10 reasons to hire a training firm with deep mining expertise
February 19, 2013 | Best Practices
When it comes to hiring an outside firm for training services in the mining industry, you have two choices: Hire a generalist firm with some experience in many industries, or hire a specialist firm that has a deep level of expertise in mining.
Here are 10 practical reasons why you ought to hire a specialist firm like VISTA Training that has a wealth of experience and expertise in mine training and operations - and can help transfer best practices from other mines to yours:
1. Focused expertise: If you needed heart bypass surgery, who would be better qualified to perform the operation, your family doctor or a heart surgeon? The obvious answer is the latter. The same principle applies to hiring a training firm. A firm like VISTA has more expertise in diagnosing training and performance issues in mine environments and in developing and implementing targeted plans to solve them.
2. Less vendor education is needed: If you hire a generalist training firm that dabbles in many markets, you'll need to teach them your business. In an industry as technical as mining, that could take several years. Do you really have time for that? In contrast, a firm with a deep level of mining expertise can hit the ground running with much less education.
3. Deeper expertise results in higher-quality training programs: Even if you succeed in teaching a generalist training firm your business, they will still lack the nuanced understanding of a firm with people who have actually worked in mining environments. Living it and experiencing it is much different than simply observing it.
4. Improved knowledge transfer from SMEs: All training firms must rely on subject matter experts (SMEs) to produce training programs for you. But the firm with greater industry expertise is able to ask better-informed questions and can therefore extract more focused, relevant knowledge from your SMEs. That results in higher-quality training programs.
5. More efficient use of SMEs: Many mines are running lean and only have a handful of true subject-matter experts. Naturally, their supervisors prefer to minimize the number of hours their best workers are diverted into SME interviews. A training firm with mining expertise can make more efficient use of your SMEs, extracting their vital knowledge in less time.
6. Test questions and quality of learning: Instructional designers needs to give careful consideration to the composition of test questions - to ensure that they do a good job of measuring whether or not trainees actually understand what they've learned. To ask intelligent, well-worded questions, a deep level of subject matter expertise is a must.
7. Smoother training launches: A training firm with deep expertise in mining will naturally have a deeper understanding of what works well in your learning center and in the field, and what tends to be problematic. A firm like VISTA Training can get your training program off to a more successful launch, with fewer false starts, than a less-informed generalist training firm.
8. Making judgment calls on relevant knowledge: Some SMEs have difficulty separating the history and "nice-to-know" information from what really is needed to perform their job. Some of them can't believe anyone could do their job unless they perform every detail exactly like them and know everything they know. An instructional designer with industry expertise can make better judgment calls on what novice trainees need to know - not the randomly organized set of knowledge the SME shared with him or her.
9. Deeper relationships with mines result in more services: Those training firms that "go deep" in mining have developed deep relationships with a number of mines. That gives them unique opportunities to identify additional problems they can help to solve and a bigger toolbox of services they can offer to other mines. VISTA not only develops training curricula and CBTs, but also performs operator assessments, offers PC-based simulators, provides on-site training services, designs on-the-job training exercises and training aids, and writes mine procedures
10. The bottom-line imperative: Your mine manager is not only compelled by industry regulations to run a safe work environment, but to improve productivity. Ideally, your training ought to accomplish both objectives. A deeply experienced training firm that has a passion for mining - like VISTA - can realistically achieve both goals.
If you're looking for a partner that can help you to take your operator training to the next level, VISTA can help. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +262 514-2886 - we'd love to learn more about your training needs or visit our Mine Training web page.
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