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Our Systematic Approach to Training

The Systematic Approach to Training (SAT) is our methodology for managing training programs. It is an orderly, logical approach to determining what people must know and do at a particular job or in a specific profession. Our systematic approach to training ensures that people are prepared for their work by having the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitude to do their job.

SAT is performance based and competency driven. It is concerned with on-the-job performance. SAT begins with identifying people's work related needs. It ensures training is delivered properly. The participant learns what is important and that he is competent to be assigned to work. The systematic approach to training uses constant evaluation of the training program to ensure it is meeting the needs of participants.

SAT is always a combined effort between trainers and experts from the operating line organizations. Managers, supervisors, and experienced workers from operations and maintenance areas and others play an important role in the implementation of our systematic approach to training. Experts from operating groups provide the expectations and work requirements of the group. They identify the work that will be done and the standards against which participants will be measured. Operating experts with help from trainers determine the knowledge, skill, and attitudes that must be mastered by participants.

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SAT is a Powerful Training Methodology

Through the use of our systematic approach to training, you are assured that important topics and skills are identified, proper learning methods are employed, training materials are relevant and participants can perform work as expected when they are assigned to work. Our systematic approach to training ensures the training program supports your training needs for human performance. It ensures people are prepared and capable in performing their jobs.

Our 5 SAT Main Phases are Comprehensive
There are 5 main phases in our systematic approach to training. They are Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.

1. Analysis
The first phase in SAT is analysis. The questions that must be asked are: "Is there a need for training?", and "If something is wrong, is it caused by a performance problem that training will fix?" Managers sometimes will attempt to correct a human performance problem caused by an inadequate procedure or faulty equipment by training the people. Trainers sometimes attempt to use training to correct problems even though training will not solve the problem. It is our job to make sure training is needed. Then we analyze to determine what training should be done.

In the analysis phase the duties of a job are identified and listed. The tasks that must be done to accomplish the duties are analyzed. Often we find tasks that are so large that we must break them into smaller parts that we call task elements. From the tasks elements we determine the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to successfully perform the task.

Tasks are reviewed and characterized by difficulty, importance, and frequency to help determine whether training is required prior to performing the task. These groupings also help us select tasks on which staff workers will receive continuing training throughout their careers. A more difficult task would have training associated with it. An easy task may not have formal training, but may only have a procedure for your staff worker to follow. Tasks that are important to safety or operation would have training. Routine tasks with no impact on safety or operation may not have training. Infrequently performed tasks usually have training completed just before they are to be performed.

The involvement of operating line managers is important to the analysis process. This is because our trainers are not expected to set the performance standards for your operating group. This is the responsibility of your operating group. Your operating group must provide the standards and their expectations for participant performance to our trainers during the analysis phase. Our trainers will use these standards for successful performance of work to create the standards for passing the training course.

During the analysis phase our trainers will attempt to identify the knowledge and skills of prospective participants. This will allow the course to be designed to meet their learning needs.

The outcome of the analysis phase is a task analysis that lists the tasks to be performed to accomplish the duties of a position and the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to perform these tasks. These become the basis for the design of the training course and for writing the participant learning objectives.

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2. Design
The design phase is really a decision making phase. In the design phase we completethree important activities:

  1. We decide what the participant will learn in the class and how that learning will transfer to the job. From this activity we write participant learning objectives.
  2. We decide what will be taught and the instructional methods to be used to teach.
  3. We decide how the participant will demonstrate competency to do the required work and we develop an examination plan to test the participant's competency.

Learning objectives are often broken into two types. Firstly, terminal objectives explain what the participant must be able to do after training on the job. Then, specific learning objectives tell what knowledge, skills, and attitudes must be displayed during class.  Participants are given the learning objectives at the beginning of class so they know exactly what we expect them to learn. The learning objectives are based upon the results of the analysis phase.

The design phase also determines what will be taught and how it will be taught. In this phase we select the instructional technology and the media to be used. The instructional technology usually includes some combination of the following: hands-on-practice, lecture, power-point presentation, video tape, training equipment, computer training, pictures, models, participant reading, self study, or on-the-job training. It is important to decide how the participant will practice the skill to be learned.

Using the learning objectives as the standard, our trainers develop an examination plan to determine if the participant is competent concerning the course material. This plan states the learning objectives to be tested and the number of questions relating to each learning objective. We determine the type of question and difficulty level of the questions. An examination table of specifications is written to guide the actual writing of questions in the development phase.


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3. Development
In the development phase the training design is made into training material. Training materials for instructor and participants are written. These materials could include lesson plans, participant handouts, videotapes, training aids, or other materials.

Examination questions are written as required in the examination table of specifications from the design phase. Questions are assembled into participant exams as needed.

4. Implementation
In the implementation phase the instructor teaches and the participant learns. Although this is the phase that most people think of as "training" it is probably the easier phase to perform. The material written during the development phase is used to implement the decisions that we made in the design phase. We also apply the information learned about the job in the analysis phase during implementation. At the completion of the course the participants prove their competency by passing the seminar test.

5. Evaluation

Evaluation is asking, "How are we doing?"

During the other 3 phase our trainers do an evaluation to ensure the process is working correctly and to identify improvements immediately. After the training is completed our trainers evaluate the effectiveness of the training. They determine if the participant is performing on the job as expected. They determine if the training course was useful to your company’s performance. Our trainers will then identify what else is needed to improve performance and determine if the course could have been done better. Identifying improvements for the course and improvements for the entire training process is an important part of the evaluation phase of SAT.

The best evaluation of training effectiveness is done on the job. We ask participants and their supervisors if they are properly prepared to do their job. We can also use performance monitoring programs to evaluate the effectiveness of training and determine areas for improvement.

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