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IOT to the rescue for competency skills operations training & assessment
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IOT to the rescue for competency skills operations training & assessment

This article is brought to you by ISO Group.

How do employers who need competency operations training and assessment provide this? Internet of Things (IoT) is the answer. IoT is not restricted to manufacturing but it can also be utilised perfectly for competency operations skills training.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused most in-person training to be postponed. Safety and/or fleet managers cannot continuously postpone training and assessment. The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown has been around for the past nine months. It will continue to be here for the next few months until a majority of citizens get their vaccine immunisation.

New or refresher training and assessment of competency skills must continue despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Such trainings & assessments include defensive driving for lorries, buses, cars, motorbikes; forklift, reach truck, telehandlers, reach stackers and other material handling equipment; skylift, boom lift, scissor lift, and other mobile elevating & climbing work platforms; and many other critical safety skills-based training.

New recruits need to be trained and assessed before they can be put on the job because a lack of proper training and assessment can mean accidents. Refresher assessment is necessary to ensure that the existing staff is continuously capable of doing the work safely and productively.

With the reduction of staff, many staff also need to be upskilled, reskilled, or multiskilled to handle jobs for those staff furloughed/retrenched.

How do employers who need competency operations training and assessment provide this for their staff? Internet of Things (IoT) is the answer. IoT is not restricted to manufacturing but it can also be utilised perfectly for competency operations skills training.

The ISO Group has designed a well-thought-out IoT package to overcome this hurdle. It is not just the usual webinar and PowerPoint slides shown via Zoom, MS Teams, etc., but much more than that.

In fact, the system is readily accepted by all operators, and they find the system even better than the previous 15-pax crowdaround peeking at the trainers doing a demo of safety-critical skills. Participants above the age of 40 needed a few moments to adjust, but they were grateful because they understood the adjustments to this method because of social distancing requirements. Those under the B40 group fully and readily supported the package.

This ISO Group’s IoT package has been available since Q3 2019, but the acceptance was slow. However, demand exploded with the lockdown at the beginning of Q2 2020.

What is this IoT package? The package is set up by the trainers or pre-delivered to the employers / participants for prior set up. It is then configured ready to commence recording of training & assessment.

The trainer wears the helmet with the empowered camera and talk to the participants via their respective individual tablets (on loan from the ISO Group) with individual earphones. The participants can push the tablet button and interject with question/s to the trainer or ask the trainer to redemonstrate as and when necessary.

The participants can see picture frames in realtime on their respective tablets, i.e., they get a four-dimension view compared to the usual physical one-dimension and in a crowded environment. Equipment is all sanitised and exchanged. When everything is understood, the participants will come in one at a time to learn hands-on and be assessed.

The participant now wears the helmet with the camera and operates the machine, as well as have hands-on training and subsequent assessment. The trainer will hold the tablet and assess the participant doing the competency steps. Whenever necessary, the trainer / assessor will push the button and talk to the participant. The participant does not have to switch on anything to hear the feedback by the trainer.

There are hurdles, though, for instance when the Internet is down, but the ISO Group can assess the training via a recording even though the participant may be miles apart. We recently had an Australian MNC operating in Kulai, Johor, whilst the assessor was in Shah Alam, Selangor. In the process, social distancing requirements are always complied with.

In the final analysis, many MNCs, GLCs, PLCs have found the package very agile and suitable because of its many features:

  • Tablets on loan for every individual participant is a bonus to the employer
  • Tablets also used for theory training (LMS/webinar) and theory assessment
  • Video is on to ensure the participants are taking the tests
  • Skills training is a better alternative with 4-dimension videos in one tablet
  • Adults A40 green to IT find the video explaining the lock-in steps very useful
  • A foolproof package to address social distancing requirements

Besides the above IoT package, the ISO Group also provides a simulator / virtual concept for most of its skills-based training like forklift operations, lorry defensive driving, and crane inspection.

PETROSAINS (a subsidiary of PETRONAS), and many other MNCs have since adopted the ISO Group’s simulators as a temporary & / or permanent substitution for their usual in-cab assessments for social distancing requirements. Nestle, Fonterra, British American Tobacco, Monier Tiles, Cenviro-Kualiti Alam, SKYNET Worldwide, Tiong Nam Logistics and a Highway Operator are amongst the many other MNCs, PLCs, GLCs, High Commissioners representatives, Ambassadors office, that found the simulator is even better than the usual in-cab environment because the simulator allows for participants to be tested in different environments like town driving, country roads, highways, rainy day, night traveling and other different environments. Both employers and employees from all the participating organisations acknowledged that the demerit marks computed by the simulator is a perfect method of full competency assessment.

If in-cab is utilised, requisite cameras are fixed to allow for real-time recording and assessments. En Aznan, the Director of Operations of Skynet Worldwide, says it is a marvellous use of technology. He will implement the same for his whole fleet of van drivers and the motorbike riders, which uses the helmet with radios affixed for both the trainer and trainees’ helmet.

The above training is complemented by a hybrid model for theory training. Employers can decide whether to opt for a webinar or LMS scheme, or both.

Management can also monitor real-time LMS progress of each of their staff attending the same course on their individual time 24/7 from different environments like their office desktop, or working from home, via the tablets on loan from the ISO Group.

The ISO Group’s Founder & Principal Consultant Lt. Colonel Frank adds: “ISO Group was formed 17 years ago. We have, to date, since touched base with 65 Fortune 500 companies. We continuously revamp our methodology & materials.

“The COVID-19 Pandemic has brought about the use of all the old-new technology. The camera-router-tablet Technology was invented some 20 years ago, but acceptance was slow until the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Visit our Facebook page to see our many IoT achievements, some of which are mentioned above. Who says IoT is only for manufacturing?”

He adds: “Our LMS - IoT Hybrid package is a flexible add-on programme in line with our add-on pricing. Now, everyone can attend competency skills operations learning without having to defer for worry of COVID-19.”

The ISO Group has implemented this thoughtful package to eliminate the negative impact of COVID-19 on competency skills operations training & assessment and foolproof the safety of participants.

The ISO Group’s Motto:
“Safe to work, safe back home.”

To know more on how your organisation can benefit from competency skills operations training & assessment, please contact Lt. Colonel (CD) Frank Tan.

Tel: +6018-7719266
Facebook: The ISO Group

Photo / Provided

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