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28 May 2020 By Wayne Reynolds, Global Survey Training and Competence Manager
The challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic have resulted in some dynamic and creative problem-solving across Fugro. One such example comes from Fugro Academy, our in-house training provider, which rapidly and successfully reformatted several internal technical training courses, usually delivered in a classroom setting, to delivery via virtual methods.
The travel and gathering restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic have affected businesses in many ways, not least the delivery of training. In early March 2020, Fugro Academy recognised that many critical classroom-based courses were likely to be cancelled, preventing staff from accessing the training needed to deliver client projects. Additionally, courses such as our internationally accredited Category B Hydrographic Training Programme, already underway in Plymouth, UK, had to be paused to allow course attendees to return to their home countries.

Fugro employees receiving practical training in a Fugro Academy training centre boat in Plymouth, UK
Fugro employees receiving practical training in a Fugro Academy Training Centre boat in Plymouth, UK, before the Covid-19 pandemic

The remote course was delivered perfectly. Fugro Academy’s continuous support and flexibility are keeping our teams agile during these unprecedented times of restricted travel and social distancing.
Benoit Cajelot, Survey Manager, Fugro Australia Marine Pty Ltd
Sunrise in the Bay of Bengal
Fugro Academy’s classroom-turned-remote training courses prepare our staff for offshore projects such as this geotechnical investigation captured at sunrise in the Bay of Bengal

In some respects, Fugro Academy was well prepared for remote training, as a significant investment in our approach to learning and development over the years has been towards e-learning, with a well-established use of online learning technology and LinkedIn Learning.

That said, some technical training requires the involvement of a live instructor to support the development of practical skills and assessment. As we began to transfer key courses to a virtual instructor format, trials were scheduled for mid-April, including a pilot 5-day data-processing course. However, 2 weeks before the virtual pilot, an urgent requirement arose for training on subsea positioning and inverted long baseline (iLBL) rig moves to support a client project. The team therefore accelerated planning and successfully presented the course remotely at the end of March.

The “remote trainer” method involves the instructor working from their home or local Fugro office (as permitted by current in-country regulations) during the office hours of the course attendees, who are typically grouped from the same office or region. Courses are based on the classroom content but are modified to better suit virtual learning. Attendees use a dual monitor PC where one screen shows the instructor and the other screen displays the course software. This allows for virtual face-to-face interaction and instruction, as well as a “hands-on” experience of using the software.

As of 15 May 2020, 10 courses have been successfully delivered using this method, with more scheduled for Q2 2020. They can be up to 5 days long and cover a range of subjects, including subsea positioning, data collection, data processing and data interpretation.


Did you know?

Almost 80 staff have been trained remotely so far during the Covid-19 restrictions.


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