How to choose a training provider: What came first, technology or training?

How to choose a training provider: What came first, technology or training?How to choose a training provider: What came first, technology or training?


AVO Training Institute
How to choose a training provider: What came first, technology or training?
When it comes to improving quality, safety and reliability within the electrical power industry, the knowledge base of our skilled workers has to keep up with the advancements in technology in the industry.  Not all issues related to improving quality, safety and reliability within the electrical power industry are black and white – there are a lot of gray areas when it comes to quality training.  How you train, who you train, and how efficient the training of your work force is becomes even more critical as our workforce becomes gray also.  A part of adult teaching methodology is that in order to learn we need to have all our senses active in the learning process because, for example, what I read I may understand a lot better than what I hear because sometimes I do not hear very well (selective listening or medical hearing condition – my wife still has not decided which mine is).  In order to teach adults you have to show them, read it to them, let them read it, have them write it down, let them look at it and let them work on it.  These are the essential elements of adult education.  You may have some of these elements dispersed in your training environment, but not all of the elements in all of them.  How do we train?  How do we evaluate learning comprehension?  How do we test electrician skills, knowledge, and demonstrated ability? If that sounds like a lot of OSHA talk, that’s because it is.  Your electrical workforce has to have the skills, knowledge, and demonstrated ability to work safely on or about electrical equipment.   
When your experienced technician starts with a new apprentice, do they skip right to application?  While this type of focus is essential to continuing work during training, as a starting point for apprentices, it is fundamentally flawed.  What is the proper procedure and where do you find the procedure?   Familiarization with NETA ATS and MTS should be any training programs first step.  To train an effective electrical maintenance technician, you must start by building a foundation of fundamental knowledge – those things veteran electricians may take for granted or may not adequately pass on.  Does your training department (if you have one) keep up-to-date with the latest maintenance testing standards?
Electrical Safety Resource
Identifying what critical issues stand in the way of a successful electrical safety program, establishing training and retraining guidelines for technicians and addressing the specific regulatory requirements of industry are just three ways to keep up with the advancements in technology in the electrical industry.  Any industry should first focus on reducing electrical hazards in your facility.  Your facility should be in compliance with the latest design requirements for specific types of electrical protective equipment as outlined in OSHA 1910.137, and the revised Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution portion of OSHA 1910.269.  And, if that isn’t enough, a plan that provides electrical safety and maintenance training for NFPA 70E 2018 edition is also required.  With so many major changes taking place in the electrical power industry, having the right electrical safety resources and training provided by competent electrical professionals is key to maintaining a successful maintenance staff and program.
It is important that the training your electrical group receives are quality courses that are recognized by the International Electrical Testing Association (NETA®) for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in order to be completely assured of the quality of instruction received and course content presented.
Hands-On Skills Provided with Training
Electrical training should dedicate resources to ensure each student has hands-on time with the equipment. An adult training methodology should show how to do the job, explain the operation of the equipment, present any related theory of operation, direct the attention of the students to the job, demonstrate the task, and then allow the student to demonstrate what they have learned.  The student should be able to tell what they are going to do, tell how they are going to do it, and then demonstrate they can do the job safely.  If at all possible, hands on training should be provide by instructors who stay connected with industry associations by attending conferences and participate in research committees that support the advancement of the electrical safety and standards in industry around the world. Because, in many cases, those individuals do not just attend the committee meetings, they sit on the panels that write the standards.  In every adult learning situation it is essential that we ensure each student has ample hands-on time with maintenance testing equipment demonstrated and evaluated by a competent trainer.
When choosing a training provider, look for one with extensive experience, training that can be customized, on-site training (your facility and your equipment), and on-line training.
Customized Training:
Courses should fit your specific equipment or the training needs and the objectives of your personnel. 
The Benefits of Customized Training
• Ability to tailor business specific policy, procedures and concerns
• Choose a date, time or shift that works best for your facility
• Training content flexibility based on your needs
• Employees receive the same level of training over several sessions
• Pre and post testing available to measure before and after knowledge
• Training on your equipment or products eliminates generalities
On-line Training:
On-line courses help individuals who may otherwise find it difficult to attend classes through a more traditional route. Online learning also provides an avenue for those with part or full-time jobs to continue their studies around their work schedule.
The Benefits of On-line Training
• Courses are affordable
• Learn at your own pace and your own schedule
• Attend class from just about anywhere that has Internet access
• Course material is accessible 24/7
• Online learning lets you attend class in convenient increments
• Ensures that each lesson or material is completely understood before moving on
• Online education offers a lot of savings because there are no additional costs for transportation and accommodations
On-Site Training:
On-Site Training keeps travel expenses down while still allowing the benefits of an effective electrical maintenance and safety training program.  On-Site training from AVO allows you to train larger numbers of employees in their familiar work and equipment environment. Let the training take place in your facility.
The Benefits of On-Site Training
• Eliminate personnel travel time and associated expenses
• Address your specific equipment and systems
• You choose the course schedule - 24/7
• Customize course length by adjusting content covered
• Customize course content by adjusting topics and equipment
• Courses are presented at the knowledge level of your personnel
• Your maintenance personnel are on-site should an emergency occur
In order for your industry to keep up with the pace of advancements in technology, it must first keep up with the advancements in training a competent work force.