TECHNICAL TRAINING NEWS

» Training in St Lucia
» Training in Montserrat
» NEW Courses
» Nigerian Project
» Scottish Highlands Partnership
» Technical Training Support WorldSkills UK Competitions
» Electricians Guide Books Latest Updates
» Cancer Research Shops Learn About PAT Testing
» Technical Training Solutions' Trademark
» Technical Training Now Based in Rochester
» Electrical Maintenance Skills Course Goes From Strength To Strength
» Where's the Competence in Skills Training?

Training in St Lucia

Click here to link to HelCat's Internet Pages

Technical Training Solutions are delighted to have been chosen to provide training in St Lucia, an Eastern Caribbean island nation with a pair of dramatically tapered mountains, the Pitons, on its west coast. Its coast is home to volcanic beaches, reef-diving sites, luxury resorts and fishing villages. Trails in the interior rainforest lead to waterfalls like the 15m-high Toraille, which pours over a cliff into a garden. The capital, Castries, is a popular cruise port.

A programme to provide certification to electricians and engineers started in February 2017. Electrical Engineering Experts Inc. of St. Lucia, in partnership with Technical Training Solutions and the Division of Technical Education and Management Studies (DTEMS) of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC), began by teaching the UK City and Guilds industry-standard training/qualification in the Requirements for Electrical Installations - IET Wiring Regulations. These regulations govern electrical wiring in Saint Lucia and other countries making the certification an important achievement for electricians and engineers who previously received training for licensing for electrical installations. A series of 4 day training workshops is being offered at different periods throughout the year at Lucelecís Electronics Workshop in DTEMS at SALCC. The UK IET Wiring Regulations (BS 7671) is adopted as SLNS/BS 7671 in St Lucia and it is the electrical standard by which all electrical installations should be designed, installed, inspected, tested, and maintained on the island. It is also the standard by which it is powered by the electricity supplier, Lucelec.

Chief Executive Officer of Electrical Engineering Experts Inc. Saint Lucia Mr Clive Antoine says "the training course will be of tremendous benefit to installation and maintenance electricians; refrigeration and AC technicians; electrical installers; electrical testers and inspectors, designers, engineers, drafters and architects." He says "a core objective of the course is to promote the use of the standard itself to equip participants with the knowledge and the requirements of the IET Wiring Regulations, Requirements for Electrical Installations".

The four day programme culminates with the online City and Guilds examination at the CAD lab of DTEMS, SALCC. The IET Wiring course is worth 4 UK Education Credits. This training course is the prerequisite for the City and Guilds Inspection, Testing and Certification of Electrical Installation course which will be held later. This is specialized training that provides core knowledge and skills that all electrical inspectors and testers, electricians, electrical designers, and engineers need to possess. The Inspection and Testing course is worth 5 UK Education Credits.

Several other courses have also been provided: Electrical Safety on Construction Sites, Temporary Electrical Systems and Explosive Atmospheres / Hazardous Areas. All these courses have subject areas that greatly interest the candidates in St Lucia and we are very proud to be part of this project, which aims to bring Standards on the Island up to UK levels.

View from the Auberge Seraphim Hotel Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, where the courses are held Looking down on Soufriere with the Pitons in the background

View from the Auberge Seraphim Hotel

Sir Arthur Lewis Community College,
where the courses are held

Looking down on Soufriere
with the Pitons in the background


For a description of the IET Wiring Regulations course, go to
Course 310 - BS7671: IET Wiring Regulations
For a description of the C&G Inspection and Testing course, go to
Course 340 - Inspection, Testing and Certification of Electrical Installations (C&G 2391)
For a description of the Electrical Safety on Construction Sites course, go to
Course 375 - BS7375: Construction Site Safety
For a description of the Temporary Electrical Systems course, go to
Course 370 - BS7909: Temporary Electrical Systems
For a description of the Explosive Atmospheres / Hazardous Areas course, go to
Course 390 - ATEX / Hazardous Areas

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Training in Montserrat

Our visit to the lovely island of Montserrat in 2016 was in order to provide a 3 day course on electrical safety and the 17th Edition IET Wiring Regulations.

