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The Fluid Systems Engineering and Management Blog

by Swagelok Northern California

3 Must Haves in Training Partners (with 9 "Test Questions")

by Jeff Hopkins, on 4/19/18 8:45 AM

Training takes time and money. Before you invest, size up potential partners using these tips.


A quality training program can provide consistency to your operations. Valuable content and expert instruction can help employees work safer and smarter, saving time and reducing costs.

- Jason Burns, Technical Service Manager, Swagelok Northern California


Training takes your employees away from their regular jobs, so you need to make sure that the time investment will yield returns to your operation. Below are three things that make a training program first rate, and nine questions to ask of a potential provider.

But before we do that, a plug for upcoming events here:

  • Tube Fitting Safety and Installation
  • Tube Bending Basics
  • Advanced Orbital Welding Training with ASME Section IX Qualification

Upcoming Training Events ›


First-class training programs have instructors who walk the walk, content that keeps on giving value, and hands on exercises.

Instructors who walk the walk

Tests:

  1. Is the instructor certified by a trustworthy organization?
  2. Have they worked in the field with engineers, mechanics, technicians, and operators?
  3. Are they trained in facilitating by an accredited organization or reputable supplier?

Look for a certified training program with a qualified instructor and the materials to teach your associates. Also be sure to ask how much time the instructor has spent in actual operations. You want those who've spent time in the field alongside engineers, mechanics, technicians, maintenance supers, and operators. That kind of experience earns respect and keeps attendees engaged.

Content that's useful after the session ends

Tests:

  1. What tools will be provided for ongoing learning and reference?
  2. Can the organization customize content based on our particular needs?
  3. What if we have a question for the instructor after a session ends?

Effective training doesn't stop at the end of the class. Your employees should walk away with materials, such as workbooks, tip sheets, and manuals they can refer to in the field. They should also have the opportunity to continue their learning outside of the training room on their own time. Shorter, online learning courses on very specific topics that will help them be safer and more efficient on the job. Instructors and training facilitators should also be available after the initial training to provide a touchpoint for employees seeking further information as questions arise.

Hands-on exercises, not just lecturing

Tests:

  1. How much time is dedicated to practice versus lecture?
  2. Would our employees get one-on-one attention/feedback during the course?
  3. Are exercises the same for all kinds of attendees?

We’ve all had teachers who stand in front of the classroom and drone on, citing references from textbooks and never taking any real time to engage with the class. There’s no faster way to lose an audience. The most effective training programs include a mix of classroom-style learning and practical application. Hands-on activities and group participation keep learners engaged and help them retain what they’ve learned long after the training course is done. Last but not least, look for programs that dedicate at least 30 percent of course time to practical application. If the subject matter allows, you want the instructor to spend one-on-one time with each employee.

Always be learning

From proper installation and maintenance of components to addressing common safety concerns, top quality training (and re-training, since technology evolves) should help you reduce or eliminate errors and injuries. The results for you will be smoother operations and lower downstream costs.


What's next: Learn about Swagelok Northern California's training program or register for an upcoming training:

Training Services Overview ›Upcoming events ›

In a hurry or have a question? We are ready to help. Just ask!


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Your fluid systems can't fail—and they can't leak. That's why Swagelok Northern California offers mission critical solutions for the petrochem, semi, power, and oil and gas industries around the Bay Area and into NW Nevada. We manufacture and assemble reliable, customizable components that get the job done. Contact our team today to learn about custom solutions for your plant or refinery.

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