Tag Archives: ATL

T4TS How to Guides: Cliff’s Train4TradeSkills Practical Training – Week 6

Monday:

Well it’s Week 6 and the beginning of the end of level 2 this morning. There’s another group of students arriving for their practical, whether it be plumbing or electrics, week one or eleven all are mingling around the canteen chatting about their journeys, meeting new people or even some familiar faces met on previous visits.

I already know what I have in-store for me this week it’s my bathroom install assessment, and I am looking forward to getting on with it. The ATL centre is still down one tutor due to sickness so Robert is going to have to spread his time between two groups again, which is not a problem as we are supposed to do the install without any help from the tutors.

Nevertheless he spends twenty minutes with us explaining the requirements of the task, which include designing the layout, a full materials list, a written summary description and photographic evidence. So a good part of the morning is spent planning and setting out, we are to use plastic pipe and John Guest Speedfit® fittings below floor level and copper above floor level so it is going to be quite a quick install and I have almost finished the first fix by 4.30pm so I call it a day.

Tuesday:

Not feeling so good this morning as I am aching all over and have the sniffles first signs of man flu -just what I need this week! I get down to work regardless and soon complete the first fix and notching of the floor boards and proceed to pressure test the first fix.

Out in the real world this would be no problem as all my fitting would be new but here in the centre we re-use old fittings, so after changing several faulty service valves I manage to complete a successful pressure test and with the help of another student take the first of my photographic evidence photo’s.

I have been trying since I arrived yesterday to get Robert to read my updated summary description from last week so that I can sign the work off in my portfolio, but he is hard to pin down for long and I have to literally stand in front of him with my work and a pen to get him to check it and even then he only has time to scan it briefly before we are informed that we have exams in five minutes, Ouch wasn’t expecting that Wednesday is the usual day for exams but due to the amount of exams to get through this week they had decided to start earlier in the week.

So I have two exams Environmental Awareness In Plumbing and Effective Working Relationships In The Plumbing Industry, It feels very thrust upon us and my head is banging with the onset of flu, I Have a real problem keeping focused in the exam and am not happy when I leave the examination room and with good reason as it turned out.

I flunked the environmental awareness exam which surprises me as it’s a bit of a pet subject for me, re-sits Thursday before I can sit the end GOLA exam. So a bit disconsolate I return to my bay to continue with my bathroom install, “at least that is going well” Robert has spotted that I am not at my best and comes and spends a bit of time with me going over the environmental awareness with me, I really like Robert and his teaching methods and I am feeling much better when I leave for home.

Wednesday:

The Flu has really got me now and I am avoiding contact with rest of the group to avoid passing it on, fortunately I am working in a bay on my own so they should be OK as long as they keep their distance.

I get my head straight to finishing my installation and have it completed by lunchtime with no problems at all and took the other photo for the supplementary evidence and had Robert in to check and appraise the installation. I am not the first to finish this week but I am very happy with the finished job.

The sun is out today and I enjoy lunch sitting out in the fresh air and it makes my flu feel not so bad. The afternoon was spent methodically decommissioning the bathroom, counting and listing all the fixtures, fittings and pipe work used in the bathroom as I can use it to make a the accurate material’s list needed for supplementary evidence. It takes the whole afternoon to strip out, recycle and return the bay back to the blank canvas it was to begin with, I would of liked to get away early today to revise but it 5pm by the time I leave the centre tiered but satisfied that I only have my write-up left to do.

Thursday:

Big day today as its re-sit and my GOLA Assessment End Test, and there is no waiting around were straight into the exam room at 9.30am I have fully prepared myself with max strength flu capsules this morning and am feeling much clearer in the head the re-sit is easy and I have no problem with 18 questions then its straight on with the GOLAHOO!!! Lots of good vibes going around everyone’s done really well nobody needs to re-sit.

So congratulations to all my fellow students who completed their Level 2 plumbing. I can now look forward to starting my level 3 course work and I will be back soon with a week 7 training diary many thanks also to my friends and family for all your support, especially my partner Carmen without you none of this would have happened.

Read the rest of Cliff’s practical training diaries on his plumbing blog at www.plumbing-student.blogspot.com

T4TS How to Guides: Cliff’s Train4TradeSkills Practical Training – Week 5

Hi and welcome again to my diary of practical training. This week’s assessments will be sheet lead weathering’s. Also I have two exams:one on Electrical supply and earth continuity and the other on sheet lead weathering’s .

