WASK Showcases Innovative Pipe Fittings at Develop Training’s Derby Centre

   11 June 2024         News

Last week, WASK, the market leader in supplying pipe fittings and pipeline maintenance equipment to the global gas and water distribution sector, visited Develop Training for a special two-day video shoot. The video will highlight the cutting-edge technology and practical applications of WASK’s renowned products and Develop were thrilled to be asked to facilitate the filming by hosting it in our newly upgraded water networks training area.

WASK has consistently led the industry with its innovative, safe, and cost-effective solutions in pipe jointing technology. The company is particularly noted for its expertise in PE to metal transition fittings and over the years has built a reputation for excellence and reliability, becoming a trusted name in the gas and water distribution sector.

Develop Training: The Ideal Venue

As one of the UK’s leading accredited providers of compliance, technical, and safety training, Develop was the ideal choice to provide the backdrop to WASK’s video at its state-of-the-art facilities in Derby. The complimentary use of Develop’s venue allowed WASK to safely capture footage of their equipment in action, demonstrating their products’ superior performance and ease of use.

Hands-On Experience with WASK Products

Develop regularly use WASK’s drilling set and bagging off kit, both of which are integral to our gas network training courses. These tools are widely regarded as the best in the industry, making them the ideal choice for training operational staff and delegates who will use this equipment in their daily jobs.

Develop’s commitment to using industry leading equipment in our courses ensures that our delegates gain hands-on experience with the tools and materials they will encounter in the field. By practicing with WASK’s industry-leading products, delegates are better prepared for the demands of their roles in gas utility operations.

A Collaboration of Excellence and Innovation

The collaboration between WASK and Develop Training exemplifies a shared dedication to excellence and innovation in the gas and water distribution sector. As WASK continues to pioneer advancements in pipe fittings and pipeline maintenance, Develop remains at the forefront of providing high-quality, customer-led training with the best tools available.

Stay tuned for the release of the video footage, which will offer an in-depth look at WASK’s cutting-edge technology and its practical applications in training and real-world scenarios.

Unveiling the Future of Gas and Utility Training in Partnership with IGEM

12 May 2024     News

Develop is thrilled to announce a landmark event on Thursday 12th September 2024, at our York training centre, in partnership with IGEM. Join us as we showcase our best-in-class training facilities for the gas and utilities industry.

All visitors will have the opportunity to tour our training centre including our fully to-scale Joint Emergency Training Set (JETSET), a groundbreaking initiative developed in collaboration with Northern Gas Networks (NGN). This innovative facility, known as ‘Training Terrace,’ is designed to recreate real-life emergency response scenarios, allowing delegates to hone their practical skills in a controlled yet realistic environment.

The York centre also underwent a £500k refurbishment last year, including updates to two fixed-learning classrooms, a hybrid centre catering for alternative energies, two HV workshops and an LV workshop.

We have also recently refurbished the gas network training facilities and pressure control training area.


09:00 | Breakfast and networking
09:45 | Welcome and introduction from Develop Training
10:00 | Develop and NGN Gas Training Partnership – Discussion and Q&A
10:20 | Tour of the centre
11:00 | Networking
11:30 | Event Close

Join Us and Discover the Future of Training

We invite you to register for this event and explore how our state-of-the-art facilities can benefit your professional development. This is an unparalleled opportunity to engage with industry leaders, including representatives from NGN, JTL, and CompEx. Attendees will have the chance to discuss gas network and utility training, gas engineering apprenticeships, and competency in explosive atmospheres directly with these experts.

The event is open to all IGEM members. Non-IGEM members are also welcome to attend.

Don’t miss out on this chance to see first-hand how Develop’s York training centre is shaping the future of gas and utility training.

