Necessity is the Mother of All Invention

TWI Training recently made the CSWIP Welding Inspection courses available online, so that you can train from home in your own time.

This latest addition to our online resources came about as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, as explained by David Bage, TWI’s Welding Diploma and Welding Inspection Training Section Manager:

“We had always considered putting the Welding Inspection online, but never had the time or resources to do so, but I think the title of this article tells the whole story.

A couple of weeks before lockdown in the UK, we knew we had to do something quickly so that we could continue to deliver our courses and our customers could continue on their career progression journey.

Originally, we thought we could offer videos of every lesson, but it quickly became apparent that this would be too time-consuming so we decided to provide voiceovers for the slides in the course, starting with the CSWIP Welding Inspector.

However, even this was a big task, as we soon realised that we would have to write a script for every slide, ranging from half a page to several pages - and there were 950 slides to script! The scripting is what a lecturer would present during the class, so therefore every slide was analysed as never before to help produce the ultimate explanation for each one.

The welding inspection team pulled together, I was scripting the Welding Inspector course whilst Rob Allsworth added the voiceovers, recording them in his bedroom with his mattress against the window to drown out the road noise which would have ruined the sound!

The rest of the welding inspection team, Darren Jefferies, Geri Van Krieken, Martin Farthing and Keith Forster had started the same process with the Senior Welding Inspector, not forgetting Rob, our now official training voiceover man.  Sadly, we were all saddened by the sudden death of our colleague and friend Martin Farthing during the development of these products.

We also worked very closely with Tony Jones, TWI’s Digital Learning Content Manager, who made sure that the content could be hosted on the TWI Virtual Academy platform. Tony, was instrumental throughout the process and we would not have been able to produce this without his input, help and guidance.

We also had the help of a former lecturer, Steve Jones, now self-employed, who reviewed all the material meticulously.

The online course introduced new material in the form of homework that had extensive and detailed feedback within the answers. We also introduced a mock exam, mirroring the real exam, so the students would get feedback as to their performance before sitting the real thing.

The product was launched on 27 April 2020, having been created in 6 weeks with a script totalling 80,000 words – which is almost three times the length of ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell. We had expected to be busy with queries once it launched, but there was almost silence. This silence gave us a good indication that the material and structure were working well.

The product was approved by CSWIP and we now have almost 200 students signed up in the UK and many more overseas. Plus, the biggest power generation company in India will be signing up 35 of their employees to the course.

We assigned an online tutor to all students, but the traffic has been light. Our conclusion, as already mentioned, is that the material is easy to follow and set out in a logical way.

The customer feedback has been extremely good and positive and, to reinforce this, our first two exams for online students returned a pass mark of 100%.

All of the team worked extremely hard in the production of these products, working through bank holidays and weekends to meet the deadlines we had set ourselves.

Thank you to all the TWI team involved and all the students for their kind comments and excellent feedback they have given, which has made it all, feel worthwhile.

We now have all three CSWIP welding inspection products online – Visual Welding Inspector, Welding Inspector and Senior Welding Inspector.

David Bage”