Name: Steven McCallum
Employer: Draintec Solutions Ltd
Situation at the time of taking the course: At the time of taking the course, I was a manager in the company. My job involved managing day to day jobs, managing ongoing contracts and supervising technical jobs. When I attended the 5 day course I held a HNC Construction Management and an SVQ Level 4 in Construction Site Management. Prior to that I had experience as an apprentice joiner, and was a director of my own company for 2 years before joining Draintec where I Started as a supervisor carrying out drainage surveys and trenchless repairs, before moving up to manager level.
Current situation: I am a Senior Manager/ Civil Engineer. I manage contracts and the day to day running of company. I am responsible for running the surveying division, carrying out topographical surveys and drainage mapping and continuing to expand our surveying division.
Steven’s experience of the course: Having only being taught how to use a dumpy level in basic situations the course taught me proper methods and how to use a dumpy level properly and how to work within tolerances. With very little experience of using a total station the course was very beneficial in teaching how to not only set out properly but proper set up and use of the total station itself. The course opened up the opportunity to move up within the company and carry on to degree level education.
In the first instance, the training allowed me to carry out basic level surveys which were previously subcontracted out to other companies. This provided a good basis to add further training and with experience, later being able to carry out topographical surveys.
The course gave me a lot more confidence when surveying. This is partly due to being properly trained on setting the instrument up and carrying out on-site calibration. This emphasis on quality control of information makes me confident in handing over information to the client because I know it is within the specified tolerances.
The setting out training made me more valuable to my employer because it allowed the company to expand and carry out work that was previously subcontracted out. Since being on the course and going through further training and site experience we have started a new surveying division within the company carrying out complex drainage surveys, drainage mapping and topographical surveys and are currently moving towards laser scanning.
I often get the opportunity to pass on my setting out skills. I have shown various employees how to use the dumpy level to carryout basic level surveys on site and how to work within a specified tolerance, taking cover levels and invert levels. I have shown survey assistants basic levelling techniques and proper set-up of survey instruments. I always have the course handbook and worked examples from the course in my van for quick reference when on site. I used it a lot after the course, but don’t need it so much now.
The course has allowed me to progress but has also embedded the importance of the proper methods and maintaining a high degree of accuracy. This course was the starting point for me in surveying and provided a very good basis which allowed me to go and carryout levelling tasks which I initially attended the course to learn how to do, it created a foundation for me to build on and further develop my skills and training later on. A major benefit of attending the course is that despite currently studying BSC (Hons) Environmental Civil Engineering at GCU part time, surveying isn’t covered within the part time course, so the Setting Out for Construction 5 day course substituted this and still allowed me to move on in my career.
The course has contributed to my rapid progression and allowed me to move up the career ladder.
The whole course was beneficial as I only had previous experience in using a dumpy level. My most useful insights were proper use of the dumpy level and setting up a site with no control stations and proper use of the total station.
As a result of attending the course, I always work to a higher standard and correctly log information for quality control.
I think the course is very beneficial for anyone including experienced people. What I found was although you are taught various things on site by others these are not necessarily the correct way of doing things. For someone like myself it is the ideal foundation to build on and with experience I am now confident in carrying out everything covered in the course. I would also recommend the course to site managers and management staff to help them gain a better understanding of setting out and surveying and also to be able to carry out quality control on site and ensure best practice is being used.