Meet the team : Chris Tennant

   08 January 2024         Blogs

For this month’s Meet the Team blog, we’re introducing our Senior Confined Spaces Trainer, Chris Tennant.

With a rich background in the water industry, Chris has brought a wealth of experience and expertise to Develop over his nine years at the business.

A background in the water industry

Chris began his career after leaving school in electrical engineering, where he worked in the role of coil winder on repairing and rewiring electric motors. Following this, he transitioned into the water industry as a leakage technician on water systems through spells working for companies surveying and mapping of underground assests, including a short spell in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq to train local staff in low cost leak detection methods. Chris eventually joined GWC Ltd., where he was contracted to Thames Water, Severn Trent and Scottish Water to work across various roles including working in a drawing office, surveying manholes and managing the distribution of pressure and leakage surveys.

During my eight years at GWC Ltd, I had the pleasure of travelling all across the UK, covering regions including Scotland, Yorkshire, Cornwall and North London to analyse DMA flow and pressure data.”

Chris then worked for just over a year with H20 Water Services Ltd. as a team leader, working to repair large water leaks in Yorkshire. Following this, Chris then moved back to his previous employer, GWC Ltd., and began training those starting to work in the water industry. This role involved Chris using his many years of experience to help to design and implement training and assessment programmes on leakage practices and equipment.

I grew to learn that many individuals that were entering the water industry had little to no previous experience, so I knew it was my duty to let them know the sorts of scenarios they would be dealing with.”

Joining Develop

In 2014, Chris joined Develop after hearing positive things from a previous manager that had recently joined the company.

Chris initially came on-board to work on the water-side of the distribution network as a training consultant, however, his previous skills quickly caught the attention of the team, and he was soon involved in a wide variety of projects, utilising his previous experience in training too.

Current role and responsibilities

Chris currently works as a Senior Confined Spaces Trainer at Develop. His responsibilities include working closely with other trainers to design Develop’s courses, and training delegates for confined spaces work.

It’s a priority for us to ensure the delivery of our courses meet the specific needs of each of our clients. We collaborate closely with each business we work with to understand their training requirements and how we can streamline our courses to meet their needs.”

Additionally, Chris plays a crucial role in the internal quality assurance aligning courses with the relevant awarding bodies. He also works closely with the sales team and senior account managers to ensure clients receive high-quality training that is catered to the confined spaces environments they are operating in.

Chris recently wrote a blog that provides a detailed 20-point confined space entry checklist for producing a safe system of work. The checklist underscores the critical importance of implementing rigorous safety measures when working within confined spaces, regardless of the industry involved, and has been very well received by Develop’s customers.

Bringing real-world confined space experience

Chris believes it is vital for trainers to apply their own industry experience into their role when training delegates to allow for real-world examples to be applied to the learning materials presented.

“I have found that delegates appreciate trainers with real-world experience, and at Develop, the majority of the trainers we work with have had extensive exposure to the areas they now teach.

In my previous role, we used to survey manholes and I have also experienced being in the Victorian brick sewers and large rainwater tanks, which are all scenarios that I now apply to my teaching from a practical perspective for delegates to learn from.”

10 years of success

Approaching his 10-year anniversary in November 2024, Chris has played a pivotal role in developing bespoke courses for Develop’s wide range of clients.

“A particular highlight of mine is when we designed and delivered a remote course for individuals that were managing the confined spaces work, but wouldn’t be entering the confined spaces themselves.

We developed an in-depth, interactive course that included breakout rooms, questionnaires and an assignment that we then marked and provided feedback on.

The remote course was a great success and evidenced our commitment to creating innovative and tailored solutions to meet the needs of delegates.”

Life in Norfolk

Outside of work, Chris keeps himself busy with cycling, hiking and photography. His weekends often involve walks along nearby rivers, and he’s even had the opportunity to explore the Lake District twice this year.

Chris Tennant is more than just a Senior Confined Spaces Trainer; he’s a dedicated professional with a passion for quality training and many years of industry experience.

Confined Spaces Training Team

Interested in finding out more about Develop’s Confined Space training team? Click here to discover more about the team and their range of abilities.

Visit our dedicated webpage to view all the confined spaces training offered by Develop, all of which can be offered at one of our training centres in Swindon, York or Derby, as well as on-site at a location of your choice via our confined spaces mobile unit.

Alternatively, click on one of the blog posts below to find out more about confined spaces and how your organisation should be managing them.

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