  1. The User must use a method to identify themselves and indicate their intention.

    Wellsite Digital requires three separate forms of identification. A User has to identify themselves using their name, WPW (Certification) Number and a unique personal Pass Code. Logging into Wellsite Digital  using these three identifiers demonstrates the intention to perform authorised functions within the permit system.

  2. The method of identification must be as reliable as appropriate considering the purpose of the communication.

    The reliability of the identification (authentication) process is based on only the User knowing their personal Pass Code – exactly like using a PIN number for financial transactions.

  3. The User to whom the signature is given must consent to the use of electronic communication to fulfil the requirement for a signature and to the method of identification.

    Just as in element one the user receiving the signature demonstrates consent by going through the same process.

What if someone else logs in as me and approves something in the permit system?

The only way someone else could log in as you is if you provide them with your unique personal Pass Code. Just like a credit card PIN number, we strongly recommend that you do not share Pass Code information with anyone.

If you are concerned that someone might have obtained your Pass Code, you will be able to access your User profile and change it.

Note that logging in as someone else would be considered fraudulent activity and a serious non-compliance with the Wellsite System.

Wellsite App – Function Overview

DAS Training Video Content and Overview