ECITB has joined forces with Aberdeen-based Texo Compliance to launch a training course for industrial drone operators.
The ECITB-approved Industrial Drone Operations Training Course was developed by Texo to ensure the next generation of drone operators attain and develop the skills and knowledge they need to operate safely in heavy industrial environments that have specific operational hazards and constraints.
The organisations said they want it will set the standard for industrial operations, not only in the oil and gas industry, but for a wide variety of sectors including petrochemicals, nuclear, renewables, rail, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals and food.
The development of the new course, the first of which is scheduled for September 30 to October 4, follows the launch last year of ECITB’s Industrial Drone Operations Training and Assessment Programme.
The course, which will be delivered by Texo Compliance, is available to anyone who has passed the CAA permission for commercial operations (PfCO) scheme and can meet the course pre-requisites.
It has four stages including off-the-job training at an ECITB-approved centre; this is consolidated through drone operations on a live industrial site with 30 logged flying hours required within three to 12 months of initial training.
The third stage comprises formal technical testing at an ECITB-approved centre using the ECITB technical testing platform, while the final stage is renewal of the ECITB technical test certificate at 36 months through formal re-assessment.
If the candidate can demonstrate sufficient experience, they can go straight to the formal technical assessment without the need for initial stage one off the job training.
ECITB chief executive, Chris Claydon, said: “This new course is a great example of how we have collaborated with industry to create a product where there is a clear and growing market need. We have listened to employers and, at their request, developed training that meets what is an increasingly important skills requirement for them and their clients.”
Adding: “Drones are increasingly common across engineering construction sites from monitoring and surveying to checking wear and tear on installations, such as offshore rigs and wind turbines. The ECITB has responded to this major shift in working practices by created this new training standard to ensure that drones are used safely and competently in what can be hazardous and challenging environments.”