Introducing our City & Guilds-accredited Drainage Engineer training course

City & Guilds Drainage Engineer Certificate

At Lanes for Drains, we are dedicated to making sure our staff are as skilled and knowledgeable as possible.

This means our customers can take advantage of a constantly improving service that reduces disruption, solves serious problems and keeps homes and businesses running all year round.

But not only that, we want to make sure the industry as a whole is seen as representing only the highest possible standards of skill and service.

That’s why we created the City & Guilds-accredited Drainage Engineer Course – to up-skill drainage engineers across the company and continue our long tradition of investing in people.

Overview of our Drainage Engineer Course

The unique course is the only one of its kind in the world, and is designed to give learners in the industry a deeper understanding and increased level of knowledge in all aspects of drainage engineering including, the theory of drainage systems, relevant legislation and working safely.

The course is taught through a variety of means, including tutor input, group discussions, visual aids and practical sessions.

Why did we create it?

We established this programme because we feel responsible to ensure our workers have the most in-depth knowledge of the drainage system possible.

Because without it, costly and dangerous incidents can occur that may endanger our engineers, the public, architecture and the important underground systems that keep everything running effectively and efficiently.

What’s so different about it?

There are many things that make this course unique and of such a high standard that it has been recognised, audited and accredited by City & Guilds…

Our trainers

The Drainage Engineer course is led by Darren Hamilton, Group Training Manager, and Chris Wilde, CCTV Systems Manager.

Both have a combined experience of 55 years within the drainage industry and have together created an engaging and wide-ranging programme that we are very proud of.

They both have a wide range of technical experience and certifications in management, health and safety and training provision, which means our workers can be sure of the highest standards of training.

Both have qualifications such as IOSHH managing safely, PTTLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) awards, and are City & Guilds-accredited trainers in a number of subjects. That’s among many other courses the pair have attended to improve their skills as trainers, with more to come in the pipeline.

Darren has, in fact, recently been voted onto the (WJA) Water Jetting Association Technical committee and both are in the process of attaining a WJA training accreditation, which will allow them to deliver High Pressure Water Jetting training.

Chris has recently completed and passed an ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) Level 3 Award over the course of four months, which covered a number of modules including; personal leadership, understanding yourself, and others. This further improves the essential skills required to deliver our courses.

Learning styles & assessment

One of the key aspects of this course is that it caters to all learning styles. We know that some people learn better when they’re reading course material, while others need to look at images and videos for the information to better sink in. Others prefer to talk about the topic at hand to really understand it.

As a result, we make sure our programmes contain elements of each and every style to make sure everyone present can really take on board everything that we want them to learn.

The engaging, visual slides that we use in our presentation that set the standard for the rest of the sector. We include impressive illustrations and high-res graphics – all designed in-house – that represent technical and complex scenarios and equipment in an engaging and easy-to-understand way.


In addition, we have invested heavily in top-of-the-range digital screens and equipment, stationed in Birmingham and Manchester, to improve accessibility for staff across the entire Lanes Group, whether they’re based in the North or South of the UK.

What’s more, throughout the Group we are dedicated to supporting those with learning difficulties such as dyslexia. We have worked closely with leading dyslexia groups and organisations to help ensure those with dyslexia feel comfortable at work and have everything they need to develop and progress, and this is no different during the course and assessment.

In the programme joining instructions, we invite anyone who has any issues regarding their reading, writing, handwriting, ability with numbers, and so on, to contact the instructors or Paul McParland, HSEQ Group Manager, confidentially and discuss their concerns.

We will then give any attendees the support they need, which includes being flexible in the way they provide their answers at point of assessment. For example, if a delegate would rather speak their answers on a one-to-one basis instead of writing them, we are happy to make provisions for that.

An immersive experience

From July 2017, each Drainage Engineer course will be delivered in the Igloo – a 360-degree projection theatre owned by Lanes Utilities at the CSC Centre based in Slough.

The Igloo delivers wraparound sound and vision, which allows teams to instantly see and hear what it is like to be inside a sewer – even in hazardous situations – without having to leave the training room. This means the trainee is able to gain a totally different perspective on the industry than they would get elsewhere.

In our opinion, this pioneering training aid makes training considerably more real, meaningful, interactive and effective. That’s why we invested £60,000 in the virtual reality-style space.

Andy Brierley, Lanes Utilities Director, says: “Just as many industries, such as aerospace, use simulators to test new ideas and ways of working, we can now do the same. Real time streaming of video and data for central control of specific projects or incidents is also on the cards.

“The motivational effect of such an exciting training environment, on new recruits and our most experienced engineers alike, cannot be overestimated. We expect it to help us retain our experienced people and build even stronger teams.”

The feedback loop

We always invite each and every delegate to provide their feedback at the end of the course, and we take this feedback very seriously. As a result, the comments we receive regularly help to shape and change the content and the direction of the course.

We’re proud to have an average 5/5 satisfaction rating at the end of the course, but that doesn’t stop us constantly looking for ways to make the content more useful and engaging.

In addition, we have devised and built a secondary course covering CIPP repair techniques. This is based around our proven training format and has recently been audited and accredited by City & Guilds as well. Additional courses are also currently in development.

Why is the City & Guilds accreditation important?

City & Guilds was established back in 1878 with the aim of developing a national system of technical education. Its work became so important that in 1900 it was granted a Royal Charter, which gives organisations certain powers or rights, and helps them stand out from the crowd as organisations with special significance.

The City & Guilds Accreditation Service was set up to provide external validation of technical training courses and qualifications. Courses have to be evaluated against the institution’s rigorous benchmark:

City & Guilds accreditation benchmark

And if a course is accredited, then it means certain high standards are expected to be met throughout the duration of the programme. Because the accreditation is annual, it means that these standards must be met and that the course is developed and improved year on year.

That’s why we’re so pleased that our training programme has been accredited, and why we know the course will provide true value to each and every participant.

Pipe dreams: championing careers in the drainage industry

Not only do we want to maintain the highest standards of education and service provision across the company and the sector as a whole, we are dedicated to making sure the drainage industry is an attractive proposition for those making decisions about their careers.

That’s because it offers progression, variety and challenges, as well as the opportunity to mix with great people and to make a difference to the public’s home and professional lives.

In addition to this accredited training programme, we have signed up to the Skills Accord scheme for the utilities sector. This requires participating companies to make the following five commitments in order to attract talented younger people into the industry:

  • To address sector-wide skills gaps and shortages
  • To promote signing up to the Accord through the supply chain
  • To promote relevant skills development across the supply chain through procurement
  • To continuously improve performance
  • To monitor and report on company and sector performance

All of this demonstrates clearly our approach to not only making sure our employees are the best they can be, but also ensuring those entering the industry feel they are in the right place to constantly learn and develop their skills.

Over the next few months we will be doing our bit to promote the industry as a fantastic career path, so keep your eyes peeled for in-depth advice pieces, interviews with members of our team and much more – all designed to help inform those considering a career in the drainage sector.

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