Overview
Training Modules

A Competency-Based Training System That Works.

Does this sound familiar?

You supply just-in-time-training for your employees to meet regulatory training requirements.  These training duties and responsibilities are rotated among employees, who either show an inclination toward the administration of training, or know enough about training to supply the basic information required.  Because the effectiveness of this transfer of knowledge cannot be gauged, the training may fall well below desired results.

In 2008, CTS International began development of a competency-based training system. This system is comprised of training modules and standard operating procedures (SOP).  Each training module consists of a Job Competency Requirement (JCR), Standard Answers (SA), and may or may not, have one or more Standard Operating Procedures(SOP) linked to it.

 

Job Competency Requirements (JCR)

A JCR is a compilation of the minimum knowledge and skills that an individual must know (knowledge), and demonstrates (skill), in order to qualify, or be certified to perform, specific routine or abnormal duties that are necessary for the safety and security of a utility's employees, and to ensure proper operation of equipment or systems. The JCR provides a uniform, company-wide documentation system that standardizes and facilitates these qualifications. The goal of the JCR is to:

  • Maintain expertise by providing fully qualified employees who have met or exceeded the minimum standards for a utility's routine and abnormal duties.
  • Promote initiative and responsibility by providing the employee with specific objectives, job relevant training requirements, and a list of readily available references and resources.
  • Standardize and facilitate employee qualifications by detailing the skills necessary to qualify for a specific task, or to perform as a team member when teamwork is required to accomplish a task.

When the JCR is approved, it becomes the competencies that are used in long-term staffing, succession planning, professional development, and performance reviews.

 

Standard Answers (SA)

In concert with the development of a JCR, the standards by which employees will be measured, when accomplishing the skill or knowledge based task, are developed. The SA consists of an approved process, or statement that answers the competency questions contained in the JCR sections. The SA normally appears as a paragraph that explains the fundamental process or idea. The SA is written, applying a measurement within the answer that an employee strives to achieve when completing the task. The SA measurement can be a number, a measurement, a period of time, a percentage, or an estimate or approximate measurement towards the desired goal

The SA is the expected outcome of a task, or a level of knowledge, that has been approved by applying existing standards or best practices, in the event a standard does not already exist. The standard answers have a connection to the processes and/or products of the company.

Competency Assessments

The training system will sustain itself, but only if data is collected and action taken to correct deficiencies and optimize advantages. To this end, designated SME (Subject Matter Experts), are trained on how to assess the competency of another employee based on the Standard Answers. The goal is to have assessments that provide management and employees with the answers to "why" an employee did not accomplish a competency.  These reasons fall into four categories.

  • Training: Information was not successfully transferred from trainer to employee.
  • Material: The equipment and/or tools are inoperative or defective, thus affecting the employee's ability to accomplish the task.
  • Knowledge, Skill, Ability (KSA): The employee did not have the requisite KSA to accomplish the task.
  • Environment: The training environment affected the employee's accomplishment of the task.

Using this assessment, the reason an employee could not accomplish the competency is identified. This information helps to refine the training system, and ensures that proper responsibilities are identified, while connections are made to ensure an employee's future success in meeting the competences requirement of the job.  Competency based training provides a formalized structured training system that improves employee morale, provides institutional knowledge management, and forecasts future long-term staffing needs.

Training the Trainer

Many employees are tasked with training their peers, even if they, themselves, had little or no training on how to effectively train and assess. The expectation was that training and knowledge transfer was taking place. Senior employees were left to conduct the on-the-job training (OJT), and assess their peer's ability to accomplish the task. In order to standardize this activity, CTS has developed a "Train-the-Trainer" program that provides detailed instruction on development of documents and use of tools within the system.  Several SME's are selected to attend a 16-hour course, over four days, which introduces the employees to adult learning theories and principles, how to develop a training module, how to instruct using a training module, and how to assess an employee after they have attended classroom, OJT instruction, or a blended approach.

 
Train the Trainer
Often, employees are assigned to train their peers and left to their own devices to accomplish the task.  When an employee is expected to train another employee, they should be given the tools necessary to allow for a successful training event.
CTS provides our customers with the option of training those employees that will train their peers using the Competency Training System.  The course is sixteen hours in length and normally divided into four, four hour days.  This can be modified at the request of the customer.  The Train-The-Trainer course covers the following areas:
  • Adult Learning Theory
    • Define Training
    • Adult Learning Processes
    • Adult Learning Styles
  • Training Module Development
  • Components and structure of a Training Module
  • Develop a Job Competency Requirement
  • Develop Standard Answers
  • Develop an SOP

 

  • Training Strategies and Techniques
    • Understand techniques in the classroom, OJT and blended learning
    • Develop curriculum from a training module
    • Describe tools to use to ensure the transfer of knowledge takes place
  • Competency Assessment
    • Know what an assessment is and why we use them
    • Develop an assessment from a Training Module
    • Assess an employees performance

 

The Train-The-Trainer course focuses on Treatment Plant Operator, Maintenance Mechanic and Collection Services Workers with future expansion to many jobs within the utility arena.  CTS works closely with management to determine candidates for the course.

 
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