Register today and take the first step towards advancing your skills in a dynamic and realistic training environment.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.igem.org.uk/events-and-training/event-and-training-calendar/develop-york-training-centre-visit.html

Nicola Smith: Powering the Way for Women in Utilities

13 March 2024     News

In a remarkable journey from stockbroker to utilities trailblazer, Nicola Smith has shattered barriers and is now a vital member of Develop Training’s Internal Quality Assurance and Audit team. Her story is not just one of personal success but also an inspiration for aspiring female engineers to follow in her footsteps.

The Women’s Engineering Society’s latest data reveals that despite some progress, only 16.5% of the UK’s engineering workforce consists of women. The utilities industry tells the same sorry story, with the Energy & Utility Skills Partnership reporting that just 17% of employees in the energy and utilities industry are female, with fewer than 1% in the craft-level workforce. While these figures are an increase on previous years, it’s clear that there’s still much work to be done to achieve gender parity within these typically male-dominated industries.

Nicola’s journey stands as a beacon of hope for change

Nicola embarked on her journey with Develop in February 2017, where she started as a Lecturer in Smart Meter installation. Drawing on the skills she cultivated during her time as a hands-on installer, she quickly embraced her new role and has since transitioned to a vital position within the Internal Quality Assurance and Audit (QAA) team, showcasing her adaptability and commitment to the industry.

So, how did Nicola, a former stockbroker, end up in the realm of engineering and utilities?

Her trajectory reflects the timeless theme of personal growth and reinvention. Nicola recalls her initial entry into the workforce, where she started as a cashier with West Bromwich Building Society. However, she knew deep down that her path lay elsewhere, “It wasn’t really for me,” she admits. “But once you start moving along a particular career path, it’s difficult to get off it.”

Driven by a thirst for knowledge and personal growth, Nicola rapidly climbed the financial ladder, eventually becoming a stockbroker based in Canary Wharf. Despite her success, a lingering feeling that she was meant for something more led her to venture into retail banking and eventually she sought a complete career transformation.

Nicola’s innate curiosity and hands-on nature steered her toward engineering, and an apprenticeship opportunity at British Gas provided the perfect avenue for her to make the leap.

Gender roles in engineering & utilities

Breaking gender norms, Nicola became the sole female Engineer in her area. While her experience was largely positive, she notes that misconceptions about gender roles in engineering still persist.

Right up until the day I left, customers would say ‘but when will the engineer be here?’ and I’d have to explain that I was the engineer.”

Nicola’s determination to challenge these preconceptions, combined with her passion for learning and development, led her to her current role as an Internal Quality Assurance Auditor.

She explains, “I’ve discovered my real passion working at Develop. I’ve been able to learn and do things I never imagined I could. Going from being a stockbroker to a Quality Assurance Auditor has been really rewarding, and I can honestly say I’m happier in this job than ever before.”

“I would encourage all women to consider a career in the training industry. It’s an industry that welcomes diversity and fresh perspectives, and there’s a wealth of untapped potential waiting to be unleashed. Don’t be afraid to break those barriers, challenge the norms, and join us in shaping the future of training in the utilities industry.”

A supportive employer

Now, as part of Develop’s QAA Team, Nicola is responsible for auditing a wide range of gas and utilities-based training courses. This means that she’s involved in checking everything from pre-course communications and materials a delegate receives, to the content of the training course itself all the way through to the assessments and certification. The role carries a high weight of responsibility as if an External Quality Assurance Audit takes place and finds that the organisation is not meeting the standards set by the external Awarding Body then this could mean that Develop is no longer able to offer the qualifications.

Nicola elaborates on why she enjoys working for Develop,

Develop has been more than just a workplace for me; it’s a fantastic support system. They’ve not only supported my career growth but have also been incredibly understanding of my personal circumstances, including maternity and the need for flexible working around family life. Their support has given me the confidence excel in my different roles while still having a good balance between work and family.”

Nicola’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of determination, resilience, and a passion for breaking down barriers. As she continues to make her mark, she paves the way for more women to follow suit, inspiring change and progress in an industry that sorely needs it. Her story is a testament to the fact that, with the right mindset and opportunities, individuals can defy convention and excel in any field, regardless of gender or background.

