The race to the top – a UK perspective…

I was recently present at another opening ceremony of a training facility. IMechE has moved from its previous premises and now has a multi-million pound purpose-built facility kitted out with new inspection equipment and training aids. Only a couple of weeks earlier I was at Lavender International at its Penistone location, where the exterior was being decorated, and they have recently opened the advanced inspection suite at the AMP with state-of-the-art inspection equipment in a thoroughly modern environmentally-friendly facility. Last year, I had occasion to visit the South West School of NDT and TWI North, each of which is currently in a relatively modern building but will be moving to a purpose-built facility in the near future. Also visited were the recent facilities at NDT Ltd Sheffield, Shorelands, Array Training Ltd, Global Training and AIT.

These are just some of the trainers in the UK who I have visited and there are more who are investing in the future: the future of the NDT inspector. With each investment in both money and time, the standard of available training is increasing and this can only lead to the continuing improvement in the standing of the NDT inspector.

BINDT, which is also moving premises this year, has been helping to increase the status of NDT with the introduction of an apprenticeship scheme, Engineering Council registration (fancy being an Engineering Technician, Incorporated Engineer or a Chartered Engineer?) and supporting the certification of tens of thousands of NDT and CM personnel. BINDT is involved with the research of potential future inspection applications and methods via the RCNDE, which will be required to support more exacting engineering applications and evolving materials. There is also the ongoing degree process available via the University of Northampton (which is also moving campuses).

Gone are the days when we oldies aspired to a CSWIP 3.6 and then 3.9 qualifications, as nowadays there are so many ways and facilities to gain both vocational and academic qualifications.

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