Skills gap training and certification identified in the UK oil and gas industry

Skills gap training and certification identified in the UK oil and gas industry
Courtesy of TRAC Oil & Gas Ltd

Skills gap training and certification identified in the UK oil and gas industry
Courtesy of BIS Inspection UK Ltd

TWI Training & Examination Services has recently conducted a skill analysis of the roles and duties of the NDT/Rope Access Inspector employed within the UK Oil & Gas Sector. Its findings were discussed with NDT contracting companies and oil company representatives.

This study revealed that the average NDT/Rope Access Inspector spent a high proportion of their time conducting visual inspections of the plant rather than applying NDT methods such as ultrasonic thickness gauging or corrosion monitoring. However, the formal qualifications held were in the applied NDT methods and little or no formal training had been gained in visual inspection on the components normally inspected.

It was also found that the Inspectors had received little or no formal training regarding standard inspection processes or familiarisation with the various types of drawings or specific reporting processes to be used.

TWI has developed a course specifically to address these issues. The Visual Inspector - Offshore course is available as an introduction to the oil and gas sector with levels 1 and 2 being aimed at experienced inspectors.

The topics covered include:

  • Background knowledge of the structures to be inspected
  • Introduction to weld inspection
  • Introduction to corrosion processes
  • Review of reporting systems
  • Review of relevant legislation
  • Introduction to coating inspection

The assessments include weld inspection, visual and dimensional assessments of relevant samples together with coating inspection. Successful candidates will be issued with the appropriate CSWIP certification.

This course is a pivotal step for the NDT Inspector or Engineer looking to follow a career path leading to Offshore Inspection Engineer or Integrity Engineer and is integrated into the CSWIP Plant Inspector Scheme which has now a modular approach.

The Plant Inspector Level 1 is referred to as Module 1 Part A (Rules/regulations and duties of the plant inspector) and Part B (Inspection methods) and can be accessed from various routes: NDT route, welding inspection route, or direct entry.

The Plant Inspector Level 2 training course consists of four modules:

  • Risk-based Inspection (RBI)
  • Fitness-for-Service (FFS)
  • Damage mechanism for RBI and FFS
  • Repair of Pressure Equipment and Piping

Candidates will be assessed according to their background, experience and qualifications prior to the plant inspection training at both level 1 and 2.

On successful completion of the Level 2 training, candidates with sufficient engineering experience and qualifications, will be able to specialise by taking the advanced endorsement modules, listed below:

  • Pressure Vessel Inspector (API 510)
  • Piping Inspector (API 570)
  • Above-ground Storage Tank Inspector (API 653)

To find out more, please contact:

Visual Inspector - Offshore course: Bill Brown on +44 (0) 1224 691222 e-mail:

Plant Inspector Scheme - Keith Malone on +44 (0)1642 216320 or e-mail: