Sponsor MTCS on a 40 mile walk for charity

05:30 SATURDAY 10 MAY 2014

Please sponsor our team in the 48th Keswick to Barrow.

The Keswick to Barrow (K2B) Walk is a 40 mile sponsored walking and running event in the English Lake
District. Teams of between 6 and 12 members test themselves on a challenging route, to raise money for
charities and good causes.

MTCS are donating to MacMillan Cancer Support.

MTCS Team Members:

Valerie Still
Michelle Livesey
Richard Warburton
Jamie Thompson
Adam Hanlon
Doug Greenhough

Please email k2b@mtcs.info to register your interest to sponsor us. (No minimum donation.)

Fast Growing eLearning is part of Major U.S Oil Companies

By Cherie Fox, www.fox-communications.co.uk

The practice in oil & gas eLearning in the U.S is growing rapidly, with many oil companies now using eLearning as part of their competence management programmes.

Several oil giants in the U.S. such as, Shell, Exxon and Chevron are keen on competence-based management, because it is an effective way for managers to ensure their workers are capable of making the workplace decisions they need to make. Although companies have focused on competences for some time, the practice is growing in eLearning, and more companies are making formal attempts to tie eLearning to competence management.

Because the oil and gas business is so competitive, senior executives realise that knowledge, and the application of knowledge, is key to business success. Oil and Gas executives therefore tend to see learning as a strategic priority. And because the major oil companies have a variety of proprietary processes and technologies that require bespoke learning solutions, it often commissions third-party vendors, such as British company, Maritime Training & Competence Solutions (MTCS Ltd), to develop bespoke content. Both Shell, Exxon and Chevron use competence management within learning and training, and this process plays a role in defining the need for eLearning content.

MTCS Ltd is currently working with Team Trident, a private staffing firm based in Houston, Texas, with a niche focus on skilled trades for the offshore energy industry, to ensure Team Trident customers have excellent competence certification opportunities available to them.

Looking at reactions in the U.S, Rod Long, Team Trident, Houston, explains:
“After Macondo, the U.S authorities have been emphasising the skills and experience expected from personnel in the Gulf of Mexico. This is being handed down by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) through its Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) requirements and is a very good thing for our industry. Team Trident is working with MTCS to clarify what skills and experience should be expected and how it should be demonstrated in our sector by using the MTCS, IMCA aligned, competence material. With competence certification, it will ensure Team Trident can connect great technical personnel with great employment opportunities on land and offshore. Finally, because many of the personnel Team Trident selects are prior military, they are very used to proving they are competent at their trade prior to advancement to the next level so they accept the MTCS competence scheme readily.”

Competence programmes run by Maritime Training & Competence Solutions (MTCS Ltd), Windermere, UK, currently manage the largest independent assessment and certification programme for people involved in Subsea Operations such as ROV, Diving and Hydrographic Survey.

Providing a full IMCA-aligned Competence Scheme Management service, MTCS Ltd ensure personnel are demonstrating competence in the offshore workplace. In addition, MTCS Ltd provide a spectrum of operational, technical and supervisory training, with the majority of their courses focussing on subsea technology, remotely operated vehicles, as used in the oil and gas industry and in Renewables

Richard Warburton, Managing Director for MTCS Ltd, says:
“The oil and gas industry is a global, highly competitive, and knowledge-intensive business with a high demand for eLearning and the use of competence management in eLearning continues to be popular. The global nature of the oil and gas industry also creates demand for network-based tools, such as eLearning, that can deal with highly distributed workforces. MTCS is delighted to be working with Team Trident, where we can offer their customers who are looking for work, the added benefit of fully accredited Competence Management frameworks that allow their customers to continue their professional development and gain certification. No matter where in the U.S, or indeed the rest of the world they are, candidates can use distance learning methods (eLearning) most appropriate to their needs, whether it is through the internet or the office intranet.”

Competence programmes for the offshore oil & gas, wind and marine energy sector are well underway both in the U.S and in the UK, with further plans for MTCS Ltd to rollout training and competence services worldwide. Currently delivering ROV induction training in Nigeria and in Singapore, with new ROV Induction Courses shortly to commence in the U.S, MTCS Ltd aim to show the industry how a fully accredited, dedicated Subsea Competence Management Program should work.

