Andy Brown, Interim CEO at the ECITB, said:
“There is real demand across industry for operators who can not only pilot drones but who possess the specific and essential knowledge and skills to carry out drone operations effectively in industrial settings.
“Collaboration has been the key to getting this off the ground. Through the effective collaboration with employers, training providers and learners, we have developed this quality assured training to provide a consistent quality standard for all industrial drone operators. It will directly tackle the skills gap, support employers to train and upskill their workforce and meet that identified need across industry.”
Jonathan Carter and Steve Ross from Global Drone Training delivered the pilot programme at Neath Port Talbot College in September 2022. This was attended by delegates from Sellafield and Network Rail. Jonathan said:
“This is an excellent course that includes how to comply with site policies and procedures. It is assessed by a practical flight competence test, where operatives pilot a drone in a real environment and capture, store and share viable images, complying with data protection.
“I would definitely recommend it to other training providers. Training providers licensed to deliver the course will receive all course materials including lesson plans, Powerpoint presentations, online and practical assessment materials, workbooks and exercises that are tried, tested and are ready to go.”
Amanda Smith, Sellafield UAV Equipment Programme Lead, said:
“UAVs are used on a regular basis at Sellafield to inspect our assets such as roofs, building cladding, ventilation ductwork and pipe bridges. By using UAVs we have removed people from harm (people do not have to work at height on scaffold or mobile elevating work platforms as much), reduced down time on plants and cost avoided millions of pounds by not having to build scaffolds.
“This course is very relevant to the work we are doing at Sellafield using UAVs. Having an industry wide standard that I can look for on a CV will give me more confidence that those applying for a job have training that is relevant. It provides UAV pilots with industry experience which is vital when working on a highly regulated nuclear site.”
Liam Barrington, Project Manager with Network Rail, said he wanted to achieve a higher level of drone awareness and industry specific competency which he could share within his organisation to better prepare new and budding pilots for real life working situations.
“The most enjoyable aspect of the course has been learning about new planning and ECI procedures. I will recommend future drone pilots in Network Rail attend this course.”
More information on the course is available on the ECITB website: www.ecitb.org.uk/dronetrainingcourse or via email: Programmes@ecitb.org.uk
* Skies Without Limits (July 2022)