Montserrat is a Caribbean island in the Leeward Islands, which is part of the chain known as the Lesser Antilles, in the British West Indies. It is a British Overseas Territory. It measures approximately 10 miles long and 7 miles wide, with approximately 25 miles of coastline. Montserrat is nicknamed The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean both for its resemblance to coastal Ireland and for the Irish ancestry of many of its inhabitants. Given its British status, the UK Wiring Regulations are enforced in Montserrat, which is why Technical Training were asked to educate some of the local engineers on the requirements of the British Standard.

The training was funded by the BNTF (Basic Needs Trust Fund) on behalf of the DMCA (Disaster Management Co-ordination Agency) at their head offices in Montserrat.

The candidates were taught about the dangers of electricity and safe working practices, along with the current edition of the IET Wiring Regulations. They sat an examination at the end of the course and were all successful in attaining good grades, proving they had achieved a high level of understanding of the Regulations.

Katy Hill, Montserrat The VIPs and the candidates on the course Jack Boy Hill, Montserrat

Katy Hill, Montserrat

Front Row from left: The BNTF Project Manager Mr Mervin Browne, the Minister of Agriculture The Honourable Claude Hogan, Our Instructor Lee Woodfine, Parish Priest the Rev Father Carlisle Vyphuis and Chief Electrical Inspector of the Physical Panning Unit Mr Alvin Ryan. Behind them are the successful course candidates.

Jack Boy Hill, Montserrat


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NEW Courses

The most recently introduced new courses from Technical Training Solutions are the 17th Edition Amendment 3 Update / Refresher course, the Electrical Safety Management course and the Welding course.

The 17th Edition Amendment 3 Update / Refresher course is intended for anyone who already has the 17th Edition C&G qualification but needs an update on the requirements of Amendment 3 2015 and would also like a reminder of the technical issues in the Regs. It's a 1 day course and has a short slide presentation, a set of course notes for the candidates to take away, as well as the latest versions of the Electricians Guide books. There is a short multiple-choice assessment at the end of the course to make sure everyone has grasped the key points of the course.

The Electrical Safety Management course is intended for Engineering and Maintenance Managers and other employees who have responsibilities for policies / procedures or the allocation of work or the condition of equipment.

The Welding course is aimed at all maintenance personnel who need to be able to make welding joints from time to time. The course is customisable, so that it can focus on the particular types of welding that an employer is most interested in. The course advocates industry best practice, compliance with Safe Operating Procedures and high standards of safety and workmanship.

For more information on these courses, please click on the following links:

Course 305 - 17th EDITION REFRESHER / UPDATE TO AMENDMENT 3
Course 360 - ELECTRICAL SAFETY MANAGEMENT
Course 790 - WELDING

We have also recently made some updates to the existing courses:

The 2391-10 Inspection & Testing qualification was discontinued and two new qualifications introduced instead: The 2394 & 2395 - Changes have been made to the C&G examination process so that there are now separate examinations for the inspection and testing of existing installations (2395) and for new installations (2394). Each qualification has three separate examinations; a theory paper, a multiple choice exam and a practical assessment. The inspection and testing course has therefore been updated to reflect these changes (although we didn't see any need to create separate courses for each qualification).

Please click on the following link to read more about the 2394/2395 Inspection and Testing course:
Course 340 - Inspection & Testing of Electrical Installations

The 2391-20 Electrical Design qualification was discontinued and a replacement qualification (the 2396) introduced. This has an increased emphasis on the project work, so that it is now expected that the project will take 40 hours to complete. Several other minor changes have been made to the examination process. The 2396 is now a Level 4 qualification.

Please click on the following link to read more about the 2396 Electrical Design course:
Course 350 - Design of Electrical Installations

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Nigerian Project

Technical Training Solutions has been providing training in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, as part of a major project to improve the employability of the local people.

With an economy growing faster than the US, the UK, Germany or France, GDP figures in excess of $270 billion, a population of 170 million and an average age of 19, Nigeria is set to become one of the world's largest economies in the future. This may happen sooner than anybody expects, and is likely to be accelerated by the latest initiative from Shell (SNEPCO), Aker Solutions, Petrosmart and Technical Training Solutions.

While the economy grows and standards of living improve, increasing pressure from native Nigerians has ensured that government and large employers in Nigeria are looking for ways to employ more of the local people in the oil and gas industries: creating better 'local content'. This has been difficult in the past given the weaknesses of the training and education sector in Nigeria.