Royal Signal, Steve Gray, Encourages Military Personnel to Re-train

By Cherie Fox, www.fox-communications.co.uk

Royal Signals, Steve Gray, is living proof that great things do happen, even when the future for military personnel may appear bleak, with yet another round of redundancies announced for 2014.

During Steve’s resettlement process he underwent valuable training in October 2013 to pilot a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) at MTCS Ltd, Windermere. Only one month after his training, Steve landed a job at Roge Systems Ltd, a small ROV company based in Barnsley, where he started his new career piloting an ROV working on the Humber Gateway Wind farm project. Due to his military background he was asked to join the ROGE management team, where he’s now co-ordinating ROV projects.

MTCS Ltd, Windermere is a fully accredited assessment and training centre providing a spectrum of operational, technical and supervisory training to the offshore industry. The majority of their courses focus on ROV’s as used in the oil & gas, nuclear and renewables industry.

steve gray

Michelle Livesey, Training Coordinator for MTCS Ltd said: “With so many military  redundancies it is heartening to see, not only someone who finds himself a job in a remarkably short space of time after his training, but has also become somewhat of an ambassador to ex-forces trainees. Whenever he can find the time, he pops into MTCS when there’s a course on to talk to the ex-forces trainees, who are undergoing ROV training. He really seems to empathise with all the fretting they’re going through and encourages them every step of the way to believe there is success to be had outside the forces. Steve is one of the most driven, positive people you can hope to meet and just gets things moving. “

Warrant Officer Yeoman of Signals (YofS), Steve Gray, is coming up for 22 years in the Royal Signals and only has 4 months to go before he leaves his military life for good. During his career as a YofS, he has gained an expertise and understanding of network engineering, including camera and surveillance equipment.

Steve has worked as part of a shift system in a small team in Northern Ireland, where his duties included the operation and maintenance of remote cameras and surveillance equipment, including thermal imaging and night vision.

He also developed a networked, ground situational awareness, software program (TiGR) for Afghanistan deployed troops.  He then took a group of engineers to theatre to develop, test and deploy the software/hardware to every British location. This included copper and fibre optics, as well as a radio frequency bearer system.

Warrant Officer Yeoman of Signals (YofS), Steve Gray, said: “MTCS is perfect for guys like me who already have an engineering background, gained through my signals career. They operate an informal class with small numbers and very helpful instructors. There’s a state-of-the-art ROV Simulator with a range of deepwater construction activities to gain hands-on experience. MTCS passed my details onto a number of prospective employers and I was fortunate enough to get a job with Roge Systems soon after completing my training.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my training as an ROV Pilot Technician with MTCS and cannot thank them enough for the amount of support they gave to me, both during and especially after the course.  I get a real buzz out of going back to MTCS to support the guys on the courses, because I know hearing it from the horses mouth will mean a lot to them. The advice I would give to anyone considering re-training, whether it’s as an ROV Pilot, or anything else, is to be tenacious, network all you can, be at the right place at the right time and be pro-active.”

C-STATE the First Facility of its Kind Helps Subsea Companies Plug the Skills Gap

By Cherie Fox.

Maritime Training and Competence Solutions Ltd (MTCS) has signed an agreement to market courses and deliver training at a new facility for the subsea sector – the Centre for Subsea Technology Awareness, Training and Education or C-STATE as it is known. This facility is the first of its kind and is a unique collaboration between industry and education.  C-STATE has been created to address the growing skills gap in the subsea engineering and service sectors, by providing an unrivalled platform for specialist training and education – and is offered to the entire industry.


Subsea UK, the industry body, which represents the £8.9 billion subsea sector, revealed that British subsea companies need around 16,000 new recruits to help them grow to £11 billion and increase the country’s 45% share of a £20 billion global market.


Launched at Darlington College, C-STATE has been developed by Modus Seabed Intervention Ltd in partnership with MTCS, Darlington College, Teesside University, Tees Valley Unlimited and Darlington Borough Council.  C-STATE has been created to ensure a supply of excellent personnel, and will offer through its training and education partners; MTCS, Darlington College and Teesside University, the only holistic approach to subsea education. The purpose built facility will offer a range of subsea courses from apprenticeships to further and higher education, and industry-recognised and accredited training.