Monday:

As with every other first day I am not sure who is going to be in my group or who my tutor is going to be, when I arrive at the ATL centre in Featherstone I get straight down to business finding out who is in my group and introducing myself.

There are 14 other students in my group again made up of people mainly from the northern counties and Scotland of varying ages, everyone is pretty calm as we have all been here to this centre before. The group is split into two immediately depending on whether individuals are there for one or two week stints but as this would make the groups uneven I am put with the group who are only doing a one week stint. We are to do our sheet lead while the other group will be doing their final bathroom assessment.

My tutor for the week is Mike. It’s the first I have had Mike as a tutor but he is from the same area of Bradford as me and we hit it off straight away. First he does an introduction to the health and safety issues concerning lead it being extremely heavy and toxic so barrier cream and careful handling are a must. We are then introduced to the welding equipment which would normally be an oxyacetylene and oxygen torch but because lead is going to be dropped from the syllabus soon, we are to be using a miniature propane torch; they are much cheaper if somewhat less accurate.

We spend the rest of the morning practicing welding techniques, and I have to say at this point it is very different from what we learned in copper jointing and also much more an acquired skill that takes patience and a steady hand. In the afternoon we are given our first assignment which is a lead slate to go over the soil vent pipe protruding a roof plus a written summary description, materials list and two photographs for supporting evidence,

It is a more complicated task than it may first appear, getting the roof pitch onto the upright cylinder is a 10 stage process that I’m not going into now as you will be guided through it by a tutor, needless to say the task takes all afternoon to complete.

Tuesday:

We start the day with a bit of welding practice just to make sure we haven’t forgotten everything overnight and I find it much easier than I had the previous day and are introduced to lead bossing and spend the time up until morning break beating bits of lead into various shapes.

We are then given our second assessment task which is manufacture and install a full chimney weathering set, written summary description, materials list and two photographs for supporting evidence. The first part of which is the front apron this is to be formed using bossing only and takes a whole hour to form the required shape, hopefully this would not normally take that amount of time with more experience I would expect to half that time, but we are in no rush as we have the rest of the week to complete the assessment.

The roof and chimney we are using for this task is a low level purpose made facade so the whole installation can be done without leaving the ground and the manufacturing of the parts can be done on the bench and be taken out to check how well each part fits and or final adjustments.

As it is nearly lunchtime I take an early break and spend a long lunch chatting with other students in the centre as there are people at various stages and trades within the centre and I personally think it’s good to spend time talking with them also. After lunch I set about manufacturing the side flashing’s again this is quite complicated and takes several hours to make fit snugly, so even though I start to make the back gutter I don’t get far into it before it’s time to pack up for the day.

Wednesday:

Got off to a bad start today and I don’t arrive at the centre until 10am this turns out not to be to much of a problem as our tutor has been taken ill in the night and won’t be back to work for several days we are now handed over to Robert whom I have been tutored before in weeks three and four.

So I get on with completing the back gutter this part is made with a combination of bossing and welding but by now I am really getting the hang of forming lead and have it finished very quickly and set about get all my parts installed on the low level chimney (in the rain) I was very pleased with the end result and Robert gave me a nice appraisal, there is just enough time before lunch to dismantle the installation.

During lunch I can feel the tension in the air as Wednesday is exam day starting straight after lunch as there are lots students we can’t all fit in at once so I have a little time to wait before I can get in to the exam room to do mine but I eventually get in at 2.30pm and start with my Electrical Supply and Earth Continuity exam which goes very well and I know I have done well even though I will have to wait for my results. However with my second exam Sheet Lead Weathering

Thursday

Feeling tired this morning but all my practical assessments are complete and I just have my summaries to write up, this to me is the hardest part and I more than expect it to take all day in the centre because of the constant activity and people wanting to chat. But I like it that way as it forces you to take regular breaks which I find allows me to concentrate better during the time I am writing.

Robert my tutor also spends some time with me one to one on sheet lead theory which was an excellent way to revise, as a home study course it is something I don’t really have access to other than down a phone line which is definitely not the same. Anyway I decide to leave early so I can get my photographs and write ups printed ready for tomorrow.

