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Best Practice 4: Design Training Vehicles Separate from Operating Manuals

As illustrated in the graphic below, the Operating Manuals are On-the-Job references in the Training Program.

A Quality Training Program Contains Both Training Manuals and Operating Manuals.

The Training Program may also include a Training Manual for each position and a variety of other Training-Specific Vehicles that are separate from the Operating Manuals. The Training-Specific Vehicles do not include any operational descriptive or procedural information that the Operator would be expected to reference on the job. The Training Workbooks include learning objectives, learning guidelines, exercises, and assessments that are designed to help Operators systematically climb up the Learning Curve.

General Training Approaches

The training approaches facilitated by the Training-Specific Vehicles are segregated into three general training objective categories, each focused on a specific scope of skills and knowledge.

Category 1: Basic Skills and Memory-Resident Knowledge to Perform Routine Tasks

This training objective category focuses on mastery of declarative and procedural knowledge that the Operators should be able to readily recall from memory.

The training activities for this category require the operators to first learn the material through reading assignments, then repeatedly recall the knowledge from memory and use it in various types of exercises and demonstrations. Each time an Operator recalls knowledge, it becomes more firmly implanted in long-term memory.

Category 2: Basic Skills and Referenced Knowledge to Perform Non-Routine or Complex Tasks

This training objective category focuses on mastery of detailed declarative and procedural knowledge the Operators do not need to have in long-term memory. They do, however, require easy access to the reference material when performing the tasks.

The training activities for this category require the Operator to demonstrate the following for any specific operational situation and task that falls into this category:

  • Intuitively and efficiently navigate to the specific knowledge in the Operating Manuals.
  • Effective apply the referenced knowledge to competently perform the task.

Category 3: Advanced Skills and Knowledge to Perform Conceptual Tasks

Conceptual knowledge is needed by Operators for troubleshooting, optimizing, and decision-making tasks. The volume of conceptual knowledge that must be mastered for these types of tasks is typically large. The primary users of this knowledge are the Console Operator and Supervisor. This type of knowledge can only be mastered by experiencing a multitude of learning events over an extended period of time.

The documentation and training for conceptual tasks is a complex undertaking. Competence in these conceptual tasks is very important to operations integrity. Therefore, successful documentation and training for these tasks yields a tremendous return-on-investment. This is why VPS devotes a separate Best Practice to this topic [See Best Practice 6].

You can learn more on this topic by contacting us for the following VPS References:

  • "Introduction to Five-Milestone Training"
  • "Introduction to the Training Workbook"

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