If the shock of the pandemic in 2020 showed us how resilient the wind industry can be, 2021 only emphasised the strengths of the GWO community. The total numbers of individuals taking GWO training increasing by over 20% to more than 80,000 individuals, who during 2021 received in excess of over 316,000 training certificates, delivered by more than 440 training centres in more than 45 countries and territories. All those figures are all time high.
Progress against the ambitions of our three-year strategy ‘Safety without Borders’ continued apace during its second year. For example, we welcomed 82 newly certified GWO training providers from across the world with firsts in Colombia, Croatia, Egypt, Russia and Ukraine.
Led by the Audit and Compliance Committee, we also boosted the skills levels of our audit community through our Audit Qualification Training programme which became mandatory from April 2021, while the mid-year update of our WINDA platform cemented new accountabilities in training provider, auditor and certification body relationships. New standard templates for audit reports means we have yet another tool to monitor appropriate assurance of quality.
Sterling work by our Training Committee and standards development team in furthering strengthening our portfolio of standards unfortunately suffered from the effects of the pandemic with cancelled pilot tests delaying the full launch of our Control of Hazardous Energies and Lift User standards until April 2022. Five existing standards received full review and our new approach to standards writing, the GWO taxonomy, was also launched in April.
In response to the success of our standards and industry growth, in 2021 GWO boosted core competencies within the Secretariat where it made sense to build teams and replace outsourced and talent seconded from members which we have so relied on in earlier years. Among the new hires, our first North American representative was particularly notable. The regions will certainly play an important role in positioning the community to grow with greater confidence around the world.
Also new is an online reporting zone which focuses on three themes underlying our strategy: Governance for Training Quality; Workforce Training Standards. A traditional, summary Annual Report can be downloaded as pdf for easy sharing. GWO Now offers space for more stories and different voices from among the community. We look forward to building it up into the place to know more about the community, find resources and see how we are doing. It’s just first steps but we do hope you’ll join us in co-creating a community space as we move forward.
Copenhagen, March 2022
Another year of successes for GWO and our growing community. Despite the challenges we all faced in the continuing pandemic, safety training in the wind industry has continued to thrive with over 20% growth in training numbers. Our 2021 Annual Report tells just a small part of the global story created by the many people from our members to the individual technicians who together make real the promise of the green energy transition.