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Difference between IADC Well Control and an IWCF Certificate

LearnToDrill now offers both IADC and IWCF Well Control training, which begs the question–What is the difference between IWCF and IADC Well Control training?
At the core level, both IADC and IWCF certificates are the same. Both organizations exist to offer accredited Well Control training, and both organizations typically have the same standards. Here, we walk through a few of the differences.

Geographic Focus













The IWCF, or International Well Control Forum, is based out of Aberdeen, Scotland. The IWCF’s sole focus is well control and well control training. Generally, IWCF training and IWCF certificates are more focused on European, Asian, and Middle Eastern markets.

Consequently, the IADC, or International Association of Drilling Contractors, is based out of Houston, TX in the United States. While it has global reach, and is constantly working to expand this reach, the IADC is primarily focused on the United States. As a result, for many US-based land drilling contractors, IADC Well Control is used almost exclusively.

With that being said, both IADC certificates and IWCF certificates are used interchangeably in many parts of the world. In the United States, for example, many operators and contractors exclusively accept IWCF certificates. Similarly, IADC Well Control training is accepted in many parts of Europe and Asia.

Course Levels

Currently, the Well Control training world is experiencing some fundamental changes. A recent report released by the OGP (Oil and Gas Producers Association) recommended some fundamental changes to Well Control training. As a result, both the IADC and IWCF are fundamentally revamping their well control school processes.

IWCF has moved first; IADC regulations are still to come.

The IWCF has mandated 5 levels of Well Control training:
3-Driller Level
4-Supervisor Level
5- Engineer Level

IWCF will be offering Level 1 for free on their website. LearnToDrill offers IWCF Level 2, which is now required for any students before they are allowed to take Level 3 or Level 4 training. Level 5 is still being developed.

IADC is still, as of now, following the old training standard of just three levels:

Introductory Well Control

It is anticipated that the IADC will also move towards IWCF regulations in the coming months. LearnToDrill offers the IADC Introductory Well Control course.

Course Length

We will focus, here, on the IADC Introductory and IWCF Level 2 courses that are offered by LearnToDrill.

The IADC mandates the IADC Introductory course to be 8 hours long. The IWCF mandates their equivalent IWCF Level 2 course to be 20 hours long.

As a result, the IWCF course is a lot longer and more comprehensive than the IADC course! Our IWCF course includes entire sections on subsea drilling, crew drills, and risk management.

Testing Process

The biggest difference between IADC and IWCF Well Control training is the testing process.

The IADC allows individual test providers to create and deliver their own testing. In LearnToDrill’s online course, students can take our Final Exam of well control questions to demonstrate competency in well control fundamentals. With LearnToDrill, this entire well control testing process is completely online .

Consequently, the IWCF requires all students to come into a regulated classroom for a proctored, testing session with an IWCF proctor. The IWCF Exam and all IWCF questions are created by the IWCF and administered by an IWCF invigilator. With LearnToDrill, after finishing the online well control training, students must go to a physical classroom to take the IWCF exam.

What does this mean for ME?

If you’re choosing between IWCF and IADC, it’s not always an easy decision. The IADC course is cheaper, easier, and simpler- this might be a great place to start.

However, if you are planning on working in Europe, Australia, or the Middle East, the IWCF course might be required.

To be safe, you can always take both! LearnToDrill can give you some great discounts if this is what you choose. Happy well control training!

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