Increasing Accessibility To Training

Following the successful introduction of blended learning to GWO portfolio as a contingent solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, GWO decided to promote the Basic Safety Training Standard (partial) BSTR-P to the permanent portfolio of training standards at the close of 2020. In a similar way, during 2021 it also become clear that Training Provider auditing was being impacted by the inability of auditor to travel to providers and so renew GWO certification. In response, remote auditing of training providers was also introduced in April 2021 as permanent part of the GWO processes in the Requirements for Certification Bodies, version 8. 

Basic Safety Training Standard (partial) BSTR-P 

During its first full year of availability, BSTR-P acted as a bridge to fill the gap for those course participants with an expiring BST certificate (FA, FAW, MH, SS, WAH) who could not travel to a training provider during the lockdowns.  In 2021 alone, 1,483 BSTR-P certificates have been issued globally. BSTR-P provides the possibility for all training providers to explore blended learning solutions to training and for course participants to delay for few weeks their visit to the training providers, independently to the pandemic situation in each country. 

Irrespective of the modest take up of the new standard, GWO still see the validity of the course from these four key benefits:

  • reduces the risk of skills fade
  • gives technicians six months more validity
  • reduces risk in the workforce
  • provides an opportunity to for training providers to develop virtual online classroom training

Remote auditing as permanent part of the GWO Requirements documents

Introduced in April 2020 as contingent measure to help the GWO community to overcome the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote auditing became a permanent part of the GWO governance processes since version 8 of the Requirements for Certification Bodies (published in April 2021).

In the current version of the Requirements for Certification Bodies (v.9), it is explained which audits have the possibilities to be done remotely. Further, it is specified how the remote auditor must be able to have a clear understanding and view of what the instructors are teaching. Specifically:

  • 7.8.6 For the remote witnessing of theoretical training, the auditor must witness the actions of instructors as well as of course participants. This requirement applies to both in-person training and digitally delivered training. 
  • 7.8.7 For the remote witnessing of practical training, at least two cameras must be used: one showing a general view to observe the actions of the trainer and engagement with the group, and the second one showing practical training at close distance to ensure that the lessons/elements are delivered correctly and in a safe manner.” (page 15, v.9 of the Requirements for Certification Bodies)
Table from page 15 of the Requirements for Certification Bodies (v.9).

To read more about remote GWO audits, please refer to the current version of the Requirements for Certification Bodies published on GWO’s website. 

VR sets for training demos at the Safety, Skills and Training Zone

In November 2021, GWO hosted the Safety, Skills and Training Zone at the Wind Europe Electric City conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Guests of the conference had a window into the possibilities of virtual reality and digital blended learning, provided by the partners of the zone, GWO training providers RelyOn Nutec and Clyde Training Solutions (Part of Northern Marine and the wider Stena Group). 

RelyOn Nutec, the world’s largest provider of GWO wind industry standard training demonstrated its latest digital solutions and approach to blended and adaptive learning, revealing how technology can be used to increase efficiency and lower costs, while improving safety standards and ability levels across the wind sector workforce. 

Torben Harring, CEO at RelyOn Nutec explains:

"In line with RelyOn Nutec’s focus shifting towards digital solutions we showcased our blended learning solutions and offered a first sneak-peak into the future of digital learning showing how adaptive learning adapts to the needs of each learner leading to higher proficiency and better retention of learning. A crane lift simulator was deployed to let exhibition participants experience first-hand how simulator-based training can decrease operational risks in offshore wind environments. Finally, our training, competence and compliance software showcased how we aim to improve the administration process of ensuring a well-trained and compliant workforce at all times."

Clyde Training Solutions welcomed participants into one of four specially constructed virtual reality booths within the Safety, Skills and Training Zone, to reveal its augmentations to GWO’s Working at Heights Standard training.  

John Abate, Global Head of Training at Northern Marine Group explained:

The Clyde Training Solutions complimentary, and optional enhancement to our GWO working at heights course gives both new starts and experienced workers in the industry the chance to experience working at height in an onshore turbine. Our simulated environment allows the delegate hands-on experience of the turbine architecture, moving up and down the turbine as well as all the safety practices required prior to working at height. Users will experience as close to real life as possible a truly immersive feeling of working at height, operating the safety equipment and checking and utilising PPE. Finally, users will also experience potential hazards they may encounter in a real life turbine, and will be required to take the necessary actions to limit and remove the hazard”.