What is the difference between Maintenance-style checklists and Operational checklists?

Primarily, the difference between checklist types is in the level of detail contained in each steps and the number of steps included in each checklist.

Operational checklists should only include critical steps and should limit the number of steps to the greatest extent possible. Maintenance Checklists, on the other hand, will provide a more step-by-step approach with a great amount of detail and methodical approach to the task. There are environments that call for each style of checklist.

For example, using an oilfield example, if you are assembling and testing a BOP (Blow Out Preventer), the checklist would have many steps and provide a very detailed step-by-step process. However, if you are using the BOP as part of a procedure to shut in a well, only critical steps would be included in the “Well Shut In” checklist.

Don’t checklists slow me down?

Actually, independent academic and operational studies have proven that disciplined checklist use reduces the time to complete both routine and critical tasks.

This is because most operational checklists are not designed as a “how-to” instruction–rather they are designed to prevent inadvertent omission of critical steps.

Additionally, disciplined checklist use has been associated with:

  • Significant improvement in key outcomes (55% improvement [1])
  • Reduction in errors when performing crisis response (75% improvement [2])Reduction in errors when performing crisis response (75% improvement [2])

State-of-the-art RIGOR digital checklists offer additional benefits over legacy paper checklists:

  • Reduction in checklists usage errors when compared to paper checklists (46% further reduction in errors compared to paper checklists[3])
  • Reduction in checklists usage errors when compared to paper checklists (46% further reduction in errors compared to paper checklists[3])
  • Further shortens time to perform routine and critical tasks (critical tasks were completed more than twice as fast in an emergency medicine study using Check-6 developed checklists and RIGOR [4])
  • Automatic place keeping
  • Allows partially completed checklist to be assigned to next shift or specific experts
  • Reduction in time spent looking for the correct checklist
  • Routine and emergency checklists are completed using the same software and methodology (i.e. solves the “frequency of use dichotomy” as cited by NASA)
  • Rapid revision and improvement
  • Eliminates use of outdated checklists through synchronization with cloud server
  • Readable in any lighting condition
  • Allows teams to complete complex tasks through the use of decision points–predetermined contingency actions are presented only when predefined conditions apply
  • Allows accurate data capture every time the job is performed
  • Provides links to reference videos, graphics, documents, and external websites
  • Provides means to document work completion using a photo
  • Paper checklists (.pdf) output, if required for use at heights, in confined spaces, etc.

Cited studies:

[1] Wolff A., Taylor, S., & McCabe, J., “Using Checklists and Reminders in Clinical Pathways to Improve Hospital Inpatient Care”, Medical Journal of Australia, 181, 428-431, 2004

[2] Arriaga AF, Bader AM, Wong JM, et al., “Simulation-Based Trial of Surgical-Crisis Checklists”, New England Journal of Medicine, 2013, Vol 368, 246–253—Arriaga et al demonstrate an almost 75% reduction in error rate during simulated surgical crises when comparing management with checklists (6% error rate) vs without (23% error rate). 97% of clinicians involved in this trial expressed a preference for checklist use over reliance on memory and expertise alone.

[3] D. J. Boorman, “Today’s Electronic Checklists Reduce Likelihood of Crew Errors and Help Prevent Mishaps”, ICAO Journal 56, 2001

[4] Himelic C. et al, “Intubation Checklist Performance in a Simulation Model”, American College of Emergency Physicians Research Forum, Chicago IL, 27-30, October 2014—results indicated that the checklist-facilitated airway simulation was associated with significantly shorter time intervals to complete each critical action (mean of 12 vs. 27 seconds, p = .004). Post-simulation survey for the 20 pairs of residents executing the simulation revealed that 100% of participants indicated checklist use would reduce chances of medical errors during Emergency Department Endotracheal Intubation (EI). EI is a life or death situation. This study was performed using the Check-6 Checklist RIGOR Digital Checklist and Compliance System.

Can I capture data when I complete a step on a checklist?


There are several types of data capture fields that can be associated with individual checklist steps on the Checklist RIGOR™ App or Cloud.

