A partnership agreement aimed at helping high-risk industries create safe and competent workforces has been signed between digital learning specialists Mintra and competence framework experts ITB Competence Assurance Ltd. The move brings together Mintra’s market-leading learning and competence management system, Trainingportal, with ITB’s expertise in creating competence management system frameworks, policies and procedures. Both companies have a strong track record in responding to the needs of highly regulated industries, where technical competence is critical to the safety of people, assets and the environment. ITB’s offering is focused on project managing the design, implementation and operation of competence management systems. By scoping out the correct framework - based on best practice – the company helps customers to develop a fully functional, simple to use and accessible solution. Whereas ITB develops the framework and specialist training, Mintra provides the cloud- based software platform to digitally manage all administration. Around 1.7 million workers are currently using Trainingportal to access accredited training courses, while HR teams use the system to track workforce competence, ensuring that every worker has the certications required to perform their role safely.The memorandum of understanding will allow ITB and Mintra to combine their knowledge and services to provide a holistic, digital-focused competence management solution to customers operating in the energy and maritime sectors worldwide.Duncan Bonner, managing director and co-owner of ITB Competence Assurance, described the collaboration as a perfect coming together of expertise. He said: “Safety continues to be at the core of everything our customers do, particularly in sectors such as oil and gas, renewables and maritime. In 2019, the oil and gas industry alone experienced 25 fatalities during 3bn work hours. While this was down 19% on the 31 fatalities recorded the previous year, even one fatality is one too many. Ensuring competence across the workforce is a route to achieving a zero fatality rate. “Our agreement with Mintra combines unrivalled expertise in the eld of competence management services, bringing together two highly skilled and complementary teams of people, focused on ensuring customers have access to industry leading tools and services.” ITB has recently adopted Trainingportal for its own sta and external candidates, but the synergies between the two companies were further highlighted when ITB became a vendor on Trainingportal Marketplace - an independent digital trading space bringing together buyers and sellers of digital, classroom and blended learning. With over 2,000 courses available - many of them accredited by external organisations such as OPITO, STCW and SQA - Marketplace represents one of the largest eLearning libraries of training for safety-critical industries. ITB’s offering on Marketplace is focused on the training of assessors and veriers. Kevin Short, chief commercial ocer of Mintra, said the partnership agreement was an excellent example of the value-add that Marketplace oered. “It quickly became very clear that ITB could be more than just a supplier. There was a signicant alignment between our two companies and we felt that we could build that into a collaborative relationship, enabling us to come together and oer our clients a wider solution,” he said. “Many of our customers want to use our Trainingportal solution - the fact that a course is completed on the platform every 30 seconds is testament to how widely it has been adopted - but need support from elsewhere in building and delivering a competency framework“This partnership allows Mintra and ITB to deliver a holistic solution to ensure that organisations recognise the competencies their operations require and to enable their people to develop skills, stay safe and verify their competence.” ITB, recently acquired by Assurance of Learning is a leading provider of assessor and verier training and carries multiple internationally recognised accreditations, including OPITO and SQA approvals. ITB has been providing subject matter expertise in the design, implementation and operation of competence management systems to the energy industry for over 10 years and has worked with a number of blue chip energy businesses in implementing best practice competence frameworks, standards, processes and procedures.