Originality, Experience, and Commitment

CodeWest and our instructors originated API 510 courses in 1990. We have attended the API Task Group on Inspection Codes and specific inspection document committee meetings since then, and have contributed to the development of the programs as well. We are also politically active in supporting acceptance of API programs in the legal jurisdictions that regulate, or are considering regulation, of the equipment covered by industry standards. We are committed to acceptance of the API codes and standards and we have and will continue to invest our money, time, and corporate resources in supporting API Inspectors in their efforts to build a career. We put our resources to work to ensure the value of your certifications.

An Outline of CodeWest Training Methods

  It is well known that API inspector certification typically leads to qualified individuals securing long term employment earning some of the best pay in the oil and gas industry.  What is not so well understood is that the API examinations -- API 510/570/653/1169 are extremely difficult to pass. If one looks at statistics for any given examination at a computer based exam center, the typical pass rate for first time exam takers is in the 30 – 40 percent range!  Exams are given covering hundreds of pages of text that most people would say must be memorized.  This is false…there is absolutely no way that volume of material can be memorized (although some memorization does occur).  

 If one is looking for exam prep training to be a short, intense period rather than a long-drawn-out process, the proven training methods that have long been employed by CodeWest results in more than doubling pass rates (80+ %) by first time exam takers. We have trained more than 10,000 inspectors over a period of 20 plus years.  CodeWest training techniques are admittedly somewhat unorthodox.  Our methods are similar to those used in immersion language training which involves putting oneself in situations where one is forced to begin to speak and understand a language simply to function in normal situations.

CodeWest utilizes the actual API designated codes and standards (edited and hi-lighted) as a first exposure to specific documents by the instructor scrolling the marked-up text (PDF files) on a large screen, using standard computer and LED projector, while providing cogent commentary.  The student is exposed to information in a repetitive fashion in order to trigger recognition of correct answers on multiple choice exams (we call this a repetition-recognition technique).  The second exposure is achieved by providing the student with a manual containing condensed code text to read.  A third exposure is accomplished by providing a series of sample questions as homework (virtually identical to those on the API exam) and a fourth exposure by providing an answer key to those questions.  Further exposure may be achieved by using those same (or similar) questions on one of two final practice exams.

Immersion (in this case in the codes and standards used) is typically a sink-or-swim method of learning, and it turns out that because people are wired for learning using written text, they almost inevitably swim rather than sink when repetitively exposed to applicable information.    

Use of immersion techniques doesn’t just work much faster than traditional classroom training -- there’s evidence that it works better, too. In its purest form, immersion learning involves basically spending every training day focusing intensely on new information for short periods of time.  Also since the open book portion of API examinations requires extensive navigation of the actual codes and standards (PDF files) use of traditional techniques such as PPT slides are simply not productive.

After experimenting early on we have found that our 8 day course (including a final practice exam) works best for individuals that have at least some experience.  For those with lesser experience we employ a 10 day course.   

Marvin Coats SME
Codes & Standards Consultant 


Ask us about our in house – private courses!