Imperial Oil

Solving Control Problems at Imperial Oil

A major international oil and gas company conducted an audit which revealed an urgent need to improve business controls and risk management throughout its extensive operations in Canada.

By its own high standards the parent company judged the business controls audit results unsatisfactory - also the audit uncovered occasional, but unacceptable, violations of its conflict-of-interest policies.

The Solution

Our senior management team was contracted to plan, design and implement a company-wide business controls improvement program for the Canadian operation.

Impacting all parts of the Company

The scope of the project was company-wide.

First, a course in Business Control Fundamentals was designed and implemented for all employees. Then special courses for managerial, professional and technical staff were created covering six core topics:

Computer-Based Training - CBT

Given the nature of the subject matter, the need for a standardized business controls approach, and the wide geographic dispersion of staff, a computer-based training (CBT) method was selected as the best delivery system for all courses.

In addition, senior and middle management together with professional and technical staff were provided with classroom instruction in business control fundamentals.

Interactive and User-Friendly

Each CBT course is interactive and comprised of studio-recorded voice-over, text with dramatic dialogue and other sound, free-hand illustrations and computer graphics plus cartoon animation. Each module lasted from one and half-hours to four hours and included tests to measure knowledge and understanding.

The Result

Significant Improvement Reported at all Levels

Business Control Training and Risk Management are now an on-going formal process throughout this major oil company.

All 8,000 employees have successfully completed either the classroom or CBT fundamentals course. Senior management are enthusiastically reporting significant improvements in staff knowledge, understanding and attitude towards business controls and risk management.

Importantly, staff feedback is very positive - they enjoy the content and presentation of the material and find it extremely helpful.

Test results support the fact that substantial progress has been made and that potentially very serious problems have been averted.

Most important of all, the corporation's internal audit group is tracking improvements in controls performance in every single operating unit.

The ultimate goal is nothing less than cost-effective business controls excellence and the sustainment of the highest standards.