Trainees will have direct, hands on access to a dedicated 200hp hydraulic remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in a safe and controlled environment, combined with classroom based training for all courses. Industry recognised and accredited training is being delivered by leading specialist, MTCS Ltd, with the first courses already underway.


MTCS, which runs monthly ROV induction courses at Windermere as well as in Singapore and Houston, has the responsibility for marketing and running C-STATE short courses, which include: work class ROV technical, high-voltage skills, high-pressure hydraulics, umbilical reterm, and subsea client awareness.  Bespoke courses can also be developed.


Jake Tompkins of C-STATE explained “C-STATE has been launched as a facility to offer unique access to subsea remotely operated technology.  The intent is to provide a platform for specialist training and learning delivered by our industry and education partners, all recognised leaders in their respective fields.  We hope to be able to create significant opportunities for individuals and companies alike and ultimately bridge the skills gap in an important industrial sector.  In terms of location, the Tees Valley is a significant and growing centre for the offshore supply chain.  Darlington’s local airports serve Aberdeen, London and the continent as well as many other international locations on a daily basis; it’s on the national mainline rail network and has first rate local facilities.  Discussions on extending the C-STATE facility are already underway.”


Richard Warburton, Managing Director of MTCS, said: “Not a day goes by when we don’t hear about the acute shortage of skills in oil and gas. The subsea sector is already showing signs of being constrained by this. If we carry on trying to solve the skills issues using the current solutions, the industry will not achieve growth. That’s why our collaborative approach is different.


“With many companies it is not simply about finding people, but more about how they recruit, how they keep people and how they equip them with the skills they need to do the job,” explained Mr Warburton.


Mr Warburton added: “We have fully investigated what the industry needs in terms of skills and explored the existing programmes which work well for individual companies.  We have shared best practice from industry and designed pan-industry programmes which deliver solutions in the short to medium-term.

“C-STATE aims to make a material and sustainable difference by helping companies source and develop the people they need to prosper. Here at MTCS Ltd, we help people from the military such as airframe technicians and weapons engineers, who make good technicians and subsequently ROV pilots. And there are those with trades like electrical engineers and car mechanics who also have a good aptitude for our courses.”

In addition to attracting military people and those with engineering skills, the College and University will take a medium-term approach to train apprentices and graduates for the industry.  C-STATE will also develop programs to educate school children about the careers in subsea.

Based on the Darlington College campus, C-STATE benefits from access to excellent on-site facilities including cafeterias, restaurants and a host of other services.

Tim Grant, Principal and Chief Executive of Darlington College commented, “We are delighted to be a partner in C-STATE and to host the facility at the Darlington College Construction and Engineering Centre.  Together we are developing a subsea curriculum for full and part time students and apprentices that will run alongside the MTCS program of courses.  We are planning to launch an educational program in Autumn 2014.”


Professor Cliff Hardcastle of Teesside University also commented, “”We are delighted to be part of this exciting initiative which will be delivering the skills for an industry of increasing importance to the North East and the United Kingdom”.

Ex RAF Duncan Macdonald Lands Perfect Job Piloting an ROV on Sunken Shipwrecks

Ex RAF Survival Equipment Fitter, Duncan Macdonald, couldn’t believe his luck, when his resettlement process not only gave him valuable training in the use of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) at MTCS Ltd, Windermere, but he was also fortunate to be offered a training placement at Ocean Force Management (OFM), Sheffield, where he was piloting an ROV to salvage copper and brass from sunken shipwrecks.

Senior Aircraftsman, Macdonald, left the RAF in February 2012 after a 12 year career as a Survival Equipment Fitter. His final posting was to the Army Air Corps centre of Aviation, at Middle Wallop in Hampshire, where he spent time in Brunei in preparation for a major jungle exercise. He also did a tour of duty in the Falklands working with Tornado F3 aircraft and in 2006 he was posted to RAF Coningsby with No 6 Squadron. Macdonald was presented with a Commendation by the station Commander at RAF Coningsby for meritorious service, due to faults being found in the parachute rigging lines during the maintenance of a Euro fighter Typhoon Emergency Escape Parachute. As part of his resettlement process, Macdonald underwent 2 weeks training with Maritime Training & Competence Solutions (MTCS), which is based in Windermere, Cumbria.