To find out more about the QAA Team, please visit: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/quality-assurance/

Develop expands NRSWA course offerings through Norwich training centre

   06 February 2024     News

Develop Training, the UK’s leading accredited provider of compliance, technical, and safety training, is pleased to announce it will now deliver National Road and Street Works Act (NRSWA) courses from its Norwich location. 

The courses will be delivered at the new training centre that was recently opened in partnership with parent company, JTL.

As one of the few providers of NRSWA training in the local area, Develop is positioned to meet the growing demands for specialised training programmes in Norfolk.

Develop is fully equipped to deliver the NRSWA Reinstatement of the Highway (NRSWA Ops/Sups) course at the Norwich centre. The centre will host two full NRSWA courses on 11th March and 29th April, providing delegates with essential skills and knowledge required for working on new roads and streetworks.

In addition to NRSWA courses, Develop also offers a range of related courses, including:

Develop’s commitment to excellence in compliance, technical and safety training ensures that delegates gain the practical skills and theoretical knowledge needed to meet industry standards and regulations.

Kate Denial, Cross Industry Training Manager at Develop, commented:

We are delighted for Develop to be one of a small number of exclusive providers for this NRSWA training in Norfolk and East Anglia. We are dedicated to delivering high-quality training to utility industry professionals across the UK, supporting them in achieving the required skills to meet compliance and safety standards.”

To find out more about Develop’s full range of street works (NRSWA) courses please visit: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/training/utilities/street-works/

Rain or shine: delegates embrace hands-on utility excavation training

   26 January 2024     News

Despite the chilly and rainy weather that enveloped Yorkshire yesterday, commitment to excellence prevailed as Wayne Stones, Utilities & Streetworks Trainer, conducted utility excavation training for a group of delegates from Northern Gas Networks. The inclement weather failed to dampen the spirits of both the Trainer and the delegates as they engaged in practical training on our specially constructed trench excavation area on Training Terrace.

The delegates, huddled in their PPE, showcased their determination to enhance their skills in utility excavation, undeterred by the challenging weather conditions. Wayne Stones, with his wealth of expertise, led the group through a comprehensive training session, emphasising safety protocols and best practices in the field.

Training Terrace, a state-of-the-art training facility, is designed for hands-on learning experiences and played a crucial role in facilitating the practical aspects of the training. The dedicated trench excavation area provides a safe yet realistic environment for the delegates to apply their knowledge and hone their skills under the guidance of Wayne.

Find out more

Training Terrace is a true to-scale, artificial street and serves as a testament to our commitment to providing high-quality training experiences, ensuring that professionals in the utility industry are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in their roles.

For those interested in learning more about Training Terrace and the comprehensive training programmes offered, visit: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/training-terrace

To see which courses can be facilitated at our York training centre, download our brochure here: https://resources.developtraining.co.uk/york-training-brochure

For more information on our utility excavation training and upcoming course dates, please contact our Customer Service team on 0800 876 6708 or email enquiries@developtraining.co.uk.

Develop Training creates bespoke incident management training programme for firmus energy

   05 January 2024        News

In a strategic move to improve incident management and enhance the preparedness of its staff, firmus energy, a natural gas supplier in Northern Ireland, has collaborated with Develop Training, a renowned utilities training provider.

The objective was clear: to rigorously test procedures and ensure that firmus’ engineering and technical teams were well-equipped to handle real-world incidents. The decision to opt for Develop Training was influenced by the organisations’ successful track record in creating bespoke incident management training programmes for utility companies.

Training expertise in incident management for the gas industry

The driving force behind firmus’ choice was the wealth of experience brought to the table by Develop’s experts, Jim Donnelly and Chris Parker, both of whom have many years experience of working hands on in the gas industry and devised a similar training initiative for Phoenix Energy last year.

