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Category: Main -> ROV Training

Question
•  Should I do an ROV Training Course? (Version 2)
•  Should I do an ROV Training Course? (Version 1)
•  HNC Electrical Engineering - Distance Learning [UK/EU]?

Answer
•  Should I do an ROV Training Course? (Version 2)

Should I do an ROV Training Course? (Version 2)


A lot of people wanting to get into the ROV industry consider doing one of the many ROV training courses offered throughout the world. Places such as Fort William in Scotland or Subic Bay in the Philipines are the more well known but there are many others.

Many years ago, Wray Castle in England were one of the first places to offer such courses. Back then, the courses were so badly thought of that it became a running joke amongst ROV companies. In fact, if you DID the course you actually LESSENED you chances of getting a job as you were thought to have been so stupid to have wasted money doing the course!

Luckily, it is not that bad nowadays. These courses can offer an advantage - in CERTAIN cirumstances.

Before considering shelling out many thousands of £ or $, you may wish to consider doing an Offshore Medical, especially if you have any existing medical conditions. There is no point in doing a course if at the end of it you will not pass a medical and be able to work offshore!

The short answer to the question "should I do the course" is - if you do not have a relevant technical qualifications, background or experience, NO.

Reason being, ROV companies want already qualified/experienced technicians or engineers so they can teach them about ROVs; they do not want to teach people to become technicians/engineers.

The schools provide an INTRODUCTION to ROVs and the ROV Industry. You cannot become an engineer doing a 3 week course with them. Some schools when you leave will sign off lots of competencies in your log book, or even say "you are now a Pilot Tech 2". You aren't - believe me! And you will find out when you first go offshore. I'll say it again in case you missed it - the training is an INTRODUCTION.

So, if you already come from an engineering background - that is, not only qualifications (HNC, SVQ or equivalent vocational qualifications) but have also already worked in an engineering job (electrics, electronics, hydraulics etc.) then - and only then - doing the training course may be an advantage when you apply for an ROV job.

If you have no relevant technical qualifications or experience, you really will be wasting your time/money taking these courses. If an employer is offered the choice between a non technical person who has attended the course and someone who has worked as an engineer for 3 years but hasn't done the course, they will take the engineer every time.

If you are considering attending a specific training school, the best thing you can do is to ask on the forum and speak to people who have previously attended the course and see what they thought about it. The biggest problem with the training is that until you actually go offshore and find out what its like, you won't know how good (or bad) the training they gave you was.

Many people say that these schools will just take on anyone, that they are only after your money etc. While I wouldn't necessarily say this is true, there have been many cases where people have been offered the courses, despite the individuals not having sufficient technical background. Most schools say that they have minimum entry standards and they will tell people if they feel that they do not have the sufficient skills. However, the amount of unskilled individuals who keep appearing offshore - after having done these courses - is getting more and more commonplace amongst ROV crews!

Remember, if a company has the choice between taking on someone without a relevant technical education/experience and NO Training course, or someone with NO technical education/experience but has done a Training course, 99% of the time, the TECHNICAL person will be taken on.

You will always hear stories of a mates mate who was a taxi driver, did a training course and still got a job in ROVs. Some people get in because they are in the right place at the right time or "know someone" who gets them the job. This is the exception rather than the norm. Really, ROVs are machines, you DO need technical skills!

Something else to mention is IMCA. IMCA is a Trade Association set up by offshore companies. They have written common guidelines, amongst which is one on the competency and skills of the various grades within ROVs (Pilot Tech, Senior Pilot, Supervisor etc.). Unfortunately, many people consider these specifications to be woefully inadequate for todays modern ROVs.

Some training schools say that at the end of the course you will be IMCA certified, or issue certificates with IMCAs logo on it. IMCA do NOT certify anyone, do NOT endorse any training schools and have a constant battle stopping such schools saying these things.

