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Wilkinson Coutts & Matthews Integrity Training

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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

Qualifications and Certifications:

Watch out for Ticket Collectors

As employers in the Integrity Industry we at Matthews Integrity Hub: HEAD OFFICE would like to gently remind you to watch out for TICKET COLLECTORS

Picture yourself in this situation

We sincerely hope you never find yourself in a situation like this but, for a moment, let’s pretend that you have:

Your doctor has told that you that you need a knee operation if you are to continue to walk as normal. It’s fairly serious but the operation is well proven and these days can be carried out in a couple of hours using keyhole surgery. He has heard of a surgeon at the local hospital who may be able to do it, and has arranged for you to see him.

In you walk past the polished furniture, receptionist and door with abbreviations such as BM and FRCS after the name and respectfully ask the Surgeon if he is willing to do this operation. He looks the part in the white coat and bow tie.

‘Yes, no problem my man, I qualified in surgery at one of the UK’s largest teaching hospitals, and jolly fine establishment it was too’

Sounds good so far

‘….and I assume Sir you are experienced in this type of keyhole surgery?’

‘…..most certainly am young fella, I do all kinds of surgery but am particularly interested in a bit of the old Laparoscopy. Anything with keyholes is my field….. I’m also qualified as a Master Locksmith and have just spent 5 years on secondment restoring all the keyhole locks in St Thomas’s hospital. Not only that I’ve also just been awarded a degree in media studies…I got into that after writing the script for the new TV series of ‘through the keyhole’…you may have seen it?’

Let’s hold it there for a moment

QUESTION. You’ve now got the choice of signing the consent form for your operation with this character or legging it for the door. What would you do? I bet you would think carefully about it.

Watch out for Ticket Collectors

Ticket collectors and overqualification

Back here at Matthews Integrity Hub: HEAD OFFICE our website contributors have seen more than their fair share of job applicants who have proudly displayed qualifications and certifications in vast quantities. The record for one candidate was 32 certificates (yes, 32) covering most API, ASNT, PCN and AWS welding, inspection and NDT qualifications ever invented, code design courses en masse and a fistful of management diplomas, RBI, FFP, and QA courses, all diligently arranged in chronological order onto a long PDF. Welcome, gracious readers, to the concept of the overqualified ticket collector.

Why does overqualification happen?

Overqualification goes hand-in-hand with the oversupply of people. If the proportion of people certificated/qualified for a certain role grows faster than the proportion of jobs that actually require that skill then either the apparent threshold of certification required goes up or the wage rates for the job come down. This has happened from time-to-time in the NDT industry.

As there is a limit to how far salaries can realistically reduce then the most common result is that people simply start and acquire more qualifications and certifications thinking it will make them more attractive to employers. A feature of the integrity industry is that there are large numbers of certifications available, making it an easy route to take. The result is ticket-collectors.

What’s wrong with overqualification?

The traditional view of employing overqualified people is that it is not a particularly good idea. Overqualified employees are considered as a risk of being overpaid, over skilled, stagnant, pushy, threatening, or getting easily bored and forever looking for a better job elsewhere. These are not always true but their reputation must have come from somewhere.

In the integrity industry, our contributors cite experience that having too many certifications is consistent with a candidate having a lack of direction and security. People continue to collect them to try and increase their security in employment. Security is primarily what they seek and any security will do, hence the wide range of certifications some people collect.

A second conclusion is that ‘contradictory’ qualifications in fundamentally different subjects, such as practical NDE and theoretical design or management for example, means the candidate is either some kind of cerebral genius or more interested in attending training courses than doing useful work.

It’s a tricky area. We’re not saying people with multiple certifications will be good or bad at their job. If you are a potential employer however, please look very carefully at ticket collectors, or you will end up paying to find out.

Would you like to meet the ORACLE?

Would you like to meet the ORACLE?

WOW, was this CV impressive or what? An integrity job applicant that applied to one of our website contributor’s companies was packing some pretty mean paperwork. They were certified in API 510,570,653, 571,580, SIFE, SIRE and 936 (refractory), all supplementing a degree/MSc in corrosion engineering from a UK university we’ve all heard of. In addition, there was a list of no less than eight NDT certifications (up to levels 2-3) and certificates from courses on PD5500/ EN13445 design and the PED, finite element analysis and design by analysis (DBA). To top it all, from the world of QA, certification as a Six-Sigma practitioner (green belt), validated by some geezer called a ‘Product Champion’, no less. All of this led to us being obliged, with full justification, to rename this applicant The Oracle.

To save you, valued readers, some time, we decided to meet The ORACLE on your behalf. Yes, we have met The Oracle. Read how the meeting went; all is revealed in our linked article; Recruitment and recruitment agencies.

Want to know how jobs in the integrity industry are developing? Read: Integrity job roles: what’s new?

The Matthews Integrity hub: HEAD OFFICE website is here to provide you with 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. It’s for technical job-do-ers young and old, job-movers, the job-curious, the ambitious, the mildly-complacent, the dissatisfied, the mid-life lane-changers, the recognition-hungry and the slippery ladder-climbers amongst us. If you are working in the asset integrity industry, then it’s for you.

Matthews Integrity Hub: HEAD OFFICE is OPEN EVERY DAY....0730 - 2200 Monday - Sunday...That's correct, all week, every week, including holidays

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Tel: 07746 771592