OPITO, the global safety and skills organisation for the energy industry, together with the OGUK Aviation Services Task Group, has launched new standards to ensure helicopter refuelling on offshore assets is consistently completed safely and effectively.
The Helicopter Refuelling Initial Training and Workplace Competence Assessment Standards, which have been developed in collaboration with a cross-sector working group, recognise an industry requirement to ensure consistent training and competence of helicopter refuelling teams across the whole UK Continental Shelf, and further afield.
Ewen Hay, Director of Product Development, OPITO, says, “The prominent need for consistent and high-quality training for helicopter refuelling personnel was what made this industry collaboration between OPITO and OGUK so vital.”
“OPITO is currently working with training partners who wish to gain approval for the delivery of these standards and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with OGUK to equip energy workers with the knowledge and skills required to create the safest working environment possible,” Hay continues.
While training for personnel carrying out helicopter refuelling operations has previously been available, a standardised approach to training and ongoing competence, implementable across the energy industry, had not been developed until now.
This new industry Standard provides an effective way to gain approved training provider status and ensure consistent competence of helideck crews on refuelling installations.
Graham Wildgoose, OGUK Aviation Advisor, says, “A consistent approach to training and competency in offshore helicopter refuelling is an essential element in the delivery of safe helicopter operations across the UKCS.”
The collaboration between OGUK and OPITO in compiling these standards will ensure training providers have the ability to deliver a consistently high level of training for the offshore industry, whilst maintaining workplace competency in an extremely challenging environment,” Wildgoose adds.
The initial training is delivered via an eight-hour training programme. Learners will gain the knowledge, understanding and skills required to operate and maintain helicopter fuelling systems – including refuelling regulations and documentation, fuelling system design and maintenance.
The Standards will offer a consistent approach to ensuring demonstrable competency required of those conducting helicopter refuelling operations.
The workplace competence assessment Standard is designed to work with a candidate’s work routine, allowing for assessment of knowledge and practical requirements of refuelling operations, and will be accessible to those with existing helicopter refuelling training and experience.