IMCA produce Guidelines; schools can teach you BASED on these guidelines, but that does not mean you are "certified" or anything similar.

Take the example of in the UK - we have the Highway Code, this is a guideline on how you should drive on the road. If a school was to teach you all about the Highway Code, could they then issue you with a Driving License? Course not.

So, don't fall for the "do this course and you will be certified" sales pitch, there is no such thing.

 

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•  Should I do an ROV Training Course? (Version 1)

Should I do an ROV Training Course? (Version 1)

The subject of whether it is value for money to do one of the ROV training courses offered by several training companies throught the world has been well debated on here.

A good few years ago, they were so badly thought of the advice was to do the course if you must, but then don't tell anyone you had done it!

Nowadays, there are several companies offering the courses. They try various tricks to make people think they are worthwhile.

  • all of our last course are now fully employed offshore - ask them to prove it! It is seldom true.
  • our course is IMCA certified - IMCA do NOT certify anyone or any course, they produce Guidelines which the training companies course MAY follow, but that is not the same as being certified.
  • when you complete the course you will be a Pilot Tech 2 - do you think 4-6 weeks of course make you competent? Competency is a balance of training and experience. They can give you the training but there is no shortcut to time on the job.

Nowadays, you can go to an intensive driving school and learn to drive and pass your test in 2-3 weeks. OK, you would have a license, but does that mean you are fully competent to drive a car?? Cousre not.

So, should you do the course? First question is, who is paying for it? If you are one of the many Armed Forces people who get courses paid for them to assist integration back into the Real World, then go for it. If you are a private individual who is wondering whether spending a few thousand ££s of your money on the course is worth it? The answer is maybe!

Firstly, doing the course will give you an idea of what it is like to work with ROVs, you may find you dont enjoy it or its too difficult. Second, having done the course does NOT guarantee you any job or even necessarily mean you will have an advantage over someone who hasn't done it.

The reason being, most companies run their own ROV training course for all of their new starts anyway. You also need to have the appropriate skills background to go with the course.

Say, you had 2 people - one has a Degree in Business Studies and has done the ROV training course. The over has an HNC in Hydraulics and NVQs in Electrics, he has not done the course. Will the guy who has done the course get the job? Not likely. He doesn't have the appropriate academic background as a base - he can always learn on the job or in the companies course about ROVs.

So, the advice is not to necessarily dismiss the course. But look at what other courses you can do with are 1) cheaper!, and 2) give you a more solid academic background. Many colleges and inline companies do electrical, electronic and hydraulic courses; NVQs, HNCs etc. If you do not have any of these, you would be better off concentrating on trying to attain some of these first.

If you already have these, and you can afford to pay for the course, then firstly ask on the Forum here to see if anyone else has done that course recently and what they thought of it. Speak to the training company, see if they try and spin you any of the tricks above. After that, if you decide to do the course, get as much out of it as possible, ask as many questions as you can, get as much flying of any vehicle they supply as you can.

And once you have done the course - come back here and tell everyone else what it was like!

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•  HNC Electrical Engineering - Distance Learning [UK/EU]?

HNC Electrical Engineering - Distance Learning [UK/EU]?

I'm based in the UK/EU and looking at furthering my Education to improve my abilities as a Pilot Tech and wish to take an HNC (remote learning - studying on-line) course. Where do I get more information on this?

 

Look at: http://www.colu.co.uk/

Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Engineering
HNCs are Higher National Certificates in particular disciplines, in this case, validated by Edexcel and the University of Teesside.

COLU offers 4 HNC courses by distance learning:

Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Instrumentation & Control Engineering
Chemical Engineering

To download a full description, click here (216k .pdf)

General enquiries:
Tel: +44 (0)1642 342740Fax: +44 (0)1642 342743
enquiries@colu.co.uk

Address:
COLU
School of Science & Technology
University of Teesside
Orion Building
Middlesbrough
Tees Valley
TS1 3BA

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