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The Essential Guide to Getting Offshore in Oil and Gas

With up to six months off every year, working offshore can seem an attractive option for many. But before you reach for the pen to apply for your first offshore position, there a few things to consider.

Offshore Oil and Gas Training

To work offshore there are a number of mandatory safety certificates required by the oil and gas sector and approved by OPITO, the industry’s official training body.

First off, you’ll need a valid and in-date Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) medical certificate and a valid and in-date Fit to Train certificate.  These certificates are prerequisites for basic training and show you’re medically fit to work in the offshore sector and OK to use an emergency breathing system (CA-EBS).

After that you’ll need the Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET) certificate. This three-day course is compulsory for everyone working offshore and covers the specific safety issues and regimes on offshore installations, including travelling offshore by helicopter. During the course, you’ll learn how to deal with an emergency helicopter ditching and how to survive at sea so be prepared to get wet!

Anyone travelling by helicopter to an offshore installation, needs to have their shoulders formally measured by a specially trained person as seats are allocated according to size. If you don’t have your shoulder-width measured, you’re automatically classified as Extra Broad (XBR) which means you might not be allowed on certain flights restricting your work opportunities.

In addition to a BOSIET, many offshore oil and gas operators require new entrants to have OPITO Minimum Industry Safety Training (MIST). This two-day training course provides the basic knowledge and understanding of the key safety elements of working offshore.

For those looking to work in the North Sea or in Norwegian waters, you’ll need a Norwegian Escape Chute course to learn how to use this particular evacuation system and an OPITO Compressed Air Emergency Breathing System (CA-EBS) certificate to show you are competent to use the CA-EBS system. OPITO BOSIET with CA-EBS is often available to combine the two certificates in one course. For all these mandatory training courses expect to pay anywhere between £1,100 to £2,000 plus VAT.