The bespoke programme of training designed by Develop brought together various teams within Firmus, fostering collaboration among individuals who may not typically work together on a day-to-day basis but would have to work effectively together in the case of a serious incident. The training aimed to simulate real-life incident scenarios, allowing the group to test procedures and for Jim and Chris to gather invaluable feedback from those involved. The pair also assessed how the group responded both as a team and individuals. The feedback was then presented to firmus and an action plan created.

Positive feedback from delegates and employer

The feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive. Many expressed that the experience was not only enjoyable but also deeply appreciated.

One delegate said,

The training was a fantastic opportunity for us to demonstrate our ability to react to a simulated incident, uncovering potential areas for improvement in procedures. The best way to learn is by actively doing the task so I found it incredibly useful to do this training and it’s definitely given me some learning points to go away and put into practice.”

One of the standout benefits cited by firmus was the opportunity to receive direct feedback from the individuals who participated in the training. This feedback loop proved instrumental in shaping the action plan.

Chantal Hemphill, HSE Manager at firmus, expressed her satisfaction with the collaboration, stating,

Working with Develop Training has been an incredibly valuable experience for firmus. Jim and Chris were clearly very experienced, making us feel comfortable throughout the process. Their professionalism and commitment to ensuring our teams were well-prepared for any incident were evident, and we are grateful for the positive impact this training has had on our organisation. There have been some clear takeaways that the training highlighted and we’re now working through the action plan to address these.”

A bespoke training package for incident management and response in the gas industry

As effective incident management and response continues to play a key role in the utilities industry, investment in employee training proves to be essential for companies like firmus. Develop Training’s successful collaboration with firmus underscores the importance of hands-on, bespoke training in ensuring the preparedness and efficiency of industry professionals in handling real-world scenarios.

To find out more about how Develop can help your organisation with bespoke incident management and response training, please contact our Customer Service Team on 0800 876 6708 or email enquiries@developtraining.co.uk

Six Months of Upgrades, Innovations and Accolades

   14 July 2023         News

It has been an exciting six months here at Develop Training. Now we’re over half way through the year, let’s take a look back over the first half of 2023 and review some of our most notable moments:

Facility Enhancements and Innovations:

Develop relocates Swindon training centre

At the end of 2022 our Swindon training centre was relocated to a more accessible venue closer to the M4. This move not only improved convenience for our delegates but also allowed us to upgrade our facilities significantly, providing a modernised and comfortable learning environment as well as allowing us to offer a wider range of courses including gas, multi-utility, water waste networks and confined space training.

Find out more here: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/mayor-opens-develop-trainings-new-swindon-training-centre/

Develop re-opens York training centre following extensive refurbishment

In May, we re-opened our York centre following an impressive £500k refurbishment. The centre has had several updates to include two fixed-learning classrooms, a training centre catering for alternative energies, two HV workshops and an LV workshop. These workshops will offer a number of Develop’s courses, including those relevant to confined spaces, gas distribution, health and safety, healthcare estates and water systems.

Find out more here: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/develop-officially-unveils-its-york-training-centre-and-fully-to-scale-artificial-street-following-significant-investment/

Artificial training street introduced at York centre

As part of the York refurbishment, we also proudly introduced Training Terrace—an true to-scale artificial street that offers delegates an immersive and practical training experience. Training Terrace looks and appears as a regular street would, consisting of houses, apartments, and a café, but each area has been specifically designed for training purposes. This allows trainers to deliver courses in emergency response to gas incidents, as well as excavation safety, cable avoidance, street lighting, drains, sewer jetting and confined spaces entry.

Find out more here: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/lindsay-talks-takes-the-spotlight-at-grand-unveiling-of-training-terrace/

£500k refurbishment begins in Derby

In April we began an extensive refurbishment of our Derby training centre. The project includes a complete renovation of the existing classrooms, office spaces, reception, toilets, and communal areas, as well as some external areas. There will also be a newly refurbished canteen for delegates, as well as a new coffee break out area. The centre is due to re-open to delegates in mid-July.

