The training of commercial divers, with regards to underwater welding, has for many years and to a large extent even now, only played a small part of the overall diver training process. This has led on occasions to a questionable mixture of training standards and abilities taught and sometimes may have led to non or very little welding skills being acquired. Speciality Enterprises (formally Speciality Welds Ltd), experts to the welding industry, has received approved Test Centre status from the UK’s leading engineering awarding-body EAL for their WeldCraft-Pro® underwater welding course and this programme is now (2017) ABS Maritime Academy approved. This course is also recognised by the CPD working group of the worlds leading learned society IMarEST. Mr David Keats, owner and proprietor has been involved in the welding industry for over 33 years, of which, 25 have been connected with underwater and he is an official independently accredited welding surveyor for Zurich Insurance Risk Services. (UKAS/SAFed accredited inspection laboratories).
WHAT IS BEING OFFERED?
An ABS Maritime Academy approved ‘self-teach’ training package. A training programme that allows all audit approved diver training schools and other training organisations to deliver this accredited course themselves, in-house and in so doing issue, through EAL, an international welding qualification/certificate that follows the International Institute of Welding (IIW) and the European Welding Federation (EWF) document 570-01 for fillet welder – plate.
WHO ARE EAL?
EAL (EMTA) – Engineering & Marine Training Authority are part of the SEMTA Group – Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technology Awards and are licensed by the Secretary of State for Education and are the UK’s leading qualification authority, issuing over 80% of all engineering vocational qualifications and are a well recognised worldwide authority.
WHO ARE IMarEST?
The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology. Established in London in 1889, are the leading international membership body and learned society for marine professionals, with over 15,000 members worldwide. IMarEST has a strong international presence with an extensive marine network of 50 international branches, affiliations with major marine societies around the world, representation on the key marine technical committees and non-governmental status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF AN AWARDING BODY?
Consult with industry, employers and Government. Develop qualifications that recognise achievement and provide credibility to Industry. Support and encourage education through approved test centres, to ensure the highest standards of training are delivered to meet industry demands.
WHO RUNS THE COURSE?
This is the USP of this training programme; you run it, we audit it, EAL certify it. For most approved schools/training providers this will be business as usual, as they no doubt already include welder training, to one standard or another. But by adopting this programme, training providers can now provide a standardised platform for teaching underwater welding skills; one that permits a consistency for training and ensures the highest standards of welding ability are provided to ensure students meet recognised industry demands.
HOW DOES THE SELF-TEACH METHOD WORK?
Interested parties should complete the application form, available from the companies website to initially register their interest. A site visit/audit needs to be conducted, which includes a briefing of all teaching staff and management of the materials and controls involved, etc. (There is no obligation to progress to approved status following a site visit and this site visit is offered without charge – travel expenses only). Following a site visit, should a school wish to adopt the programme, a licence agreement needs to be signed, after which, all teaching syllabus, coursework materials and examination/question papers, etc may be issued. The school then registers all new students with Speciality Welds (online) which will then generate the necessary test record/issue numbers. The school then commences training and upon completion, the school provides the necessary evidence and due-diligence of the students ability/course work, etc; so appropriate, certification may be issued. Speciality Welds is a registered ISO 9001 quality approved organisation and is audited under EAL’s test centre rules to ensure the highest possible qualty standards exist.
The process may sound a complex one, but is very easy and straight-forward to implement and the teaching documents provide a detailed road map through the course. The programme is presently running with two approved schools, one in the UK and one in the USA and the course has been delivered in Sweden, twice, for two commercial operators. We presently have registered interest from dive schools and specialist training providers in Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Greece, South Africa, Australia and Malaysia.
WHAT QUALIFICATION IS ISSUED?
EAL issue certificates under the International Institute of Welding (IIW) and the European Welding Federation (EWF) against document 570-01 for fillet welder – plate, with certificates of approval issued under our Zurich (UKAS/SAFed) accreditation to either;
• AWS D3.6-99
• ISO 15618-1:2002
For more information on the WeldCraft-Pro® welding course please visit www.weldcraftpro.com or feel free to email us at email@example.com This paper was presented at the Underwater Intervention – New Orleans, in February 2010