Falck Safety Services UK

20 April 2018

Falck Safety Services named UK’s first OPITO approved assessment centre for helicopter competence st

Falck Safety Services UK (Falck) has been named the first OPITO approved assessment centre in the world to deliver specialist competence assessment services, in line with new helicopter competence standards. 

The leading training, management and competence service company, which has 35 training centres across the world, facilitated a three month project to pilot the route to approval to become an assessment centre for the OPITO Helideck Competence Standard as part of Helicopter Operations Training and Competence Framework, which was released to the industry in January 2018.  

The Helicopter Operations Industry Work Group (IWG) launched the newly developed guidelines following a review in March 2017, with many key industry bodies, organisations and providers offering input. 

The framework sets out the training route to becoming a Helideck Landing Operator and a Helideck Assistant, and aligns the Helicopter Operations training, Helicopter Emergency Response Team Leader (HERTL) and Team Member (HERTM) training.  

Under the new legislation, a formal on-board work place assessment is now required, providing the industry with a platform for a consistent and standardised approach to ensuring the on-going competence of helicopter operations personnel. 

Participants will now carry out a formal assessment within the workplace, interspersed with attendance of the Further HERTL or HERTM refresher training every two years to ensure that the skills and knowledge acquired during training are consistently applied, leading to improved safety.  

Duncan Bonner of Falck Safety Services UK said: “As a leading safety training and competence services provider, being the first safety-training company in to gain the OPITO approved assessment centre accreditation is a great achievement and is a credit to the commitment of our team who continually strive to ensure that safety of personnel remains our key focus.  

“Offshore workers rely on helicopters to get them to and from oil and gas installations, and for this reason it is vital that the industry constantly monitors and works to improve helicopter safety, and training standards for those working in the sector.  

“Falck’s Competence Team have extensive, practical experience of reviewing organisations’ processes having delivered competence solutions in line with the current OPITO helicopter standards, both onshore and offshore, and conducting specific onboard training for clients, and workplace assessments for many of the helideck crews working offshore. This has been reinforced by the accolade of achieving OPITO Approved Assessment Centre status. 

“The priority at Falck is to work with our core customers to ensure their holistic training and competence requirements are met. Being the first approved centre, means that we remain at the forefront of the industry for delivering robust, comprehensive and bespoke competence management services, adding further value to our capabilities.”