ECITB launch specialist qualification – Industrial Drone Operations Training Standard

ECITB launch Industrial Drone Operations Training Standard

ECITB launch Industrial Drone Operations Training Standard

The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) is a non-departmental public body (NDPB) accountable to the Department for Education (DfE). Established in 1991, the ECITB is the skills, standards and qualifications body with statutory responsibility for the development of the engineering construction workforce of Great Britain.

In late 2016, ECITB was approached by numerous industry employers to develop a standard for industrial drone operators. To achieve this, ECITB created a collaborative group of industry consultants – including Uplift Drones – to develop a new training scheme that builds upon the CAA Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) for specialist industrial operations.

Uplift Drones are pleased to confirm ECITB have recently launched the Industrial Drone Operations Training Standard, a new training course “designed by industry for industry” that qualifies UAV operators to safely and efficiently perform complex drone operations around the types of hazards and associated constraints found within industrial sites.

“Drones are becoming increasingly common across engineering construction sites from monitoring and surveying sites to checking wear and tear on installations, such as offshore platforms and wind turbines,” said Chris Claydon, chief executive of the ECITB. “They reduce the need for people to carry out hazardous inspections and make these essential processes quicker and cheaper.

Claydon further explains, “There’s no doubt we are on the cusp of a major shift in work practices with clear practical and financial benefits that means the use of drones will become the norm across the engineering construction industry. This is a trend the ECITB has identified, and why we’ve delivered this rigorous new technical training standard that is recognised and valued by employers.”

Suitable for valid CAA PfCO-holders, the Industrial Drone Operations Training Standard comprises of three stages;

Stage 1 – Training Standard: Delivered in an ECITB approved training centre with ground school and practical flying elements (for both rotary & fixed platforms), Stage 1 features a heavy focus on planning for operations in industrial process environment and covers all industrial process sectors.

Stage 2 – Work Based Consolidation: Cements the knowledge and skills acquired from Stage 1 through a period of work-based consolidation to build experience.

Stage 3 – Formal Technical Assessment: Completed in an ECITB approved training centre, the student must complete the pre-flight actions required for a hypothetical scenario-based complex industrial drone operation, prepare for and undertake a series of specified flight manoeuvres against set parameters, and demonstrate correct reactions to specified emergency scenarios. The technical test must then be renewed every three years.

There is also an accelerated route straight to Stage 3 for operators that can demonstrate existing industry experience and can satisfy the outcomes of the Stage 1 training syllabus outcomes.

Since playing a key part in the development of the ECITB drone training standard, we are extremely pleased to see the launch of this pioneering training course for industry and are currently in discussions with several clients about the training scheme. We look forward to observing the continual growth and progression of drone technology in the engineering construction industry.

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