Back to blog

Hydrodemolition – In-house training for new employees

Sep 16 2015

At Sabre Jetting Services we have an unwavering commitment to training as demonstrated by the implementation of our in-house practical hydrodemolition training. This training was introduced after we recognised the shortfall within the hydrodemolition industry when it comes to providing new operators the practical skills to carry out their job rather than just the H&S knowledge.

Clearly the opportunity to have ability assessed does exist in the form of the Water Jetting NVQ. However, this is suited to hydrodemolition operators who already have the required skills and experience. What was not readily available was the long term process to take an individual from newcomer with no experience to operator, working in a two man team and ready for NVQ assessment. That is why Sabre Jetting have developed a 13 month programme to train any new employees, taking them through levels of learning and assessing them along the way.

The training is carried out in stages and the trainee must show they have reached the desired level of competence in order to progress to the next stage.


Stage 1 – 15 weeks yard based probation

The purpose of the probation period is to give the employee an understanding of the company and the industry and determine whether they feel they are a suitable fit for the demands of hydrodemolition. During this time the employee will carry out the WJA H&S training and learn about the processes of the company, whilst also being introduce to the basic operation and maintenance of the jetting equipment. The employee will also carry out very short stints of supervised water jetting to clean dryer drum panels in our yard. This gives them their first experience of the H&S process required to carry out any job, including reading, signing and complying with the RAMS document, setting up a safe working area and completing all pre-start checks. Over the course of the 15 weeks the employee will also receive 12 in-house training courses in preparation for moving to stage 2.


Stage 2 – 15 weeks site based – third man in a three man hydrodemolition team

Provided all of the requirements for the probation period are met, the employee will move on to stage two. This involves working as a third man on site, on hydrodemolition projects where only a two man team is usually required. As a third man the employee will shadow the role of the safety standby and also undertake their first on-site jetting. Initially the jetting will be in 20 minute stints with the working pressure of the pump reduced to ensure the trainee operator is able to comfortably control the reaction force of the jetting gun. As the confidence and ability of the trainee progresses, the pressure and the length of time on the gun can be gradually increased. The Team Leader will assess the performance of the trainee and report weekly to enable a decision to be made on when they are ready to progress. At the end of this period the operator should have a good understanding of the role of safety standby and be capable of jetting using the maximum working pressure of the jetting unit. If necessary the period can be extended to allow sufficient time for the operator to gain the required knowledge and skills to move on to stage 3.


Stage 3 – 26 weeks site based second hydrodemolition operative

Following completion of stage 2 the trainee should be well prepared to work as part of a two man team. The purpose of this period is to allow the trainee to continue to develop their jetting technique and to work on a variety of projects. Some of the in-house training courses will be repeated and the trainee will be asked to document their time on site so they are able to demonstrate that they are learning new skills and tackling different types of removal. The Team Leader will continue to monitor the progress of the trainee. On completion of this period the trainee will be ready to progress to stage 4 where they will be externally assessed for their NVQ.


Stage 4 – NVQ Level 2 Assessment

At this point the in-house training is effectively complete and the employee will no longer need to be assessed by their Team Leader. However, before being able to be classed as a fully qualified water jetting operative the operator must be externally assessed to achieve an NVQ Level 2 in water jetting. These assessments can last 6-18 months, with Q&A sessions, employer endorsements and witness statements used to build a portfolio of evidence along with on-site observations by the assessor. Once complete the operator can now be classed as fully qualified.


There is no other company within the hydrodemolition industry with a formal training procedure of this nature for inexperienced operators. Sabre Jetting is once again leading the way in this area and moving the whole industry forward in the process. Our clients can be assured that only highly trained individuals will carry out hydrodemolition on their sites and that any trainees will be well supervised and working to a strict programme to ensure their safety.


We are always happy to make new connections,
so if you wish to work with us or simply want more information regarding Hydro Demolition, Surface Preparation and Tank Cleaning

Click here to get in touch