Earnest’s Journey to Certified Locator 

Becoming an Australian Certified Locator is a significant milestone in the career of every underground utility professional. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Earnest Banhwa, the Principal Surveyor at Precise Positioning Solutions Pty Ltd in Queensland, to delve into his experience with the Certified Locator journey. 

Name: Earnest Banhwa
Role/Position: Principal Surveyor
Organisation: Precise Positioning Solutions Pty Ltd
State: Queensland
Locator Experience: 3 years

Q: What does becoming a Certified Locator mean to you?
A: Becoming a Certified Locator is more than just a title; it’s a testament to our company’s ability to deliver both surveying and cable locating services. It adds a layer of credibility that resonates with potential clients, emphasising our commitment to excellence in the field. 

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?
A: The journey to certification was not without its hurdles. I began my training amidst the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to logistical challenges. Traveling from Rockhampton to Brisbane for face-to-face training and later the practical assessment was a task in itself. Several postponements prolonged the certification process, testing both my patience and dedication. 

Q: What is your favourite thing about being a locator?
A: Being involved in the initial phases for construction projects is exciting. Construction should not commence without knowing what lies beneath the surface. As a locator and surveyor, I play a critical role in ensuring a safe and informed beginning to these projects. 

Q: Share a dangerous/interesting/funny/strange situation during a locate. 

Locating in thick and tall grass and encountering snakes is keeping me on high alert in those situations. Opening broken pits can also present unforeseen dangers. 

With my surveying background, the ability to now open pits and trace from one pit to another pit added an interesting dimension to my work. 

Q: When doing locating work, what does safety mean to you?
A: Safety is paramount. Before starting any locating activity, I do a comprehensive safety assessment. I want to return to my family in the same state I left home in the morning.  

Q: What tip would you give to other locators interested in becoming certified?
A: Enrol in a formal training course and, most importantly, never stop practising. Continuous learning and hands-on experience are key to mastering the required skills. 

By sharing his insights, Earnest Banhwa invites fellow locators to embrace the Certified Locator journey. His experiences, from facing challenges to relishing the fascinating aspects of the job, reflect the dedication required in this crucial role. Safety, professionalism, and continuous learning define the path to becoming a Certified Locator. 

If you want to get in touch with Earnest or Precise Positioning Services:
LinkedIn – Earnest Banhwa
LinkedIn – Precise Positioning Solutions Pty Ltd