This information was correct at the time of posting. Please check in the Forum for any recent changes.
Just about every operator worldwide insists that everyone travelling to one of their offshore assets (production platform, drill rig, FPSO etc) must complete an offshore survival course before being allowed to travel. This applies to employees and visitors alike, independent of the length of the visit, whether it be for a 2 week rotation or one afternoon's survey.
BOSIET - UK
Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training
Duration 3 days.
For UK waters this survival course is officially known as a BOSIET (Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training) course, though it is often referred to as an RGIT course in deference to the one time market leader in providing such courses. The BOSIET includes Safety, Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting, First Aid and Hypothermia, Helicopter Safety and Escape, and Survival at Sea.
BOSIET courses vary in length between providers - usually 2½ to 3 days, and with the advent of e-learning some providers allow the theory parts to be completed via the internet. The cost of a basic course is around £600, plus any accommodation costs. Courses are very popular and there can be a waiting list of a couple of weeks - though gone are the days of a single provider for the UK. The "Offshore Survival Certificate" as the BOSIET is also commonly known, is only valid for 4 years, and a refresher (usually lasting a day) must be done before your old certificate expires otherwise the whole 3 day course must be repeated. There are no exceptions to this rule.
There are "extras" that you can request, and pay for, when doing your survival, e.g. a little extra helicopter escape training bolted on to the BOSIET counts as "Additional Safety Training" for the Norwegian sector.
Different countries across the world have differing requirements, some more stringent than the UK requirements described above, whereas others are frighteningly inadequate. For example a BOSIET course is not sufficient for working in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF) course, is a 5 day affair and a lot more demanding than that required in the UK. Most offshore training companies in the UK run courses allowing you to work in other sectors. These are often run as additions to the BOSIET course.
Many countries do not have their own standard courses and reputable operators default to either the UK or Norwegian courses for workers on their offshore installations.
Not all offshore work is in cold waters (i.e. less than 15°C) therefore a tropical BOSIET (TBOSIET) has been developed where the specific dangers of tropical seas are addressed.
Many companies put employees through courses after they start work, but some people take a course before looking for work in the industry - hoping this will give them an advantage when looking for work. Having a valid "Offshore Survival Certificate" could mean the difference between getting a job and not - however it is worth remembering that doing this course does not guarantee a job offshore. Also, since different countries have different requirements think carefully about where you want to work before financing your own course.