Technical Training Solutions has been engaged by Petrosmart to alleviate this problem by providing their own training courses in Nigeria, bringing a completely fresh approach to Nigeria with industrially-focused and competence-based training, ensuring that the candidates gain a range of practical engineering skills, thereby making them attractive to large employers in the oil and gas industries.

With such a strong ethical basis to the project, Technical Training Solutions have been keen to get involved - despite advice from the UK Foreign Office not to travel to Nigeria.

The Managers of Aker Solutions, Petrosmart and Technical Training Solutions - click to download a high res jpeg Petrosmart's training facility in Port Harcourt, Nigeria - click to download a high res jpeg Some of the 2012 intake of candidates - click to download a high res jpeg

Aker Solutions, Petrosmart
and Technical Training Solutions

Petrosmart's training
facility in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Some of the 2012
intake of candidates

The courses provided so far are the electrical maintenance skills (industrial and building services), mechanical maintenance skills and the instrumentation course. All the equipment needed for the courses - nearly a tonne in weight - was constructed in the UK and transported by air freight to Nigeria. This has ensured that the courses are exactly the same as they would have been in the UK.

Week 1 of the Electrical Maintenance Skills Course Week 2 of the Electrical Maintenance Skills Course The Electrical Building Services Course

Week 1 of the Electrical
Maintenance Skills (Industrial) Course

Week 2 of the Electrical
Maintenance Skills (Industrial) Course

The Electrical Maintenance
Skills (Building Services) Course



The Mechanical Maintenance Skills Course The Instrumentation Course Nigeria in the Snow

The Mechanical
Maintenance Skills Course

The Instrumentation Course

With a new intake of candidates each year, the four courses will be repeated in 2013 onwards. With the addition of the pneumatics and welding courses and an extended version of the building services course (so that it teaches candidates how to install a complete electrical installation, including back-up generators), the future for this superb project looks good and Technical Training Solutions are delighted to be a part of it.

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Scottish Highlands Partnership

Click here to link to HelCat's Internet Pages

Technical Training Solutions and HelCat, the training facility in the Scottish Highlands at Thurso, Caithness have set up a partnership to provide engineers in the Highlands and Islands of the North of Scotland with training on the 17th edition IET Wiring Regulations and the City & Guilds Inspection and Testing courses, as well as access to all our other courses. This on-going partnership enables engineers in the area to gain these essential qualifications and skills without having to leave the county.

Helen Mackay, Director of HelCat said "We've linked with Technical Training, who have one of the best records of success in the UK for the tough 2391 exams and the range of engineering skills courses from abrasive wheels to PLCs is exactly what our local engineers are looking for. Partnering with Technical Training means that we can ensure the delivery is absolutely spot-on".

For a description of the IET Wiring Regulations course, go to
Course 310 - IET Wiring Regulations
For a description of the C&G Inspection and Testing course, go to
Course 340 - Inspection, Testing and Certification of Electrical Installations (C&G 2391)

For more information about HelCat Training, go to http://helcattraining.com/

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Technical Training support WorldSkills UK competitions

Technical Training have been providing training for entrants to the WorldSkills UK Electronics competition. Electronics Faultfinding has been recognised as an area of expertise that the competitors benefit from and they have therefore been attending a variety of training courses targeted to provide them with the skills and knowledge needed to achieve success. Technical Training have also been providing help with the judging at the UK competition.

Gareth Humphreys MBE, WorldSkills Electronics expert said "We see the Electronics training that Technical Training Solutions provide as absolutely essential to the success of our competitors".

The UK Skills Exhibition at the Excel Exhibition Centre, London, where the competition was held One of the competitors in the competition One of the electronics boards that competitors design, assemble and perform fault-finding on. This particular board is an electronic power controller used as a dimmer unit. It is controlled by software written by the competitors to a PIC chip.

The importance of these competitions to the UK has been recognised by government and other sponsors: Skilled people are vital to the success of the economy and to succeed in these careers they need to be highly skilled and therefore highly trained. It is widely recognised that the UK's skills are not world-class and that they must be if it is to achieve the economic and social goals that we all aspire to.