Icons presented next to each step indicate the type of data required for step completion (Checklist RIGOR™ App icons are shown below):


“Capture Data” allows text input (e.g. part serial numbers, equipment readings, etc.) to be saved. “Pass/Fail” and “Yes/No” offer choices based on criteria presented (i.e. a test to be performed or question to be answered). “File Required” allows a photo or photos to be captured using the iPad built in camera (or existing photo or video files from the iPad Photo Gallery) and uploaded using the Checklist RIGOR™ App. When completing a step with “File Required” using the Checklist RIGOR™ Cloud, any file type can be allows uploaded.

The “Upload File Icon” (i.e. the camera icon at the top of checklists on the Checklist RIGOR™ App or Cloud, not shown) works exactly like the “File Required” function but allows optional files to be uploaded to any checklist, even if there are no checklist steps that specifically require a file to be uploaded.

Once a step with a data requirement is selected to be marked as complete, data fields (or a file upload menu) will be presented that must be completed to complete the step. Multiple sets of data can be saved for each step by using the “Save Only” function. This is useful if uploading multiple pictures or if a test fails to meet the established pass criteria. Using “Save Only” stores the data but does not complete the step (“Back” can be used to return to the checklist. Once data is saved that meets step completion criteria, “Save and Complete” can be selected to save the data and mark the step complete on the checklist. See the Checklist RIGOR™ App data entry fields for Capture Data, Pass/Fail, and Yes/No below:


Data Entry Fields (combined Capture Data, Pass/Fail, and Yes/No fields shown)

All checklist data is synchronized and stored and archived on the central for each completed checklist. Data stored locally during checklist completion can be viewed by selecting the Data icon (see below) next to the completed step. If a partially complete checklist is synchronized, this data is also available for viewing on the Checklist RIGOR™ Cloud.


Data Icon (Checklist RIGOR™ App icon shown – used to review data from completed steps prior to checklist completion)

Data associated with completed checklists can be viewed using the reports and Export Data function available on the History page on the Checklist RIGOR™ Cloud. Stored or exported historical checklist completion data is critical to assessing a culture of procedural compliance, assessing performance efficiency, and conducting trend analysis. It also ensures that crews are focusing on critical data and tasks and not simply completing a checklist.Data associated with completed checklists can be viewed using the reports and Export Data function available on the History page on the Checklist RIGOR™ Cloud. Stored or exported historical checklist completion data is critical to assessing a culture of procedural compliance, assessing performance efficiency, and conducting trend analysis. It also ensures that crews are focusing on critical data and tasks and not simply completing a checklist.

Can you assign checklists to individuals?

Yes, you can assign checklists or even individual steps within a checklist to users within your company using the Checklist RIGOR™ App or Cloud.

Step assignment icons appear to the right of each step. Checklist assignment icons appear on the Dashboard or Checklist pages on the

Checklist RIGOR™ Cloud or at the upper right of the checklist on the Checklist RIGOR™ App.

The system will track who completed each step and the date/time that they were completed. Assigned checklists and steps show up under a users “Pending Checklists” section on the Checklist RIGOR™ App or Cloud (as long as the checklist is not paused after assignment) after synchronization is performed or immediately (online or offline) on the same iPad tablet.

Operational Example: A user completes half of a checklist prior to the end of his or her shift. They pause the checklist on the tablet they are using and indicate the reason for pause as “Shift Change”. After completing a handover with the oncoming crew, they have two options available:

(Online) Resume the checklist (from the Paused Checklist queue) and assign it to a new crew member / Sync / Logout / Have the new crew member login on a different tablet / Sync / Resume the checklist (from Pending Checklists – Assigned To Me)



Assign Icon ( Checklist RIGOR™ App – Left / Cloud – Right)

Do we need to contact Check-6 to make any changes to checklists?

At first, YES!

Check-6 has over 1000 collective years of experience developing and operating within a checklist culture and is the world’s leading authority on building a checklist culture.

