Responding to abnormal process conditions in downstream operations

Business Sectors (Suites): Downstream Operations
Developed by: Cogent
Approved on: 29 Mar 2019


This standard is about your ability to respond appropriately to abnormal process conditions.

This standard deals with the following:

1 Diagnose problems affecting process conditions
2 Correct abnormal process conditions
3 Communicate information on actions taken

During this work you must take account of the relevant operational requirements and safe working practices AS THEY APPLY TO YOU.

This Standard is suitable for those working in the downstream fuel environment.

Previous Version:

Adapted from Unit 17 of Refinery Field Operations NOS – version April 2005

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

P1 obtain all possible relevant information from appropriate sources
P2 inform appropriate people of the problem
P3 analyse the problem in a systematic manner
P4 draw logical conclusions based on accurate interpretation of the available information
P5 make and record useful recommendations for action to solve the problem
P6 take prompt, appropriate and effective action after the investigation
P7 monitor the corrective action until normal process condition is re-established or an abnormal process condition cannot be recovered and becomes an emergency situation.
P8 respond appropriately to changing conditions
P9 maintain process integrity
P10 minimise waste and damage
P11 seek assistance from relevant people where appropriate
P12 work safely in accordance with operational requirements
P13 inform appropriate personnel of actions taken
P14 ensure that the communication is clear, accurate complete and prompt
P15 complete all relevant documentation

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

K1 the implications of statutory and organisational requirements
K2 how to interpret operational requirements
K3 the operating principles of the process and control systems
K4 how to work with and within the Permit to Work system
K5 the appropriate sources of information
K6 how to adopt a systematic approach to problem analysis
K7 how to interpret all available information and make useful recommendations to solve the problem
K8 how to find out the appropriate action to take and whom to inform about it
K9 the operating principles of trip systems and logic sequences
K10 the start-up and shut-down procedures
K11 the meaning of process integrity and how to maintain it
K12 how to minimise waste and damage and the importance of doing that
K13 the type of information to communicate to others
K14 the type of communication to use
K15 the appropriate documentation to complete


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

29 Mar 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Engineering, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies, Plant and Machine Operatives, Process, Plant and Machine Operatives

SOC Code



response, abnormal, process conditions, diagnose, problems, actions, information