Outsourcing to Improve Effectiveness, Reduce Cost, and Create Sustainability of Technical Training in the Water and Wastewater Industry

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Courtesy of Water Environment Federation (WEF)

ABSTRACT
A major global chemical company experiencing limited success in the training of global plant personnel outsourced to a professional training services firm, achieving a significant increase in measured learning and a reduction in non-compliance incidents.

INTRODUCTION
A major global chemical company was experiencing limited success in the training of global plant personnel in the subject area of Waste Water Analysis. Lab technicians and other plant personnel were demonstrating limited retention and applicability of information presented in training courses, resulting in government regulatory and compliance risks at several sites.

On short notice, Brazilian operations requested a more comprehensive training program to mitigate immediate risks at their plant. The course needed to be developed and delivered as soon as possible to prevent government compliance issues.

The chemical company had two options:

  1. Continue to do the training in the same way as other technical courses:

Taking this approach would pull valuable technical and scientific resources from core business initiatives to produce the additional training materials. The risk to this option was that while the company resources were indeed the subject matter experts (SMEs) in Waste Water Analysis, their time available to spend on training development was very limited. Additionally, the SMEs area of expertise did not include high-impact instructional design and training delivery. Working with limited time availability and limited knowledge of creating solid training programs could result in costly and inferior training solution that still did not produce the results the business needed.

     2.   Explore innovative ways to leverage from the expertise of the SMEs while outsourcing actual design and  development of the course to professionals with expertise in Instructional Design and Training Delivery.

Taking this approach would mean a vendor partner would need to be identified who could work with the SMEs to produce a higher quality, more effective, lower cost training program that resulted in measurable sustainable learning for the plant personnel.

The company made the decision to engage with a professional training organization to support the training development. The approach and results follow.

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