Spotlight on Althea’s MR training

Training is a huge part of Althea’s culture. Whether it’s being trained as a new starter or developing skills for a different role, internal training plays a key part.

Mark McArthur is Althea’s Modality Coach (MR) and following years of experience and his dual role working as Tech Support and Training Specialist across Europe, he is able to pass on his vast knowledge to MRI field service engineers.

At Theale we are extremely lucky to have a Centre of Excellence in MR which is accessed by Althea employees from around the world,” explains Mark.

“We have fully functional Siemens MR systems that we can use for in-depth training, testing parts and coils, as well as showing customers when they visit our head office. It is a wonderful facility that we can use in so many ways to help people learn and develop new skills.”

The MR courses that Mark runs combine a mixture of classroom-based learning and practical workshops. The service engineers are taught to fix the problem remotely by diagnosing the issue on the phone whilst speaking to the customer. If it cannot be diagnosed remotely then a part is ordered and fixed onsite –  one visit, one fix.

A lot of the courses we do are two weeks long, so they are very in-depth. In the morning we cover lots of theory and then do more practical activities in the afternoon. There is a big focus on troubleshooting as I have found that most engineers learn more by going through the process of diagnosing a problem and finding the solution. That way when they are actually faced with the same fault in the field, they know exactly what to do.”

Mark explains that what he enjoys most about the role is that no two days are the same and he gets to work with people with different industry backgrounds.

A perfect example of this was on the Aera/Skyra Systems Course we ran recently. There was someone who has worked for an OEM for over 25 years. Despite their vast experience and knowledge of systems they still learn something new every day.

“We also have a trainee graduate, straight from Sheffield Hallam University, who had been trained by Althea in-house from scratch. They are now able to put their theory into practice by learning on the job from the more experienced members of the team.”

“The third was a new starter, who hasn’t worked for an OEM but has worked in industry and brought with them different knowledge to the team. Three very different paths but all coming together to support one another and learn from each other’s knowledge. It’s fantastic that we have such a great resource here at Althea and I am lucky to meet so many different people from across the company. I really do have the best job in the world!”