Friday:

Last day all ready the week has gone very quick as always, I have my re-sit at 9am so I just sit chatting with the other students who also have re-sits, the time soon passes and I am in and out again in 20 minutes and I am pretty sure that it’s in the bag, so I spend some time with Robert reading through my summaries and he is not impressed and request me to expand them as they are not even half long enough and would be failed by the City & Guilds examiner.

We go through the rest of my portfolio and make sure everything is signed and up to date, and then I get the result of my exam (PASS). So knowing that I have lot of writing to do to expand my summaries I decide to get off home.

That’s it for my practical training diary for this week except to say that I have re-written my summaries before I wrote this diary and I am quite happy with them but we will have to wait until next week to see if Robert feels the same way.

Thanks for reading, Kind regards Cliff.

Want to read other practical training diaries by Cliff about his Train4TradeSkills Course? Then head over to Cliff’s Plumbing Blog at www.plumbing-student.blogspot.com

Cliff’s Diary of his Train4TradeSkills Practical Training – Week 4

Monday:

I am back in Featherstone for week 4 of my practical training there are not so many students this week and I am in a group of three. Our main task for the week is an airing cupboard fitting a hot water storage cylinder, feed and expansion tank also running a single hot feed to a hand basin.

This is part of the requirement for city & guilds 6129 course and is assessed but there is no photo and summary required. You can have two attempts to complete this task but if you are happy with your first install it is not necessary and you can move on to other things.

We don’t need a materials list for this task so it’s straight to work on the install. We can install this system any way we see fit and the only information given is that we must use as many machine bends as possible so as not to slow the flow of water.

This is quite a task as a great deal of the pipe work is in 22mm which is difficult to bend by hand, but after last week’s LCS I am feeling pretty pumped up and find it less difficult than my first attempts with 22mm pipe.

By lunchtime I am well into the install and have the feed and expansion tank completed and the feed to the cylinder also. After a catch up with the other students over lunch were back to work fitting the primary vent pipe which is the most complex of all the bends as it has a bridge, offset and two 90 ̊ bends all in one piece of 22mm tube. This takes the best part of an hour to work out and pull accurately but once complete the rest is plain sailing and by the end of the afternoon I have the system filled with water and soundness tested

Tuesday:

Having soundness tested the install the previous day and left the system filled overnight, Robert our tutor assessed the install and passed it with some nice comments on neatness and the quality of the bends and said that it was not necessary for me to do a second install and that I could decommission and move on.

The decommission takes a long time as there is a large quantity of water in the system so the morning soon passes. During lunch I spent some time with a group of students on their first week of training and am able to give some advice on what to expect during the week and hopefully helped them to avoid some of the mistakes people were making when I was there for week 1.

This was good because it allowed me to realise just how beneficial the first weeks were to me and how much I had retained to memory. In the afternoon Robert did air testing drainage systems with me and I got acquainted with a manometer, I also did two test papers ready for the exams the following day which I failed miserably much to my disgust, so out came the books and I spend the rest of the day doing some serious revision in the canteen.

Wednesday:

Feeling pretty tired today. I did another 2 hours revision when I got home last night and am just hoping I haven’t done too much and bamboozled myself with facts and figures.

I am given another task by Robert a Soil and Waste fit in one of the bays. It’s not a long task but there are two photo’s, a written summary and a materials list needed for this task. It really helps me clear my head and distracts me from worrying about the exams as I excel in the practical parts of the course.

And I am feeling much more relaxed by lunch. During lunch talking with fellow students I realise it’s not only me who has been dreading exam everyone failed the mocks and spent a long night of revision but are now all feeling pragmatic about them pass or fail, my own attitude is failure is NOT an option.

1pm: Exam time today we have Sanitation systems and Central Heating Systems both are about 30 questions multiple choice and computer based with about 60mins allocated for each which again is more time than is necessary and even spending lots of time over the papers I’m out within the hour relieved that there over with.

The rest of the day is to be a Rain Water System install again not a very long task but photo’s, materials list and a written summary is required for my portfolio, the install only take 30mins and the remainder of the day is spent doing materials lists and summaries for the last two tasks. We get our results from our exams quite late in the afternoon and I’m very pleased to say I passed both – CHUFFED!!!

Thursday:

Today is about getting my portfolio up to date and making sure everything is signed and dated correctly. Absolutely everything has to be signed and counter signed by the tutors, so Robert spends a whole morning going through our files with us, he also dose some talks on Solvents, Scaffolding Erection and The Safe Use Of Power Tools so that they can also be signed as completed.