UK Skills also organises the UK entry to the WorldSkills Competition, which challenges young people, teachers, trainers and employers to achieve world class standards. The WorldSkills Competition is the biggest skills competition in the world, and is an opportunity for competitors to represent their country and their trade abroad. WorldSkills is held every two years and brings together young people from almost 50 countries, to compete in 40 trade skills, for gold, silver and bronze medals. Medallions for Excellence are also awarded to competitors who achieve an International standard at the Competition. The WorldSkills Competition was held in London in 2011.

The UK's results from past WorldSkills Competitions are shown in the following table:

Results of the World Skills competitions since 1997

The Electronics Faultfinding course is used as the first part of the competitors' training.
For more information on Technical Training Solutions' Electronics course, please click
on the following link: Course 570 - Electronic Fault Finding Click here to link to the WorldSkills UK Internet Pages


If you would like to learn more about the WorldSkills competitions, please click on the following link: WorldSkills UK

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Electricians Guide Books Updated to the 3rd Amendment of the 17th Edition

The Amicus / Unite Electricians Guide to Good Electrical Practice: Reference book for the C&G 2382 17th Edition (BS7671) IET Wiring Regulations QualificationThe latest Electricians Guide to Good Practice (Yellow cover) was released in March 2015 and the Guide to Inspection and Testing (Orange cover) also in March 2015. Both books have been updated to reflect the latest requirements of the 3rd Amendment to the 17th Edition of the IET Regulations.

We find that many engineers carry the books in their toolboxes / vans / pockets, as their small size makes this possible. The books therefore now have improved bindings and construction, making them more rugged and suitable for long-term use.

The latest technical changes to the Guide to Good Practice include: New definitions and changes to the symbols used; Some layout improvements; Addition of 2A and 4A BS88-2 fuses; Tweeks to the earth fault loop impedance drawings; Changes to the max Zs figures allowed due to the new Cmin factor which reduces the theoretical supply voltage; Consequent changes due to the introduction of Cmin to the Conventional circuits tables; Various small changes to the cable reference tables; Addition of Sections 714, 715 and 722 (Outdoor Lighting and Vehicle Charging). The Amicus / Unite Electricians Guide to Inspection and Testing: Reference book for the C&G 2394 / 2395 inspection and testing qualifications

Other improvements to the Guide to Good Practice book include easier to read tables using shading and larger sized text and an improved and expanded index. The internet page for the book has also been expanded to show example pages from the guide and a new 'latest update' feature, allowing the very latest information about intended changes or improvements to the guide to Good Practice to be posted on the page.

Technical changes to the Guide to Inspection and Testing include: Further improvements to the page tabs to make it easier to navigate around the book; Changes to the table on mechanical protection requirements (the requirements for the use of RCDs changed in Amd 3); Some small textual and layout improvements; Max Zs figures reduced due to the introduction of the Cmin value; Changes to the Certificates (mainly the new installation inspection schedule).

Other improvements to the Guide to Inspection and Testing include easier to read tables using shading and larger sized text. The various forms (the Electrical Installation Certificate, the Periodic Inspection Report, the Minor Works Certificate, Inspection and Test Results Schedules) have all been re-drawn with example entries to allow for better use of the page and are now easier to read. A 'latest updates' feature has also been added to the internet page descriptions.

For further information about the Electricians Guide Books, please click here.

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Cancer Research Shops learn about Portable Appliance Testing

Technical Training have employed their extensive knowledge and experience of Portable Appliance Testing and their competence-based approach to learning about the subject to enable Cancer Research South to perform safety checks on electrical appliances. This has allowed Cancer Research South to access a totally new revenue stream to aid in their charitable works by allowing shop staff to ensure the safety of electrical appliances and thereby to sell donated appliances which, before training, they were unable to accept.

Candidates are not expected to have any prior knowledge or experience of PAT testing or electrical work. All candidates are provided with course notes, help and advice about which model of PAT tester would be most appropriate for them and given on-going telephone support from Tech Training's technical staff. The courses are being provided on an on-going basis throughout 2006 and 2007 across the south of England. The training courses have been provided at cost price to Cancer Research South as part of Tech Training's charitable works.

Libby Dey of Cancer Research South said, "These new training courses will allow us to provide a valuable new service to our customers, as donators and buyers at the shops will see an improved service and ultimately the needy causes that we represent will benefit."

