SIM, Human Asset


The analytical thought processes of the field technician is an important part of SIM. Field technician applicants prove problem-solving skills through rigorous interviewing and testing.

Experienced-based training:

This element of SIM greatly exceeds the industry standard by requiring a minimum of 8 weeks of field practice and mentorship.

The ASNT document ‘Recommended Practice SNT-TC-1A (2011)’ recommends 8 hours as a minimum for training and 60 hours practicing GPR in order to be a certified NDT Level I in Ground Penetrating Radar.

In contrast, SIM requires 80 hours of classroom/hands-on training and 320 hours of mentorship in the field.

Pre-classroom field mentoring:

The SIM process requires an in the field mentorship of the employee prior to classroom training. This upfront investment in time has benefits for the employee as well as the employer. This training is a four-week process with the following benefits:

1. The employee is exposed to the tools and the field practices, thus confirming their choice to pursue the trade of locating utilities and scanning concrete.

  • This mentoring period affords the employee the ability to place themselves in the role in the market they ultimately will service.
  • The employee is also exposed to the working culture, responsibilities, and expectations. Each new field person will work with several mentors.

2. The employer can expect:

  • An employee that will have real-world application knowledge of the technologies they will be taught in the classroom. Thus, classroom work will be more effective.
  • An employee that has already created social bonds with a peer group in their region.

Classroom Training:

This part of SIM fully immerses the field tech into the established standard operating procedures (SOP) applied to both concrete scanning and underground utility locating. The training also includes background education on the technologies applied in the field. A critical component is the understanding of where the technologies will work well and where they will not. This training is two 40-hour weeks.

Topics of training:

  • Maximizing equipment applications
  • GPR Principles
  • EM Principles
  • Industry mapping deliverables
  • Site safety JHA forms
  • Site communication, pre-scan and post-scan
  • Target mark out
  • Construction knowledge of all types of concrete slabs
  • Post tensioning structural layouts
  • GPR reading in concrete
  • GPR reading underground
  • Underground utility and UST locating procedures

Post-classroom mentorship:

Returning to the field after getting an understanding of the technology principles opens new levels of understanding for the field technician. Each new field employee will remain in the mentoring phase of training until their confidence has been built. Their release into the field as an independent field tech only takes place upon approval from the Area Manager. This mentorship is a four-week period.

This investment of time and money into the field technician plays a critical role in the success of SIM.

Quality Checks:

In addition to ongoing safety training as well as technical training, the field technician will be subject to quality checks on their work. As an example, the Area Manager for GPRS is responsible for quality-checking field personnel per the SOP that has been taught through mentoring and in the classroom.