Keep up to date with the latest information on our company news pages: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/news

Investing in Excellence:

Recruitment drive due to growing demand

Responding to the growing demand for our services, we have heavily invested in recruitment and increased our technical staffing levels. Some recent additions to our delivery team include an ex-firefighter, an ex-bomb disposal expert, and a former electrician. Recruiting trainers with extensive industry backgrounds helps us to ensure that our training is relatable, as they can call upon their personal experiences to provide relevant examples that resonate with delegates.

Interested in a career at Develop? Find out more: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/about-us/work-for-develop/

Mobile confined spaces unit launched

To further enhance our service offerings, we spent many months designing a mobile confined spaces training unit. This project finally came to fruition in April when the unit was delivered to us. This addition allows us to provide practical training in confined spaces, at customer sites all across the UK – it only takes up 4 carparking spaces and is ready to go in just 15 minutes!

This state-of-the-art facility can simulate a range of environments utilising lighting and smoke machines throughout 35m of tunnels and horizontal shafts. Equipped with advanced features such as 4K and night vision cameras, smoke machines, speakers and pipework it simulates a realistic working environment that allows delegates to practice navigating confined spaces in a safe and controlled environment. This advanced facility has already been utilised by clients such as Rolls Royce, Cadent and even the Fire Department.

Find out more about our mobile confined space unit here: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/mobile-confined-space-unit

New range of e-Learning courses to supplement in-person training

In May we were delighted to announce the launch of LEDA, our new e-learning platform. The courses available on the LEDA platform supplement and support our practical training courses, offering professionals the flexibility to enhance their skills and knowledge through interactive online modules. The initial batch of 64 courses focuses on a range of business areas including leadership & management and IOSH as well as a range of general health and safety courses. More categories are set to be added in the coming months through collaboration and feedback from Develops valued customers.

Find out more about LEDA here: https://resources.developtraining.co.uk/digital-elearning-programmes-from-develop-training

Recognition of Excellence:

Develop awarded Investors in People Gold award

In January 2023, Develop Training achieved the prestigious Investors in People Gold award. This recognition signifies our commitment to nurturing a positive and supportive work environment, where our team thrives through continuous professional development. This prestigious award is decided after an extensive assessment and achieved by less than 10% of those who apply for it, making Develop part of an exclusive group of companies invested in their employees future.

Continue reading: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/investors-in-people-gold-award/

Excellent feedback following CABWI visit

Additionally, in May Develop underwent an external quality assessment by the Certification and Awarding Body for Industry (CAWBI). We’re delighted to say that the feedback was excellent, and we have included an excerpt from the assessment below:

Develop demonstrated: “High quality delivery over all qualifications using very experienced industry professionals, top quality IT systems and excellent management of all ongoing delivery programmes.”


So, what does the remainder of 2023 hold for Develop?

We remain committed to investing in our facilities and our employees, we are extending our training provision into new areas of growth, and we will continue to deliver high-quality training programmes for the industries we work with.

As ever, our overall aim is to deliver exceptional training experiences and equip professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their roles.

Introducing Thomas Flynn; A Gas Trainer With A Wealth Of Experience

   13 July 2023         News

We are thrilled to extend a warm welcome to Thomas Flynn, who has recently joined Daryll Garavan’s Utilities team as a Gas Trainer. With a wealth of hands-on industry experience and in-depth knowledge, Tom has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by delegates in their day-to-day roles. This will allow him to tailor his training approach to address their specific needs, ensuring they receive the utmost value and an exceptional learning experience.

Before joining Develop, Tom served as a Civil Engineer, primarily focusing on groundwork in the Luton area. However, between 2015 and 2020, he honed his skills as a Gas Engineer at Cadent, where he played a crucial role in detecting and addressing leaks. Every day presented unique challenges, as identifying and resolving leaks required a keen eye and problem-solving abilities. Prior to 2015, Tom also worked for Cadent in a variety of gas-related roles.