He has also given us a talk on what to expect on our final two weeks and it sound like it’s going to be very intense with lots of summaries to do. I am all up to date with everything completed so there is no need for me to attend for the Friday. Friday’s seem to be for resit’s of exams and also any work that needs to be completed, so far I haven’t needed to attend on Fridays hope I can continue in that manner.

Hope you have enjoyed the read I have 4 more TMA’s to complete the level 2 then 2 more weeks practical so am hoping to be back with parts 5 & 6 of the diary soon.

To see photos from Week 4 of his practical training and read his other diaries, visit Cliff’s blog at www.plumbing-student.blogspot.com

Cliff’s Diary of Train4TradeSkills Practical Training – Week 2

Last week, plumbing trainee and student blogger Cliff Raw wrote a diary detailing his first week of practical training for his Train4TradeSkills course.

Here’s Cliff’s second diary. Read the rest of Cliff’s diary and look at his photos of practical training on his blog at www.plumbing-student.blogspot.com

Well having got through week 1 successfully and having had a nice relaxing weekend, it’s time to do week 2, the week is set out differently from week 1 as we are given the task of fitting a bathroom suite and radiator from scratch as well as two theory assessments and our BPEC (WRAS) exam, so let’s start at the beginning.

Day 1:

The task for this week is a bathroom suite fitting from scratch, so the morning is spent measuring up and estimating materials and fittings required, this has to be correct as we are to be issued with the materials we request and nothing more. After a lot of deliberation I hand in my requisition form just before lunch and am issued with 18m of copper tubing, various fittings and fixings.

During lunch I discover what everyone else has requested, this makes me feel confident that my calculations are correct. So having eaten I set to work marking out and notching joists where necessary positioning my pipe fixings as I see fit. We are receiving no help with this task but Neil (the tutor) is observing the progress and answers any questions asked. By the end of the day I have installed and pressure tested the radiator and first fixed the hand basin.

Day 2:

I am straight into my bay to make as much progress as possible as we know we are to be broken off at some point to sit theory assessment in Key Plumbing Principles and Common Plumbing Processes, both are computer based multiple choice assessments of about 1 hour each. I have revised these over the weekend and am confident that I will pass without any difficulty which turns out to be the case as we get our results straight after lunch.

Not everyone has passed and some will have to re-sit their assessments on Friday. I am feeling great at this point as my bathroom fit is going well, the afternoon flies by, but we all know that tomorrow is the big one as we have our water regs exam and everyone is nervous about it.

Day 3:

The morning is classroom based with Neil giving a presentation on the water regs. Everyone is putting notes into our water regs manual as the exam is open book so we can take the manual into the exam, even with taken into consideration the whole of the group are stressed, we need 80% to pass but if anyone gets less than 70% then you cannot resit in the same week.

The exam is at 1.30pm and no one feels much like eating so lunch passes slowly. The exam itself is 2 papers again multiple choice, we have approximately 2 hours to complete it, the questions are worded in such a way as to make it a very difficult exam and is marked immediately to allow anyone that got between 70% & 80% to resit immediately and I have to admit that I was one of the people who needed the re-sit, having done the re-sit i came away with a 90% pass mark, much to my relief, I needed a very long afternoon break to recover before carrying on with my bathroom fitting

Day 4:

Today everyone is much more relaxed and cheerful knowing that the week’s exams are behind us, so we can enjoy the experience of the fitting. I have finished my first fix and have my hand basin, WC and bath in position and second fixed by lunch, just another hour and I have my waste pipe work finished.

We are given maintenance tasks to complete ie; re-seating taps changing diaphrams on float valves before decommissioning and as I have finished this by 2pm we are asked to do a permanent 4 person hand wash trough for the centre students to fill in time. It’s nice to know that it will be there for all to use for years to come.

Day 5:

The week has been a roller coaster ride but we are on the last day and it’s all maintenance tasks today and bringing paper work up to date and signed off, we are given several tasks in fault finding to complete all to be done live at working pressure so remembering to use isolation valves was paramount if you didn’t want a soaking.

You can see the group is looking tired but there is plenty of good humoured banter going on, everyone is keen to be off home as some people had a long journey home so after exchanging email addresses and phone numbers we are ready for off.

You can email Cliff and ask him about his Train4TradeSkills course and look at photos of his practical training on his blog at www.plumbing-student.blogspot.com