Technical Writing Skills for Engineers in the Oil & Gas Sector

Duration - 2 days


Technical writing is one of the most important skills for the professional engineer and is one of the most difficult. The structure, contents, topic sequence, clarity as well as the grammar has to be correct; if any one element is poor, the reader soon loses interest. The instructor first realised this when he commenced a career in consultancy and had to write many reports. Good technical writing is required for many types of documents, e.g. proposals, incident reports, procedures, Best Practice guides, work scope and packages, functional specifications, CMMS Job plans. We will discuss a number of document types.
This course is based on the instructor's experience of writing many audit reports, procedures, guidelines and training material during a long career and attempts to focus on technical writing in the oil industry. Unfortunately, to improve your writing skills we will have to cover English grammar and common errors. We will review the style and grammar errors as found in Microsoft Word and similar word processing packages.
The 2-day workshop will cover different reports and writing procedures. Procedure errors contribute to many incidents, e.g. multiple actions per step or poor formatting.

Key Benefits of Attending

Acquire improved writing skills and avoid common mistakes
Understand the process of preparing and writing a document
Recognise weakness in operating & maintenance procedures
Learn to make better presentations


Session 1: Importance of Good Writing
Delegates' issues
Aims of good writing
Activities requiring technical writing
Effects of poor writing
Quality Management System

Session 2: Grammar & Common Mistakes
Writing style and why the active voice is the most used
Common grammar errors
Features of good writing (clarity, concise, layout, reader/user, accuracy)

Session 3: Company Writing Guideline
Developing a company guideline on how to produce consistent documents
Style, font size, headers, format, numbering

Session 4: Technical Writing Process
8 Step process (plan, scope, research, content, writing, proofreading & quality checking, issue, review)

Session 5: Introduction to Procedures
Procedure style (simple, hierarchical, graphic based, flow chart type)
Making text stand out
Structure & layouts

Session 6: Standard Operation Procedures
SOP Definition
Good practices relating to writing procedures
Good procedures, aide memoire

Session 7: Standard Maintenance Procedures (SMPs)
Types of SMPs and styles
Trouble Shooting Guides
Poor examples

Session 8: How to Structure a Report
Different types of reports (investigation, audit report, work scope)
Audit report structure
Investigation or RCA report structure

Session 9: How to Propose Change
Structuring the proposal to the decision maker
Simple 4 P approach
Preparing proposals in financial language

Session 10: Evaluating Your Writing
Using Microsoft Office Spelling and Grammar Checks
Readability statistics

Session 11: Prepare & Conducting Presentations
Purpose of presentation
Planning the content
Preparing the slides (do's and don'ts)

Who Should Attend

Anyone who has to prepare reports, work scopes, PM routines, standard operating procedures