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Cultivating A Culture Of Excellence In Petronas

Last update: 26/02/2009
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ENHANCING TECHNICAL COMPETENCIES... As a centre of excellence, PMTSB Chief Executive Officer Khairul Azman Yasin believes that its two campuses -- PERMATA in Bangi and INSTEP in Batu Rakit, Terengganu -- act as one of the key enablers for promulgating the Triple Plus elements comprising leadership skills, capability building, and mindset and behavioural change within different segments in the PETRONAS workforce. Pic: Mohd Azhar Ibrahim
By Mohd Azhar Ibrahim

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- In the quest to stay ahead in the highly competitive business environment of today, it is incumbent for corporations to embark on continuous human resource development.

Thus for the national petroleum company Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), shaping up its future corporate leaders and enhancing the technical competencies of the workforce are two indispensable elements in its corporate strategy.

Realising early that its human resource is the most valuable asset in achieving its goals in the highly challenging petroleum industry, PETRONAS started an in-house training department in 1979 being the precursor to the present training subsidiary, PETRONAS Management Training Sdn Bhd (PMTSB).

PMTSB has always had this objective of being a credible learning solution provider and partner in PETRONAS business management and technical competency development, PMTSB Chief Executive Officer Khairul Azman Yasin told Bernama in an exclusive interview recently.

"Over the past 16 years PMTSB has evolved significantly from merely being an internal training department within PETRONAS, to a subsidiary company entrusted as a strategic and key enabler to competency building and people development, and this will continue to be aligned with PETRONAS' long term business needs", Khairul added.


PMTSB was incorporated as a subsidiary of PETRONAS in 1992 with its core business in designing, developing and delivering a comprehensive range of internationally recognised oil and gas industry-related training programmes for the PETRONAS Group.

The subsidiary plays a key role in helping PETRONAS employees build skills and competencies through innovative learning programmes and hands-on technical training.

In a nutshell, at PMTSB, employees acquire knowledge and learn specific job-related skills for their personal growth and career advancement within the organisation.

"As a centre of excellence, PMTSB is one of the key enabler for promulgating the Triple Plus elements comprising leadership skills, capability building, and mindset and behavioural change within the PETRONAS workforce", Khairul noted.

PMTSB conducts training and development programmes through PETRONAS Management Training Centre (PERMATA) in Bangi and the Institut Teknologi Petroleum PETRONAS (INSTEP) in Batu Rakit, Terengganu, both catering for different segments within the PETRONAS workforce.

PERMATA provides management training and leadership development for those in the supervisory, middle management and senior management levels while INSTEP specialises in boosting the technical skills for the technical community, and engages in providing pre-employment skill-based training to fulfil the near and long term needs of the group for technicians and operators.


PERMATA offers more than 100 training programmes covering a broad range of management disciplines, functional skills, and leadership development modules.

PERMATA aspires to become a niche business management institution providing focused learning solutions and consultancy services to PETRONAS and its strategic business partners.

Its training programmes and modules are designed, developed, and evaluated in-house by a Programme Design & Development Technical Committee (PDDTC) to ensure they conform to the Group's requirements and internationally recognised standards.

"As they progress in their career, junior executives go through a few fundamental modules on self-development through what we internally called the PETRONAS Leadership Learning Series (PLLS), which provide the foundation on leadership skills.

"To better prepare them for roles at the middle management or supervisory level position, the employees will then attend the Building Management Excellence (BME) programme and Management Development Programme (MDP), designed and executed in collaboration with our partner, the University of Melbourne," said Khairul.

For those who progress to the next level roles within the organisation, PERMATA, working in collaborations with INSEAD, France, has designed the Senior Management Development Programme (SMDP), to strategically enhance their business acumen and management capability, he added.


INSTEP offers technical programmes tailored for the petroleum industry focusing on hands-on experience. The pre-employment programmes are supplemented by on-the-job training at the company's operating units or plants.

Its Petroleum Technology Programmes 1 & 2 (PTP 1 & 2), which is accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), trains school leavers and technical diploma holders in a myriad of technical disciplines such as mechanical, electrical, laboratory, process and instrumentation.

INSTEP also provides modular programmes catering for staff at the executive level as well as technical upgrading programmes for technicians and operators.

Concurrently, INSTEP is evolving into a centre of technical excellence, entrusted with the responsibility of developing a pool of highly skilled and technically competent work force to meet PETRONAS' long-term business requirements.

INSTEP serves as a key enabler in managing the technical skill-group programmes that are designed with significant involvement by the respective Skill Group to provide training and learning at the awareness, knowledge, and skill levels, to the staff in various functional areas according to their skill domain.

"Technical programmes are conducted by qualified line staff with extensive experience in the field, where the methods applied are in synchronicity with the resources at hand and the desired goals", Khairul said.


At PMTSB, PETRONAS employees are trained to be leaders who analyse and actualise.

According to Khairul, a successful organisation is one that has great flexibility, commitment to the individual, make superior use of teams, which have strong core competencies and a taste for diversity.

"When goals are developed and shared by all levels of employees, the whole workforce functions as a team and is fully committed to the success of the company. At each level, a personal commitment will result in enhanced performance for the corporation and greater satisfaction for the employee.

"PMTSB combines individual achievement with a practical understanding of the power of collaboration to exponentially improve staff performance and productivity", he explained.

Clearly, a group of skilled and highly motivated workers moving in the same direction at the same pace can produce better results than a similar group that is not aligned.

The workforce knows that the company that they work in equally owes its success to the collective effort and the commitment of all within the organisation.

That PETRONAS is listed on the top 20 most profitable corporations in the world, apart from being ranked in the upper quartile of the World's Top 500 Corporations, by Fortune Global 500 Magazine for the last three consecutive years; speaks for itself.