Adequate preparatory training and instruction are vital for the success and safety of Antarctic field campaigns and operations. It is mandatory that everyone working in the Antarctic, whether on land or on polar ships, satisfy BAS requirements on medical fitness and training.
Pre-Deployment Training Courses
People who are going South for more than one month, with no previous or recent Antarctic fieldwork experience (or who have Antarctic working experience with other operators) will be required to attend an Antarctic Pre-Deployment Training Course. Those whose projects are entirely ship-based will receive a ‘briefing pack’ and are not required to attend an Antarctic Pre-Deployment Training course.
There are two distinct Pre-Deployment Training courses: Winter Pre-Deployment Training, which is aimed at Winterers, Halley Core Team Members and those going into the Deep Field in September and a Summer Pre-Deployment Training Course in October for Summer staff who are on station for more than one month. There are different elements to the Antarctic Pre-Deployment Training Courses, and different attendance requirements for delegates, according to their circumstances. BAS issues invitations to all named participants, 4–8 weeks before the events are scheduled to commence.
For dates and more information, please refer to the following pages:
Preparing to go south
A guide to going south with British Antarctic Survey provides an essential guide to going south with BAS.
You may also like to take a look at the welcome letter from current winterers at Rothera, Halley, Bird Island and King Edward Point.
Aims of the Training Course
The aims of training course are to provide those going to the Antarctic with both practical advice and information regarding their trip, and more general background on the British Antarctic Survey and its work. Training provides a wide-ranging induction to BAS policies and culture, as well as an ideal opportunity for new recruits to meet with others with whom they will be living and working.
First Aid training
First Aid training is compulsory for people visiting stations and working in the deep field. For those onboard ships, it is desired but not essential. First Aid training will be provided for BAS staff, members of the Antarctic Employment Pool (AEP) and those going into the Deep Field immediately after the Pre-Deployment Training courses. There will be a Winter First Aid course, which lasts for 2 days, and a Summer First Aid course, which is 1 day in duration. The BAS Medical Unit (BASMU) deliver this training. The training has been designed to meet the needs of BAS with particular reference to medical resources in the Antarctic. BASMU repeat training will be required every three years.
External collaborators are responsible for booking and funding their own First Aid Training course.
The following table provides a guide to BAS First Aid training requirements, although decisions on individual cases will be made by BAS.
|Ship (Cruise) Based||Station Based (Short term)||Station Based (Long term)||Field Based (Short term)||Field Based (Long term)|
|BAS Staff||A1 Summer First Aid||A1 Summer First Aid||A1 Winter First Aid or Refresher||A1 Winter First Aid or Refresher||A1 Winter First Aid or Refresher|
|B1 Emergency First Aid at Work is recommended||B1 Emergency First Aid at Work is recommended||B2 Emergency First Aid at Work is required||B3 Winter First Aid or Refresher||B3 Winter First Aid or Refresher|
|Visitors exempt from standard training (VIPs/Media)||C1 Emergency First Aid at Work is recommended||C1 Emergency First Aid at Work is recommended||C2 Emergency First Aid at Work is required||C3 Winter First Aid or Refresher (except for day trips when Emergency First Aid at Work is recommended)||C4 Winter First Aid or Refresher|
|Contractors||D1 Emergency First Aid at Work is recommended||D1 Emergency First Aid at Work is recommended||D1 Emergency First Aid at Work is recommended||D1 Emergency First Aid at Work is recommended||D1 Emergency First Aid at Work is required|
B1, C1 Bases – Restricts activities to immediate base area. i.e. No recreational trips.
B1, C1 Ships – If individual does not hold an Emergency First Aid at Work certificate then any land-based activities are liable to restriction.
Winter Teams Training Week (WTTW)
Those who will be wintering at BAS stations must also attend the Winter Teams Training Week Course. This is held in Derbyshire, and provides instruction and practical training in Antarctic camp craft, along with glacier travel techniques and crevasse rescue under simulated conditions. This foundation course will be reinforced with further training in the Antarctic.
The Field Training Course also provides instruction and practical training in sub-Antarctic camp-craft, navigation and rescue techniques under simulated conditions, on the Derbyshire gritstone crags.
Personal Survival Techniques Training
All BAS personnel and visitors engaged on a research cruise or who are transiting by ship to/from research stations will be required to hold a valid STCW 95 (Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping) Personal Survival Techniques (PST) certificate. This is the internationally agreed standard of personal survival training required for seafarers. All new Antarctic Employment Pool staff travelling on BAS vessels will be enrolled on the course taking place during the Pre-deployment training week.
Your PST certificate must now be NO MORE THAN 5 YEARS OLD for it to be valid.
The training is available at most UK maritime colleges and courses must be arranged individually by the Principal Investigator. A list of available course centres can be obtained from Human Resources. Training fees will not be the responsibility of BAS and should be costed into a full proposal.
On joining the ship, personnel will be required to produce their certificate to the ship’s Master, who holds all marine certificates in case of an inspection. Without this certificate, personnel will not be permitted to join the ship.
Continuing training and drills are part of the ethos of the STCW 95 provisions. All personnel will be expected to comply with on-board briefings and drills.
More information on PST Training can be found here: pdf