Normalisation of Deviance

7 Feb 2024
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Vantage Drilling asked us to come up with a simple and engaging video to deliver the tricky topic of 'Normalisation of Deviance'.

The video was to be delivered across their entire global workforce of nearly 1,000 no pressure 😆

But we’ve done this countless times before. Vantage Drilling are one of our long term collaborators. We host and manage their Learning Management System and create a whole host of digital media for them.

And importantly, Vantage appreciate the benefit of good training. Their team is focused on providing industry leading safe operations, and they live by their vision of  “A Perfect Day, Every Day”.

No room for box-ticking training here.


Getting started

We had a great start, as Vantage knew exactly what they wanted, that always helps! They wanted a short and sharp 5 minute video to explain the ‘Normalisation of Deviance’ concept.

But what is it?

Normalisation of Deviance 

A term first coined by Dr Diane Vaughan. Normalisation of deviance is a phenomenon demonstrated by the gradual reduction of safety standards to a ‘new normal’ after a period of absence from negative outcomes.

Normalisation of deviance suggests that the absence of negative outcomes can reinforce the behaviours associated with cutting corners, bypassing safety checklists, and ignoring alarms.

Break it down

If we’re to break the term down to the basics, it’s about taking shortcuts and getting away with it. The more you get away with it, the more this new behaviour becomes learnt and engrained in our everyday processes. Creating ‘shortcuts’ that eventually become the new normal. Repeat this process enough times and the standards start to slip and incidents creep in. Not a good place to be.

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Our job was to deliver this content as simply and as concisely as possible. There was no need to dive into the weeds of the topic, we just needed to visually represent the key messages. As always, visual was key, text on screen wouldn’t hit the mark.

To do this, we worked up a clean animation style which allowed the visuals to remain clear and engaging, but occasionally interspersed with real photos, safety alerts and procedures. We also added people, which we animated in 2D and gave them some subtle expressions to allow our end users to connect with them a little.

The animation itself was limited to 4 colours, and all set on the instantly recognisable, and primary Vantage colour. We also switched things up with the audio, we added full sound effects across the animation and utilised several voice over artists to maintain engagement with the end user.

The animation also flowed from start to finish, it told a story. There were no sudden cuts or random transitions. We scripted everything in a way which allowed us to seamlessly step through the content which made life easier in the animation phase.

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It’s fair to say we hit the mark and Vantage liked the end product, we really can’t top this feedback…

“This looks great. I think you guys hit this one out of the park. Simple and to the point.”

Louie Jessome, Senior Safety Systems Coach. Vantage Drilling. 

Need help?

Want us to help you with your digital training and competence plans? Reach out here, we don’t bite 👊🏼

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