At Reynolds Training Services, our mission has always been to create a recognised career pathway for the Bulk Storage Operations sector, achieving this through a ‘Blended Learning’ approach, not only providing the knowledge, skills and experience, but also ensuring personnel learn how to learn throughout their whole work life. The goal is to achieve this via a range of delivery methods “on your site, on our site and online”.

But, how did we arrive at this mission?

At Reynolds Training Services, we firmly believe that our history – our journey, if you will – is like a pipeline, full of elbow joints and branches, pressure points, release valves and measurements. But, all of these are really just opportunities to change direction, change speed, or take stock. They’re all part of the journey.

When we first turned the tap on Reynolds Training Services, in 2009, we had no idea where it would take us. Now, we have a very good idea of where we want to be and how to get there.

Even before 2009, our founder – John Reynolds – had already taken a long and winding journey. As his father had, before him, John began his career by going into the forces – rising through the ranks in the Royal Corps of Transport.  John’s military career steered him into logistics and fuel handling and, latterly, into training recruits, something for which he developed a genuine talent.

After 10 accomplished years in the army, which saw him travel the globe from Germany, through Canada and the UK, John decided to take the wheel and steer his career in a different direction. So, back on civvy street, he commenced a career in bulk storage terminals, where he developed his wider knowledge and skills in all aspects of the storage sector and honed his training skills.

During this period, John realised the importance of the interconnected nature of the bulk liquid and gas storage industry, as well as its crucial role in keeping the wheels of wider industry turning.

Similarly, John became aware that the industry needed a more interconnected approach to health & safety and technical training, to ensure that those who find their way into the industry can develop a whole work life approach to their development and enjoy a successful, rewarding and safe career.

So it was that, in 2009, Reynolds Training Services Ltd took to the road.

Reynolds Training Services – An Unexpected Journey

With his background in Training and Assessment, John Reynolds saw a chance to play an instrumental role in leveling-up the quality of the training provision in the bulk liquid and gas storage sector.  So, in July 2009, he began working from home (long before that was fashionable) with a small client list – including his previous employers – and big ambitions.

Within 12 months, John and his growing team moved into offices in the Europarc business estate, outside his home town of Grimsby, which allowed us to widen the range of services offered and begin to forge relationships with other training providers delivering Oil and Gas qualifications.

At this time, we earned our first accreditation, from the Process Awards Authority, PAAVQSet, which was the principal Awarding Body, at the time, for our range of qualifications and in particular our Level 2 Diploma in Bulk Liquid Operations.

PAAVQSet has now evolved into GQA Qualifications, and we still maintain a good, productive relationship with them.

This was soon followed by our being awarded ‘Centre Status’ by IOSH – the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. This would then lead to our first course approval from IOSH for Process Safety Management.

In 2010, we also made an appearance at our first conference with the Tank Storage Association Annual Exhibition. We have attended every TSA Conference since and support their vision for our sector.

Reynolds Training Services – Moving On Up

Over the next few years, we worked with NSAPI (National Skills Academy Process Industries) on a range of standards for Process Safety Management. We also took on additional associate trainers, to broaden and strengthen our team, and we hired a full-time accounts and admin person.

Seeing a need for a user-friendly online competency management service, we launched iLearn (which has now evolved into CALMcloud) the first dedicated platform for integrating learning for the Bulk Liquid Operations Sector.

Simply put, CALMcloud (which stands for ‘Competency Assessment Learning Management in the cloud’) is an online portal for managing competence. It is a platform created by trainers that addresses the problems many companies face in managing their employee and contractor training and occupational competence.

CALMcloud is designed to encompass and easily track all of a staff-member’s training – both online and onsite face-to-face training – as well as their competence assessment and CPD (Continuous Professional Development).

CALMcloud keeps an ongoing holistic record – all in one place – which takes away the guesswork and confusion of keeping records in different systems. It is also an effective tool for career development. Roles can be assigned to individuals, populating their training needed with the agreed training and competence requirements.

In 2013, we moved our operations to the CATCH facility in the industrial heart of the Humber Bank, which provided access to a Tank Farm, Process Plant and other replicated training environments.

We were also awarded the contract to develop the NSAPI Process Safety Management for Operations suite of materials, including Train the Trainer, a package that provided the skills and resources needed for an employer’s own training personnel to deliver their Process Safety Management in-house.

Continuing to grow, Reynolds moved to the Technical Training Centre at CATCH, which gave them additional offices, classrooms and a workshop area.

We were also awarded Centre Status by NEBOSH (the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) being recognised as a Gold Learning Partner (#946), whilst gaining OfQual and awarding body approval for a range of qualifications, including both Level 2 and Level 5 in Process Safety Management.

This supports our IOSH-approved Approved Principles of Process Safety Management. We also started to develop our Understanding Tank Farms series, a range of courses aimed directly at the Bulk Liquid and Gas Storage Sector, and the forerunner to the apprenticeship programme for the Bulk Storage Operations Sector.

Reynolds Training Services – To Apprenticeships and Beyond

Since 2018, we have agreed the route for the very first Specialism for a Bulk Liquid Terminal Technician, which is aligned to the Science and Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship.

Underpinning this was our development of L3 Diploma for a Bulk Storage Operator Technician. This also secured Engineering Technician Status Approval from IChemE (The Institute for Chemical Engineers).

This work was undertaken with the TSA (The Tank Storage Association), Cogent and the wider industry and is the first such Apprenticeship for this business sector. It develops a recognised career pathway for operational roles.

The first cohort of Science and Manufacturing Technician apprentices commenced study in September 2019.  They will be taking their End Point Assessment by the end of 2021, right on schedule, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. We are also looking forward to welcoming our third cohort, this September.

We also pioneered the National Centre for Process and Manufacturing, investing £300,000 in a system of state-of-the-art Tank Farm and Process Plant equipment. Devised, developed and delivered in partnership with CATCH, this introduces real world industry-specific equipment to our training provision at a previously unprecedented scale, encompassing new gauges, valves, independent shut-off and a full fiscal metering system, including the finest Honeywell Distribution Control System, which is also coupled with an Emerson Delta V DCS. This is exactly the level of equipment learners will encounter in any modern terminal and storage workplace.

Reynolds Training Services – We Didn’t Come This Far… 

… To only come this far!

During the last 18 months – and despite the roadblock of the pandemic – the mission here at Reynolds Training has continued to move forward at an ever-accelerating rate.

As for the future, we aren’t slowing down – far from it. As John Reynolds and our other Associate Trainers travel the length and breadth of the country, delivering award-winning training on your site, or back here at home on our site, you can guarantee that Reynolds Training Services will be going into high gear.

We have lots of plans in the pipeline including:

  • New Qualifications
  • Revising current standards
  • Expanding the NCPM Tank Farm for additional provision
  • Bringing in additional trainers
  • Developing industrial partnerships, that will benefit the sector

Sir Richard Branson recently wrote an article called ‘You Never Know Where an Idea Will Lead’. In his case, his ideas have taken him from selling records out of a church crypt to orbiting the Earth. We, at Reynolds, haven’t quite made it into space, yet, but we firmly believe that hard work and inspiration can take you anywhere – not even the sky’s the limit.

Let’s continue on this journey together.