AIS Training is helping to boost offshore safety by providing a ‘rubber stamp’ for workers in some of the industry’s most dangerous jobs to reassure offshore employers of their skills and competency levels.

From its state-of-the-art offshore training complex in North Shields, AIS has introduced the OPITO Banksman Slinger stage 3 competency assessment to assess the knowledge and skills of workers during a comprehensive one day exam. If the worker passes a number of intensive skills and knowledge tests they are given a certificate to confirm their competency and ability to work to the required safety standard. This certificate in turn gives an offshore employer the confidence that the individual is fully qualified to do a banksman slinger’s job safely and efficiently.

AIS Training already offers the OPITO levels 1 and 2 Banksman Slinger qualification.

Banksman slingers do one of the most dangerous jobs on any offshore installation - lifting and moving heavy equipment around the facility.  With safety remaining one of the oil and gas sectors top priorities, competency assessments like this ensure that operator risks are reduced to a minimum.

Training manager at AIS, Emma Spiller, said: “An increasing number of offshore employers were asking us to verify their employees’ knowledge and skills to ensure they could work to the required industry safety standards. We subsequently introduced a number of industry approved competency assessments, with the OPITO level 3 banksman slinger being the latest. Skills shortages remain a key challenge for the offshore sector but competency testing like this can help by enabling employers to gauge current skills’ levels and identifying possible gaps.

“We’ve invested heavily in developing world-class training facilities where individuals can get all the skills they need in one place. Our aim is to give customers greater choice by offering a true ‘one-stop-shop’ for training and competency assessment in North Tyneside – which is an extremely cost effective and easily accessible location.”

Last year alone AIS unveiled three brand-new, multi-million pound, training facilities – a fabrication and maintenance centre with specialist environmentally-controlled blaster/painter booths, a CompEx electrical centre and an emergency fire-fighting training facility, developed in collaboration with Offshore Training Newcastle (OTN), featuring realistic offshore structures including a three-storey mock offshore platform rig with full size heli-deck and Super Puma helicopter simulator.

And in the next few weeks, AIS will launch a world-class offshore survival centre which will train workers from the offshore oil and gas, wind and maritime sectors in survival techniques using facilities which imitate real emergency scenarios including helicopter ditching at sea, sea survival, escape from smoke filled environments and evacuation via lifeboat.

The centre will include an environmental pool, fire training centre and lifeboat and davit system, as well as state-of-the-art classrooms, changing facilities, restaurant and meeting rooms with construction work expected to be completed by April 2014.

To find out more contact 0844 800 1810, email or visit