Posted: Wednesday 10th August 2011

The UK’s leading supplier of utility survey training and equipment has launched a bespoke course for international clients seeking higher quality teaching.

The Benchmark Utility Surveyor Qualification, a professional standard for the location and mapping of underground services developed internally by experts at LTU, has already proven a big hit in the UK, Australia and South Africa.

The 15-day course includes in-depth modules on electromagnetic and ground penetrating radar techniques, interpretation of utility drawings, network knowledge and visual checks.

Pete Bevils, Managing Director of LTU, said he was thrilled to be able to offer an international service to companies that recognise the industry’s shortfall in the delivery of quality utility training.

“Our trainers are highly experienced in the theory and the practicalities of working with buried utilities, having spent many years developing new technology and applying this knowledge to on-site situations,” he added.

Mike Langton, LTU’s Technical Director, kicked off the first international training session in Sydney, Australia addressing utility location specialists Durkin Construction and employees of the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) responsible for road safety in New South Wales.

“We have been able to take this level of knowledge and combine it with country-specific research to understand how their utility networks function and we have been able to successfully adapt the training we offer in the UK to meet the requirements of other companies around the globe,” he said.

“It is vital that construction companies and contractors recognise that a utility survey is not just about using one piece of equipment.

“Employees must not only have a solid understanding of electromagnetic and ground penetrating radar techniques and survey equipment but they must also be able to interpret utility drawings, visual indications on site and understand how each utility and its network works and is delivered from its source.

“Currently the utility location training offered abroad is often by manufacturers and is simply about how to turn on and control equipment and not focussed enough on the important business of how to actually carry out a safe survey. We therefore designed our courses to cover the whole spectrum of knowledge needed so that people feel confident they know the why and not just the how of utility location.

“Utility location is all about trying to find things you can’t visually see and so if you don’t understand how the component parts work and how they are all connected together you could end up with potentially a very dangerous situation.”

Sean Durkin, Managing Director at Durkin Construction said: “The utility network in Australia is constructed in a very similar way to the UK. It therefore made perfect sense for us to invite a UK provider who would be able to offer a more holistic package than locator manufacturers currently deliver here.

“LTU certainly didn’t disappoint and our staff came away with a renewed confidence in their knowledge and technical know-how. By using LTU we have certainly started to bridge the gap in utility location training that exists outside of the UK.”

LTU has recently delivered advanced utility avoidance training in South Africa and will be delivering a second Benchmark training course in Australia in July. It is also looking to further expand its international training throughout 2011 and beyond.

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