Founded in 1844, Babcock & Wilcox Canada Ltd. (B&W Canada) is a world leader in the engineering, manufacturing, service and, construction of steam generation and associated equipment for utilities and industrial applications. More specifically, the company offers design, engineering, manufacturing, construction, and services to nuclear, thermal power, and industrial clients around the world. Headquartered in Cambridge, Ontario, B&W Canada employs approximately 800 employees across Canada.
Updating an Existing Learning Model through the Adoption of Industry-leading Process
One of B&W Canada’s primary responsibilities is deploying service technicians to nuclear power plants. These technicians are required to understand and follow strict quality assurance requirements.
Procedural compliance is absolutely critical: with safety being a paramount consideration throughout the industry, it is essential to ensure that technicians fully understand procedures and are trained to follow the most current version of a process. As a base requirement to remaining on their customers’ respective lists of approved suppliers, compliance with procedures at B&W Canada is frequently audited.
Until a few years ago, the company used a predominately paper-based approach in the training of staff to ensure knowledge and compliance. As an industry leading organization with a focus on continuous improvement, they recognized that this learning model presented opportunities to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the training process.
Certain obstacles had emerged, such as the logistics involved in organizing and transporting the large volume of files throughout large facilities, the effort required for manual record tracking, and the dedicated human resources needed to manage the process. In addition, B&W Canada identified the need to improve its measurements of training effectiveness. This would result in better assurance of the level of knowledge retention amongst workers and also provide a means of assessing the impact of improvements or changes to the training process.
Enhance Field Training Effectiveness While Ensuring Procedural Compliance
Witnessing the success that many of its clients had experienced with computer-based training processes at various nuclear sites, B&W Canada embraced the idea of emulating that approach in its own practices. In moving towards a more automated, system-driven process, B&W Canada also recognized an opportunity to heighten the quality, accessibility, and efficiency of its learning organization.
A Web-Based Platform for a Flexible, Progressive, and Automated Experience
B&W Canada ultimately selected the Brightspace platform after identifying several distinguishing factors that specifically fit their organizational needs:
- The Brightspace platform didn’t require hosting or downloads for implementation or maintenance.
- The solution was capable of interacting with the data reporting system that B&W Canada already had in place, enhancing the existing technology structure without having to replace it.
- The Brightspace platform allowed for the fast and easy creation of custom courses that helped enhance efficiency in both the development and delivery processes.
- Brightspace demonstrated flexibility in the solution that was capable of meeting a variety of the company’s learning needs within a single platform.
An Accessible, Online Program that Improves the Training Process and Helps Maintain Procedural Compliance
Deploying an online learning solution has proven critical to B&W Canada’s continued goal of effectively maintaining procedural compliance, achieving efficiencies in the training program, and providing a positive user experience.
The understanding of the effectiveness of its internal training program has improved with the inclusion of formal evaluation—learners are now required to review and engage with material more closely in order to pass quizzes, and passing those quizzes is required for accreditation. With these results in hand, the organization is also better positioned to monitor and validate the quality of its training experience and continue to identify opportunities to improve.
Logistically, B&W Canada has been able to automate much of the learning process and eliminate many of the inefficiencies associated with the paper-based training approach. Dedicating time to pursuing and notifying individuals who need to complete training is no longer necessary—the system automatically completes those tasks. The Brightspace platform’s integration with its existing data structures also allows the company to easily report on dates, results, and any other individual details as far as training assignment and completion are concerned.
New users and profile updates are also handled through the system—a process which was formerly done manually.
The feedback from users has been resoundingly positive. Many of the company’s employees were already used to seeing computer-based learning models for other purposes, leading them to embrace the adoption of an online learning platform for their own training. Because employees have set time windows in which to complete training modules, the anytime/anywhere accessibility benefits of the web-based platform have helped create a continually available learning experience that supports their own unique schedules, locations, and availability. The adoption of the Brightspace platform has completely eliminated all but a small portion of the paper-based training that was previously conducted.