The Oil and Gas industry, especially in the UK is one of the most highly regulated Industries in the world. This high risk industry is full of safety regulations and precautions as the safety of the vessel and the crew is of paramount importance. The alternative energy industry is just as tightly regulated and has very similar regulations. There are a number of different training courses and qualifications which offshore workers are required to pass before they are allowed to work in the Oil and Gas or renewable sectors.
OPITO is a governing body for a range of different courses and qualifications for all offshore workers and is recognised all over the world. Any company looking to hire offshore personnel including recruitment agencies will normally always look for certification to be OPITO approved as these certificates will meet all the guidelines set by the Industry.
There are different regulations you must abide by depending of what parts of the world you are working in. For example, you require different medical and survival qualifications for working in the UK than you do working in the Norwegian or Dutch sectors.
A survival is often referred to as a BOSIET, which stands for Basic Safety Induction and Emergency Training and it is your basic offshore survival training course which is required for working in the Offshore Industry. It is normally taken over a three day period. If you wish to work in Norway, a Norwegian equivalent (OLF) is required.
A BOSIET course covers a range of different training topics which all relate to your safety offshore. The topics covered normally include:
Personal survival training;
Helicopter escape training;
Post escape first aid;
Emergency Breathing Systems (EBS);
Permit to work system;
The use of Totally Enclosed Motor Propelled Survival Craft or lifeboats and life rafts
A medical is also mandatory when working in the offshore industry. For the North Sea there are three kinds of offshore medical certificates depending on which sector you are working in; UK medical, Norwegian medical and a Dutch Medical. They each cover their own sectors in the North Sea and you must have the Corresponding medical to which country you are working in. If you are working out with the North Sea in other parts of the world, for example, Angola, a UK medical OGUK (formerly known as UKOOA) can often be used. You can get an offshore medical at various specialist centres all over the UK but it can often be done at your local GP so is worth checking with them first.
Many candidates choose to pay for themselves to be put through the offshore medical and survival courses, they are self sponsored. They do this in the hope that if they gain all the required certification they will be able to secure an offshore position with a company. However, securing work is not always guaranteed and on occasion can prove quite difficult. If you do decide to self sponsor, it is important and very beneficially if you have relevant onshore experience along with the correct qualifications.
Discipline specific qualifications.
The qualifications you will require is dependant on what career/discipline you would like to pursue offshore. Certain positions will require degrees or HND/HNCs whereas others may only require practical experience or a set skill. It is important to consider you career development and qualifications if you are thinking of a career offshore. You are most likely to secure a job if you have relevant experience along with the right qualifications and certification which will be recognized within the oil and gas industry. Please see here for more information about how to get started offshore.
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