Establishment of a checklist-supported culture of procedural discipline and verifiable compliance is a fragile undertaking. Poorly written checklists, too many checklists, and/or too many steps and extraneous information in a checklist can impede cultural change and will reduce the rate of crew checklist use as part of daily operations. In addition setting the expectation for procedural reference and checklist use, concise, quality, operationally-focused checklists are critical to realizing organizational safety, efficiency, and reliability goals. It took commercial aviation decades to build a organization-wide culture of procedural discipline underpinned by disciplined checklist use. Check-6 can dramatically decrease the time to build this culture for your organization by ensuring high-quality checklists are maintained and continuously improved based on crew experience and operator expertise.

Most Checklist Ops contracts are for a minimum of two years. After the initial contract, Check-6 will entertain an enterprise-level Checklist Ops technology agreement whereby clients manage their own respective checklist program. This will be highly dependent on the maturity of the organizational checklist program.

How do I request changes (i.e. improvements) be made to an existing checklist?

The Checklist RIGOR™ Builder app is proprietary PC-based software owned and administered by Check-6 Checklist Ops qualified coaches that is used to build and format checklists by working with client Subject Matter Experts (SME’s). Once built, digital checklists are synchronized to the Check-6 hosted Checklist RIGOR™ Cloud Server and tablets using the Checklist RIGOR™ App.

If you are a checklist user, there is a suggestion link (lightbulb icon – see below) that allows you to suggest changes to improve the checklist. Working with Check-6’s expert checklist writers and your company’s SME’s, and approving authorities, proposed changes will be analyzed and implemented on a case-by-case basis. Adhering to a strict approval process and standardized checklist writing protocols will ensure the highest quality checklists are maintained and executed across your organization.


Suggest Icon (Checklist RIGOR App – Left / Checklist RIGOR Cloud – Right)

Is the iPad tablet intrinsically safe?

No. However, a Class 1 / Division 2 rated tablet case can be used to increase operational safety.

Class 1 signifies the strictest Class, which showcases that the equipment is safe from flammable gas, vapors, and liquid, combustible dusts, ignitable fibers and flyings. The division represents the area use classification.

Class 1 / Division 2 (C1/D2) is a North American equipment rating. This designation is equivalent to European and IEC Classification Equipment Group 2 / Category 3. This designation allows equipment use in Explosive Atmosphere Zone 2 defined as “a place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapor or mist is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only”.

Specific operating zones are at the discretion of the client and should be evaluated during the Checklist Implementation Assessment.

Are iPads the only tablet available for executing checklists using the Checklist RIGOR™ App at the worksite?

Yes.  Currently, the only supported device (other than a PC using the Checklist RIGOR™ Cloud) are iPad variants (e.g. iPad Mini Tablet, iPad Air, etc.) with iOS 7 or later installed.

How do I complete a step on the Checklist RIGOR® App (i.e. the iPad)?

  1. Open the desired checklist from the menu (Favorites, All Checklists, Pending, or Paused Checklist
  2. Start or resume the checklist
  3. Simply swipe your finger (or tablet stylus) across the step you want to complete like you are crossing it off (tap on the completed check box to undo a step, if desired)

Can I complete a checklist on the website?


1. Login to the Checklist RIGOR™ Cloud with your username and password and select the checklist you want to execute by clicking on the title:


2. Click on “Click here to Start”:


3. Use the mouse to click, hold, and slide to complete each step:

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How can I tell what version I am using?

On the Checklist RIGOR™ App (i.e. the iPad application):

After you log in, open the menu and at the bottom of the menu, you will see the version number.


At the bottom of the page, you will see the version number.


What is Checklist Ops™?

Checklist Ops™ is a scalable consulting service that targets human error through development of a culture of procedural discipline using a combination of checklist development facilitation, training, and coaching services.

A culture of procedural discipline is designed to enhance job performance by producing safe, efficient, and reliable results regardless of experience level. Checklist Ops™ combines checklist coaching from leading experts on checklist execution and discipline, with a world-class digital checklist and compliance system that turns complex procedures into simple, straight-forward checklists that are easily completed using intuitive gestures on an iPad tablet. Checklist Ops™ is a critical contributor to the success of Crew Resource Management that will drastically improve performance, reduce human error, and drive sustained and successful process safety program.