MTCS Ltd is a fully accredited assessment and training centre providing a spectrum of operational, technical and supervisory training to the offshore industry. The majority of their courses focus on ROV’s as used in the oil & gas, nuclear and renewables industry.


Commenting on his ROV training, Macdonald said: “MTCS is perfect for guys like me, who already have an engineering background, gained through my aviation career. They operate an informal class with small numbers and very helpful instructors. There’s a state-of-the-art ROV Simulator with a range of deepwater construction activities to gain hands-on experience, plus I was fortunate enough to be offered a practical training placement with Ocean Force Management, which was arranged through MTCS.”


Tracy Llewelyn, Managing Director for Ocean Force Management , said: “Our projects allow candidates, such as Macdonald, to acquire field experience, while working with our equipment and systems. Various materials are recovered from the sea-bed with the use of an ROV, where objects are then returned to the surface for further investigation. The ROV tasks for the candidates are both broad and of a high technical nature that newly-trained individuals don’t often have the opportunity to experience. We are delighted to confirm that Duncan Macdonald has now been offered a permanent place on our salvage team, as a direct result of his training with us”


Macdonald commented: “I thoroughly enjoyed my practical training placement with OFM – it was just an amazing experience. Using the OFM ROV on board, we were able to locate shipwrecks via mapping with a multibeam sonar, and afterwards launched the ROV to investigate targets that would produce images via the ROV’s HD camera.


“We found numerous metals from bronze and copper, which the ROV recovered by using the manipulator arms to feed a lifting strap around it before using the vessel’s crane to raise it. I certainly believe the experience gained was second-to-none and the fact that both companies, OFM and MTCS – and the Royal Air Force enabled this all to happen was a very positive side to the resettlement process for me.”

Diver Safety is Paramount says New Partnership KB Associates & MTCS Ltd

By Cherie Fox


Left to right, Darren Brunton, KBA and Richard Warburton, MTCS Ltd. New Partnership

Managing safety risk at sea is a challenge! Commercial divers work at depths of up to 300 meters and spend weeks living in enclosed hyperbaric chambers and often face tough working conditions requiring a high level of training and competence.

With training and competence playing a key role in todays industry, the joint partnership of Maritime Training & Competence Solutions (MTCS Ltd) and KB Associates Group of Companies (KBA) is a leading initiative that will establish new benchmarks within the commercial diving and ROV industries. Both organisations have a keen passion for safety, training and competence and will be collaborating to deliver their range of services to the industry.

The joint partnership will see multiple benefits where both organisations will be sharing the knowledge to enhance the training courses offered, while both groups of clienteles are also able to enjoy broader diver / ROV competency development training at more training locations to fit their plans.

KBA Group provide an integrated professional specialist solution for consultancy and training that fosters safety excellence and quality in the Offshore Oil & Gas industry and onshore terminals construction industries.

Darren Brunton (CFIOSH), the Managing Director of KBA, brings a wide range of diving and safety management expertise to the courses planned by both companies. He has worked in the Offshore Oil & Gas Diving industry since 1990 as a diver, diving supervisor, client representative, diving system / company auditor, safety management and diving trainer with experience globally such as in the Asia Pacific, China, United Kingdom, Middle East and South American regions. Darren posses the hands-on experience of offshore operations, safety management, compliance and training deliverables in all the courses developed.

Darren commented: “We’re thrilled to forge this partnership with MTCS Ltd on the various training courses and other projects within the work scope. Strategically located in Singapore and Aberdeen KBA offers MTCS a platform to bring its brands and training to the Asia Pacific region and we gladly welcome MTCS instructors and trainees to our facility in both Singapore and Aberdeen, UK for the series of competency training courses conducted. We strongly believe that this synergy will set us apart and offers a more comprehensive solution to our clienteles.”

Some of the available KBA training courses include: Diving System Assurance Awareness – 1 Day course; Diving System Assurance – 4 Day course; OGP Client Worksite Representatives Training – 5 Day course; IMCA Air/Bell Diving Supervisor and Assistant Life Support Technician Training; Diving Technician competence courses such as DSI KBM Helmet Technician and a range of internationally accredited safety training such as NEBOSH Training from WSH Qualification to International Diploma levels.

MTCS Ltd are to deliver training alongside KBA at their new facility in Aberdeen as well as in Singapore, where they plan to run Diver Competency schemes and also a Skills Assessor course.

