A new method of assessing the abilities of drillers in the trenchless industry is being rolled out. The Verification of Competency (VOC) is aimed at ensuring Horizontal Directional Drillers have the necessary skills as demand driven by the NBN increases. 

The VOC has been developed by Trenchless Advisor in response to industry demand, and according to Managing Director Peter Brown, “Assessing for Verification of Competency enables businesses to confirm that their employees or contractors are competent in their skills and use of equipment. A VOC is commonly used in many industries for pre-employment checks, contractual arrangements or site requirements.

“VOC enforcement is new for the HDD industry and is subject to interpretation. Working with industry leading clients, Trenchless Advisor has developed a formal process that allows for flexibility to meeting client needs whilst maintaining a high standard of assessment.”

The VOC is not training but instead a method of assessment to allow both employers and drillers themselves to gain a better understanding of their abilities, and will then be in a position to fill in the gaps.

The method is based on practical on-site observation and can assess competency on a range of machine sizes and types.

The VOC is also endorsed by Dial Before You Dig who see it as another key way to protect underground assets.

The assessment will be administered by the Australian Drilling Industry Training Committee, which is a registered RTO, and is also supported by major manufacturers such as Vermeer and Ditchwitch.

Assessors are industry experts holding all relevant qualifications within the HDD industry and Training industry combined with years of HDD experience.

Until now, there has been no formal method of assessing a driller’s capability and while most contractors operate in a safe and competent way, there have been concerns about the presence of unqualified drillers.

Demand for HDD is expected to increase as NBN construction moves ahead and according to reports up to 60% of the NBN will be installed by HDD in some areas, with as many as 350 rigs predicted to be operating in future.

It is hoped that utilities across all disciplines will adopt the VOC in the future.

For more information, visit http://www.trenchlessadvisor.com.au/voc.php

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Trenchless Advisor and Dial Before You Dig are working together to develop a new method of assessing the abilities of drillers in the trenchless industry.

Michelle is a freelance journalist and editor who, as well as covering all the latest and breaking industry news, is a gun proofreader and editor who never misses a trick.

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