Technical Training have been treating these courses as the ultimate accolade for their 'learning by doing' approach: being clear about what should be taught, who the target audience is and ensuring that the candidates are able to use these skills for real when they return to work. For a description of the PAT course, go to:
Course 160 - PAT: Inspection and Testing of portable electrical appliances

For more information about Cancer Research South's charitable activities, go to Cancer Research

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Technical Training Solutions' Trademark

Learning by Doing


Technical Training Solutions uses a trade mark which was granted by the British Patent Office.

The 'Learning by Doing' approach to training espoused by Technical Training has been the basis to all the engineering skills training provided over the years. This approach leads to better understanding, retention and enjoyability of the courses on offer.

The ancient Chinese proverb captured this idea:
'Tell me and I'll forget, show me and I'll remember, involve me and I'll understand'.

The logo reinforces this approach.

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Technical Training now based in Rochester

Due to the increasing demand for scheduled training courses, we moved into larger premises in 2004 at Rochester, Kent. Norwich House has several training rooms, each ideally suited for a particular range of courses, spread over three floors of the building.

Norwich House, Rochester Norwich House, Rochester

Candidates attending mechanical courses enjoy the use of a fully-equipped, bright and spacious workshop area, fitted out with heavy-duty workbenches, pillar drills, grinding machines, hydraulic presses, etc. Candidates attending electrical courses use the large seminar room which is fitted out with a practical experiments area, so that they can explore the technical issues that they are learning about on our custom-built low-voltage rigs. Other training rooms can be used for specialist courses like Instrumentation, PLCs and AC Drives.

Norwich House has a large car park where delegates can leave their cars in safety and within 5 or 10 minutes drive there is a good selection of three-star hotels, B&Bs, etc. Good transport links allow delegates travelling from anywhere in the UK to reach us easily. Delegates travelling to Norwich House are provided with straight-forward maps and instructions on how to get there by road, rail and public transport.

We look forward to seeing you at Norwich House soon.

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Electrical maintenance skills course goes from strength to strength

Now regarded as the industry standard for many companies, the industrial electrical maintenance course (course 110) has been provided to over 5 thousand engineers in the UK and has provided many companies with increased flexibility and productivity and also enhanced the value of their maintenance teams.

Importantly, the course covers the legal aspects of working with electricity so that candidates really do understand what the dangers are, and when consolidation schemes are put into practice, they get the chance to practice their skills in a safe and controlled manner. The scheme can also be used to help employees decide when supervision is no longer necessary i.e. when competent.

The course is now offered in a two week, 5 day format totalling 10 days. Our latest course brochure provides more details.

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Where's the competence in skills training?

Many modern skills training courses offer a certificate at the end of the course, but too often this is an attendance-based certificate which simply says that the delegate was actually there for the duration of the course.

Other training courses have a short multiple-choice examination, and delegates have to answer questions about the subject. This is useful for checking that the delegate has the appropriate understanding of the subject, but too often this is the only form of assessment that is made.

Skills training must lead to the delegates acquiring that skill, and for this reason training courses should have practical assessments, and this is what employers actually want.

When delegates return to work after having attended a course, many managers will automatically assume that they are now able to perform these new skills in the workplace, but from a legal point of view this assumption would have no basis, since there is no direct evidence upon which the delegate's competency can be determined.

If, however, the delegates had been given a practical assessment, then this could be used as part of the evidence for competency. The delegates would also need to be shown how the new skills they have learned would actually be used in the workplace, and therefore some degree of supervision and mentoring in the workplace would be needed to ensure that they are shown how to do this.

Courses which have practical outcomes are also more enjoyable for the delegates attending them, since they would be much more practical by their very nature - avoiding the long lectures and powerpoint presentations so often used on training courses today.

Technical Training Solutions provide courses that are skills-based and practical assessments are carried out by all the candidates. This means that at the end of any course provided by us, a candidate will have demonstrated an ability to perform a new skills that he/she was not able to perform before attending the course.

On courses where it is appropriate, we advise that the candidates use the consolidation scheme so that they can practice their new skills in their workplace under controlled conditions, ensuring their competence in a legal context and also providing the candidate and their supervisors and managers with all the evidence needed to support assertions about their competence.

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