Since the courses were introduced at the end of 2011 hundreds of trainees have undertaken the company’s new ECITB-approved training courses in mechanical joint integrity. Hydratight’s three centres also delivered over 50 per cent of the technical testing involved in the revised courses.
The ECITB's new Mechanical Joint Integrity (MJI) courses were devised to update materials, standards and methods, and came into effect in October 2011.
The major uptake followed Step Change in Safety’s call for new qualification standards. Step Change and the ECITB developed new courses and tests as part of an industry-wide drive to reduce hydrocarbon leakage by 50 per cent.
Step Change backed up its call by publishing new guidelines, Mechanical Joint Integrity – The Route to Competence Guidance, officially released - and a major discussion point - at the Step Change hydrocarbon release seminar in March.
Hydratight's joint-integrity experts contributed significantly to the formulation of the new courses, as key members of the Step Change/ECITB review committee. The company fully revised its own course materials, procedures, equipment and training rigs to meet the new standards in advance and the first recruits were able to undertake the new courses within a week of their introduction.
“The pressure on companies to do the job right first time and make a major impact on hydrocarbon leaks has never been greater,” said Hydratight’s technical competency leader, Jason Barnard. “Step Change and the ECITB wanted to bring the courses right up to date to make sure trainees were getting the best possible information, and we were happy to be involved because or our expertise in leak reduction and joint integrity. We are very pleased the new courses are proving up to the task they have been set and are increasing competency standards.”
Hydratight’s three training academies are all ECITB and MJI approved training and test centres, with expert trainers and examiners at each centre. The company has offered ECITB bolting courses since 1994 and has trained thousands of newcomers to the industry.
The new technical standards - MJI10, 18 and 19 - replace the former ECITB TECSkills PF10, PF18 and PF19 units and cover hand- and hydraulic-torqued bolted connections; hydraulically-tensioned bolted connections, and the general dismantling, assembly and tightening of bolted connections respectively. See the detailed note below for a full description.
A previous logbook system has been replaced by work-based task assignments, normally completed three to twelve months after an initial training course. The trainee can then take the new ECITB approved technical test (TMJl10, 11, 19 and 20) based on each of the courses.
Employers use the courses to ensure their workforce has the necessary skill, ability and knowledge to carry out critical bolting safely. Trainees receiving the certificate of achievement gain a qualification recognised by many employers.
New courses in detail:
Stage 1 - ECITB Approved Courses:
The ECITB has approved four specific courses which are derived from the new technical training standards and are grant-aided for ECITB-registered employers:
Hand Torque Bolted Connection Techniques (MJI10) – 1 day duration.
Hydraulically Torque Bolted Connection Techniques (MJI10 & 19) – 1.5 days duration.
Hydraulically Tension Bolted Connection Techniques (MJI18) – 1 day duration.
Hydraulically Torque and Tension Bolted Connection Techniques (MJI10, 18, 19) – 2.5 days duration.
Stage 2 - Work Based Task Assignments:
A new approach to the workplace consolidation of knowledge has been developed; Work Based Task Assignments. Each assignment lists the activities to be undertaken by the learner and validated by the supervisor.
Three work based task assignments have been approved by the ECITB:
Dismantle, Assemble and Hand Torque Bolted Connections
Dismantle, Assemble and Hydraulically Tension Bolted Connections
Dismantle, Assemble and Hydraulically Torque Bolted Connections
The task assignments are normally completed between three to twelve months after the initial training course and the learner can then undertake an ECITB approved Technical Test.
Stage 3 - Technical Tests:
Technical Testing with an associated ECITB certificate of achievement plays a key role in validating an Individual’s skill, ability and job knowledge in a specific task area. Each test consists of a knowledge test and practical activity test against identified test criteria and are grant aided for ECITB registered employers:
There are five ECITB approved Technical Tests covering the mechanical joint integrity:
TMJI10 Dismantle, Assemble and Hand Torque Flanged Joints
TMJI11 Dismantle, Assemble and Hand Torque Clamp Connectors
TMJI18 Dismantle, Assemble and Tensioning Bolted Connections (Hydraulic Tensioning)
TMJI 19 Dismantle, Assemble and Hydraulically Torque Flanged Joints
TMJI 20 Dismantle, Assemble and Hydraulically Torque Clamp Connector Joints.