MTCS Ltd is a fully accredited assessment and training centre, whose head office is based in the Lake District and currently manage the largest independent assessment and certification programme for people involved in Subsea Operations such as ROV, Diving and Hydrographic Survey. Providing a full IMCA-aligned Competence Scheme Management service, MTCS Ltd ensure personnel are demonstrating competence in the offshore workplace.

Richard Warburton, Managing Director for MTCS Ltd said: “Working with KB Associates can only be beneficial for both companies, as many of our courses complement one another and the sharing of expertise will result in improved safety to divers and a better service to our clients. MTCS Ltd has extensive experience in competence working. There is an on going requirement for offshore personnel to demonstrate competence in the work place and one of these areas is in diving. The main driver for this comes from the oil companies who insist personnel are registered in some form of competence management system. This system must prove that personnel are competent, or working towards competence, in safety critical, operational and technical activities. Many of the contracting companies have had successful competence management systems in place for many years. There has, however, always been an issue regarding agency personnel or ‘freelancers’, in particular how do they demonstrate competence when they often work for a number of different companies.”
For further information on course opportunities, please contact Richard Warburton, MTCS LTD, Tel: 015394 48233 or email enquiries@mtcs.info. www.mtcs.info; KBA – enquiries@kbassociates.org or +65 6546 0939

Explore an Underwater Volcano Live in HD

by Becky Oskin, OurAmazingPlanet Staff Writer

For decades, viewing the bizarre underwater ecosystems at seafloor hydrothermal vents has been the privilege of scientists shoehorned into submersibles or researchers steering diving robots.

Now, anyone online can watch live high-definition video of marine life at the Mushroom vent, a 12-foot-tall (4 meters) chimney sitting 5,000 feet (1,520 m) below the ocean’s surface. The HD camera is part of a $239 million National Science Foundation project to install a permanent, cabled observatory at Axial Seamount, an underwater volcano located 250 miles (400 kilometers) offshore of Oregon at the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Other cabled sites along the West Coast seafloor will help scientists explore earthquakes, climate change and methane deposits. Watch the video online here: Interactive Oceans

The HD camera was turned on yesterday (Aug. 12) after installation by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The video first travels from the hydrothermal vent camera to the ROV over a 30-foot-long (9 m) cable, then up the ROV tether to a research ship, according to the project’s website…

[read more at http://www.livescience.com/38854-explore-submarine-volcano-live-video.html]
[ROV footage of volcano vent http://www.livescience.com/15474-vent-underwater-volcano.html]

Flooded Welsh mine to reveal its secrets with ROV to capturing video footage for the attraction


A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is about to uncover some previously forgotten history when it dives down into the hidden depths of an abandoned mine in Ceredigion, Wales.

At the height of production between 1850-1900, the Llywernog Silver-Lead Mine played a valuable role within the Welsh mining industry and much of this heritage has been lost. The mine – which was abandoned in 1910 after 160 years of operation – lies underneath the Silver Mountain Experience, with visitors to the attraction able to explore part of the mine.

Most of the mine however is inaccessible due to flooding, but now management at Silver Mountain have teamed up with Liverpool-based company Underwater Vision to use their technology to explore the mine.

The submersible ROV is fitted with lights and a live-feed video camera that will capture…

[read more at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=178160#.UhHgKZJwrFo]

Not A Drone: Sheriff’s New ROV Getting Plenty Of Use

Underwater robot gives deputies new set of eyes during rescue and recovery operations.

Written by http://lakeminnetonka.patch.com


Whatever you do, don’t call the Hennepin County Sheriff’s new remote operated vehicle a drone.

“My friends at MPR called it drone the other day, but it is not a drone, “said Sheriff Rich Stanek. “It’s attached to an operator with a bright yellow tether cord. I don’t think that would be very sneaky. ”

The sheriff’a new $150,000 ROV was delivered in December, and by April about 10 deputies had been trained on the new equipment. The ROV was paid for with a blend of private and public funds—the Lake Minnetonka conservation District, for example, contributed $14,000.

Sheriff Stanek said the ROV located a body just this week in a car…

[read more and watch the video at: http://lakeminnetonka.patch.com/groups/editors-picks/p/not-a-drone-sheriffs-new-rov-getting-plenty-of-use]

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