Case study

120+ Years Experience Over 120 years' experience
Teamwork Teamwork
Bespoke courses available Bespoke courses available
Ambitious Ambitious

Scottish Water provides 1 billion litres of water a day across Scotland – and we’re proud to be the company’s preferred training provider for the last 20 years. We provide Scottish Water with a range of health and safety training courses and expertise, 24/7 and 365 days of the year.


We value our relationship with Scottish Water and have delivered many hundreds of training courses to employees over the last 20 years. Many of these have been created as bespoke Scottish Water courses that were designed to help keep the company’s employees safe, and support them in achieving their overall health, safety and wellbeing goals.

Early stages

When we initially began working with Scottish Water, we delivered confined space training and breathing apparatus training. This then progressed into delivering the ‘Core 5’ courses that all Scottish Water operational employees must do every 3 years to maintain their core competency levels. 

These ‘core 5’ courses cover:

  • First Aid training
  • COSH Awareness training
  • Risk Awareness training
  • Confined Space training
  • Manual Handling training

We also developed, in conjunction with Scottish Water, a range of specific courses for their employees, these include:

  • Avoiding dangerous animals
  • Breathing apparatus in the water treatment environment
  • Access / Transfer certificate (part of Scottish Water’s contractor management system)

How things have developed

As our relationship grew, and due to the working procedures and equipment used at Scottish Water, we were asked to create a range of bespoke training courses that integrated and delivered necessary changes to our standard training modules, to make them more relevant and to meet their exact needs. 

This included incorporating Scottish Water risk assessment policies and procedures, lifesaving rules and control measures and examples of the equipment the company uses when delivering courses.

Course development is a core activity for us; we employ a small, experienced team of people dedicated to developing courses which meet legislative and, importantly, customer requirements.

The COVID Impact

Virtual Confined Space Training

Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, Scottish Water had been looking at virtual training as a viable option for staff that worked in remote areas of Scotland such as the highlands and Islands. This was primarily to reduce the number of business days needed to take courses on the mainland due to the time required for travel.

COVID-19 gave more impetus to explore this idea further, as there was a need to continue refresher confined space training throughout the pandemic until lockdown measures eased and full training could continue.

Scottish Water employees always take the City and Guilds accredited confined space course, but without face-to-face training, this certificate could not be issued. To continue to be able to provide training we developed a refresher confined space course for Scottish Water, which could be delivered online using Microsoft Teams. Delegates who completed this course were awarded an MRS Training & Rescue certificate – and would attend the full City & Guilds course after lockdown measures eased.

The course was taught to delegates in sections and included simulations of confined spaces – which allowed the instructor to teach and explain the principles of each learning outcome on the course. This was crucial to ensuring delegates could take the skills and knowledge from the course required to work in medium risk confined spaces safely.

Other Virtual Training

Following this, we developed additional online virtual training courses for Scottish Water that comply with the Scottish Governments & Scottish Waters Regulations and Policies for the control of the COVID-19 Virus:

  • Working at Height - To give learners knowledge and understanding relevant to working at height. Achieved by theoretical and practical sessions.
  • Abrasive Wheels - To provide instruction and practice in carrying out checks and adjustments, handling, storing and transporting an abrasive wheel, including the dressing and mounting of abrasive wheels 

High Risk Rescue Cover

At the start of lockdown, all large construction projects were shut down, but as we started to come out of lockdown, Scottish  Water was able to  ‘get back to work’  on an essential aqueduct project at  Loch  Katrine – that feeds clean water to the whole of Glasgow.

To be able to provide rescue cover for this project, we developed a Fatal Hazard Policy and amalgamated this with Scottish Water’s Close Proximity Policy, ensuring we were operating under all necessary Covid-19 guidelines and keeping everyone safe.

Summary of services provided:

  • Bespoke and Standard Health and Safety Training
  • Skilled trainers who know Scottish Water and their processes
  • Outage cover – this includes pre-outage planning and bespoke and carefully panned rescue provision from highly skilled and experienced operatives. In fact, it is more than just rescue – it is an integrated and efficient on-site safety service
  • 365 support and advice – we act as the first point of contact for technical support. This is something we provide to Scottish Water regularly and has ranged from support on-site, problem-solving and consultancy. The advice you need when you need it.
  • Practical and pragmatic advice - bring insight from the health and safety arena which MRS is exposed to on a day-to-day basis and bring the proactive leadership that can implement change where appropriate
  • Identify areas of additional value, e.g. in changes to best practice and talking through new training requirements by involving our in-house design and development resource.
We have been working with MRS Training & Rescue for over 20 years and have built a strong partnership. We feel like they are an extension of our own team, as they have taken the time to really get to know our business. They have found ways to accommodate our own specific procedures and equipment into the training delivered to make it even more relevant for the delegates that attend. And they always rise to the challenge with their ‘can do’ attitude, as demonstrated by the creation of the new virtual training courses now being delivered across the company. MRS really are true health and safety professionals whom I’d recommend to anyone.”
Iain Dumbreck

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