IBTE SVSB gets TWI accreditation

National 2 minutes, 42 seconds

BELAIT

THE Institute of Brunei Technical Education’s Sultan Bolkiah Vocational School campus (IBTE SVSB) in Seria became the first welding centre in the sultanate yesterday to be internationally accredited by The Welding Institute (TWI).

The accreditation is a targeted move towards boosting the marketability and employability of welding and fabrication graduates by delivering courses to TWI’s rigorous and internationally-renowned standards, said IBTE SVSB’s principal, Akandi Abdul Razak.

The campus’ Fabrication and Welding section currently offers three courses – two skill certificates and a diploma – which will have their curriculum upgraded with the help of TWI, which will send instructors to Brunei to train the section’s current staff.

“We (IBTE and TWI) are having ongoing discussions of what the upgraded or revised curriculum will look like and if there will potentially be additional courses to be offered,” said Akandi after the accreditation was officially presented to the campus.

Central will be the delivering of 3G welding training, which covers the fundamental positions of flat, vertical and horizontal, and 6G – considered the gold standard of the welding profession.

Being an accredited centre, IBTE SVSB will also be able to leverage onto any advancements by TWI, who as one of the world's biggest welding organisations has a strong research and development background, said Akandi.

Mohd Darus Taib, general manager of TWI’s operations in Southeast Asia (TWI Technology), said the accreditation was relevant to Brunei’s agenda on human capital development and economic diversification.

“Welders don’t just play a crucial role in the oil and gas industry but also in the automotive industry, ships of any kind and almost all industries involved in manufacturing,” he said.

He suggested that IBTE look into making the accredited centre the focal point of welding in Brunei to save costs and allow further improvements to be made.

“It can be very costly to have multiple institutions accredited. IBTE SVSB’s facilities are excellent, up-to-date and meet health, safety and environment and ISO standards, so it makes sense to have most students or professionals certified here,” he added.

TWI Technology’s Chief Auditor, Thomas Werner, who led a two-month inspection to the Fabrication and Welding centre before it was accredited, said the TWI certification would almost certainly mean that students will have to undergo a TWI specific exam, in addition to any existing ones set by IBTE.

“For these students to be able to sit for the TWI exams means that their instructors also have to understand the TWI standard, which is why we will be sending instructors to Brunei to train the instructors here,” said Werner.

He said as TWI is heavily biased towards competency based training, welding instructors must have recorded experience welding themselves.

“Welding is a highly competency-based practical skill. The theory is important, but to teach it effectively means demonstrating the task.”

Akandi said the idea for his campus to link up with TWI came in 2009 after he visited the organisation’s branch in Kuala Lumpur.

Discussions on potential accreditation began in 2014.

IBTE SVSB’s Fabrication and Welding section was amongst the initial departments set up when the school first opened in 1995.

TWI, which was founded in London in 1923, has branches and centres in more than 40 countries worldwide.

The Brunei Times