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Wilkinson Coutts & Matthews Integrity Training

Who are we?

WILKINSON COUTTS / MATTHEWS INTEGRITY HUB: an up-to-the-minute information mix designed to help you with your lifework and career development in the asset integrity, inspection and NDE industries.

Matthew Petroleum Notes

Asset Integrity Management Degrees

What are these things?

They are postgraduate MSc level degree courses. There’s a few of them around, tagged with snappy acronyms such as AIM (asset integrity management), REAM (reliability engineering and asset management), KPIAM (key point indicator asset management) and the like.

The driving force behind these combinations of subjects is mainly the oil & gas industry, leading to some of the courses being accredited by the UK Energy Institute and other Engineering Institutions.


Management = Spreadsheets

What do they cost?

They’re expensive. It varies depending on what form you take the course in (online, full/part time classroom etc) but budget on £12000+ ($17000 USD) plus your expenses, spread out over the 2-4 years of the course. If you are lucky you might persuade your employer to pay for it. If not (and why should they?) the cost comes straight off your personal bottom line.

What’s in them

Although some have the word integrity in their title, we think it should be in small letters and the word management in big ones.

The content varies from course to course. Their general scope covers economics/investment stuff, life-cycle analysis, risk assessment, operation and maintenance aspects, health and safety, environmental, project management and organisational aspects of running installations.

You won’t be operating equipment or holding tools, or probably even seeing any. A few modules may have a technically-sounding bias to them (corrosion, inspection management etc) but these will not make you into a technical specialist on plant integrity. These are management degrees with an industry-bias hybrid title.

Degree Tip

How useful are they?

As useful as any other management degree. The bigger the employer, the more they seem to like them.

It’s difficult to find an objective report on them from the education industry. We can’t see them in the university-funded HECSU (Higher education council services unit) ‘how useful was your degree etc’ surveys and reports (see ) however all the universities that sell them say that they are excellent.

Do they have a payback time?

Maybe, maybe not. From a pure financial perspective, it is next to impossible to calculate the true payback time of any degree-level qualification. We have found evidence of some employers in the oil & gas integrity business offering salary increases for well-established existing employees who attain Institution Associate Membership status (typically £6-7k p.a. increase) but the same doesn’t seem to hold good for management degrees. If you are an employer that does offer management-degree salary incentives then we’d love to hear from you.

Are AIM-type degrees more use than API inspection qualifications?

This absolutely depends on what you want to do with them. The cost of an AIM-type degree would pay for just a about a full portfolio of API inspection qualifications  covering vessels, pipework, tanks, pipelines, RBI, Source Inspection, damage mechanisms and a few related courses besides. These will give you a practical inspection profile that a degree won’t, but they don’t carry the same status in the eyes of the UK engineering institutions. Other countries recognise them more however and in many places it is difficult to get an inspection job without them. It’s up to you to decide.

Do management degrees lead to a job in management?

There’s no proof that any of them do, at least not that we can find. They seem to follow roughly the same pattern as graduate training schemes in being useful things to have but contain the occasional myth as to where exactly they will lead you. Read about the ‘fast track to management’ myth in our article Graduate training schemes: debunking the myths

We have a whole web page devoted to articles to graduates interested in the asset integrity industry. Check out Matthews Integrity Hub: Graduate World

Can we help you further?


If you want to check your knowledge for a specific job role in the integrity industry then try our trial technical interview.  Its purpose is to test you on the technical aspects of the job you are thinking of applying for.  There's no time limit on it but expect it to last at least 20 minutes.  After the discussion we'll give you honest feedback on how you did.  Just let us know the type of position you are going for; we'll do the rest and respond with at time slot for you to call us.

There's no charge, but we will expect you to call us at the allocated time and be ready to answer technical questions.

Remember your trial interview is on a purely technical subjects.  We are not interested in you personality traits, do-gooding activities or any wonderful extra-curricular interests you may have.

Technical Interview


CONTACT US Tel: 07746 771592

Matthews Integrity Training