An enjoyable few weeks

Reflecting on his first few weeks at Develop, Tom said, “I am truly enjoying my time at Develop so far. The level of support I’ve received has been nothing short of excellent. From a wide range of training opportunities to the invaluable experience of shadowing fellow trainers, Develop has truly exceeded my expectations in helping me settle into my new role. I feel empowered and well-equipped to deliver the best possible training and learning experience for our delegates.”

Outside of work

Beyond his professional pursuits, Tom is a talented bass guitarist and an avid music lover. When he’s not training or working, you can find him playing in a band or attending concerts. He is also a devoted football fan, although he no longer plays due to past injuries. As a passionate supporter of Luton Town, Tom finds great joy (and sometimes great disappointment!) in cheering on his beloved team.

We are delighted to have Tom join our team at Develop, and we look forward to the valuable contributions he will make. Welcome aboard, Tom – it’s a pleasure to have you with us!



Training Terrace Receives Rave Reviews from Delegates

   04 July 2023         News

Training Terrace, Develop’s fully to-scale artificial street offering real-life work scenarios for training and assessment, has garnered high praise from delegates who recently attended the facility. Delegates expressed their satisfaction with the true-to-life scenarios and highlighted how the training experience at Training Terrace is helping them excel in their real-life jobs.

In June, the true to-scale artificial street welcomed its first intake of delegates who were undertaking NCO Gas Level 2 Escape, Locate & Repair training. One delegate commented, “The street provides well-thought-out and realistic interiors, which makes it feel just like the houses we encounter in our day-to-day work. It’s incredible how the facility replicates some of the challenges we face on domestic sites.”

Another delegate emphasised the benefits of Training Terrace, stating, “The realism and familiarity offered by Training Terrace makes a significant difference in our training. I personally feel more confident and better prepared to handle real-life situations after undergoing training in this facility because it’s allowed me to practice my skills in a safe and controlled environment.”

This feedback proves that delegates value the chance to train in an environment like Training Terrace, as it enables them to bridge the divide between theoretical knowledge and practical application whilst practicing their skills in a safe, closed environment.

A long history of training innovation

The positive feedback received from delegates affirms Develop’s commitment to delivering high-quality training experiences. Training Terrace is just one example of how Develop continuously strives to provide innovative and immersive training solutions, ensuring that delegates are well-prepared to tackle the challenges of their professions.

In 2021, Develop launched the utilities industries first ever City & Guild’s accredited blended learning training course for workers who handle high voltage electrical systems. This was swiftly followed by a range of other blended and virtual classroom programmes. Further to this, Develop has recently added a new state of the art mobile confined space training facility to its delivery portfolio. Develop is also seeking to address the national shortage of teaching and learning roles within the sectors by significantly investing in trainer recruitment via a project known as Evolve – further details will be available soon.

Further information on Training Terrace

For more information about Training Terrace and the courses available at this state-of-the-art facility in York, please visit www.developtraining.co.uk/about-us-training-facilities.

Alternatively, contact our friendly Customer Service team on 0800 876 6708 or email enquiries@developtraining.co.uk

Innovative Mobile Unit Enables On-Site Confined Spaces Training for Compass Group

   28 June 2023         News

Last week, delegates from Compass Group UK & Ireland took advantage of our new mobile confined spaces unit and had their Level 2 Medium Risk Confined Spaces training delivered at their own premises.

Below, three delegates are pictured on top of the mobile unit ready to lower themselves down 3m into 35m of internal tunnels and horizontal shafts.

Congratulations to all those who attended the training and successfully gained their CABWI Level 2 Award in Working in Medium Risk Confined Spaces.

Interested in finding out more about our mobile unit? Find out more here

Professional accreditations