An international aluminum smelter converted its induction training into e-learning so as to standardize the content delivered to its contractors and reduce training costs.
For this company’s management, training is the cornerstone of their accident prevention policy. In addition to taking specific mandatory OHS courses for each task, everyone entering its facilities must successfully complete induction training. The company had developed some 20 induction courses so as to customize content for different areas and work activities. These induction courses were delivered in the traditional manner by in-house trainers.
Because the company operated on a 24/7 basis, induction training was offered on any given day, at all hours and in various locations. This was a logistical nightmare for managers, trainers and contractors due various irritants, including last-minute scheduling, urgent production issues, classrooms not available, invitations lost and skyrocketing costs.
With thousands of workers visiting the company each month, managing induction training was arduous and repetitive in terms of updating employee files and training records, organizing time slots according to trainer and work date availability, and so forth.
Moreover, given the scope of the industrial site, it was often a long, drawn-out process to access files. As such, it was difficult to verify the compliance of workers assigned to the site.
Managing training, mainly for induction purposes, was a complex operation that carried its own set of challenges, such as:
Numerous last-minute requests to allot time for induction training
Inability to maximize training groups
An almost continuous need for stand-by trainers
Enormous induction training budgets
And, if work needed to be carried out urgently, it was all too easy to cut corners and rush the induction training session. Naturally, no harm was intended. The idea was to free up the contractors so that they could get on with their job as quickly as possible. Despite everything, there was an underlying concern that key OHS information had been omitted and an accident would occur.
On top of all this, a number of trainers were planning to retire over the year ahead. So finding replacements and ensuring the proper transfer of knowledge was becoming quite a headache. Lastly, all the energy given to induction training could have been put toward developing other types of OHS programs.
The company was therefore looking for a solution to reduce induction training costs and address the departure of the most experienced trainers, without skimping on its stringent instructional standards.
E-learning proved to be the perfect solution. It ensures a standardized platform for the delivery of content, automates a contractor’s entire assignment and induction process, and requires a one-time investment.
Already a Cognibox user for its contractor certification process, the aluminum smelter added a new functionality — the E-Learning (EL) module. This allows the company to incorporate and host all its induction training activities on the Cognibox platform, and to centralize all its contractor management operations in one place.
This way, the company is able to effectively manage distance induction training for contractors and to ensure closer monitoring of contractor compliance at its facilities. With e-learning, people arriving on-site are already aware of the rules and procedures.
Benefits of using E-learning
Ensures the standardization of information delivered to contractors
Creates induction training sessions delivered directly online
Assigns induction training to the contractor’s employee on the Cognibox platform
Tracks and monitors contractor induction training by automatically updating the employee’s profile in Cognibox
The company drew on Cognibox’s expertise in converting its classroom training activities into an e-learning format.
Cognibox’s team of e-learning and educational technology specialists analyzed the content of each course to create educational training adapted to the e-learning format and SCORM standard. Animations and interactivity were also added to keep the learner focused and to maximize the learning experience. In total, training time was reduced by 60% to 80% without adversely affecting the content.
The Cognibox team handled the entire conversion process, from adapting content to creating all the multimedia elements.
In the case of this aluminum smelter, all the induction training courses were conserved since the context was different for each one. The project was carried out in three phases:
Phase 1: conversion of 6 training courses into e-learning
Phase 2: conversion of 13 training courses into e-learning
Phase 3: conversion of the last 4 training courses into e-learning
Phase 1 served as a pilot, allowing managers and contractors to test and verify the relevance of this new approach. The transition took just over a year to complete.
Performance and Results
Converting induction training courses into an e-learning format and providing access to them via the Cognibox platform more than halved the number of hours and budget associated with inducting contractors. Additional advantages include:
Significant reduction in recurrent costs related to contractor induction training
Real-time update of training results in Cognibox
Closer monitoring of learning activities and contractor compliance
Reduced stress associated with organizing induction training sessions as induction training is available 24/7
Elimination of logistical constraints, with three full-time resources now reassigned to other OHS projects
A surprising return on investment
After applying phases 1 and 2 of the induction training e-learning conversion, the ROI translated into direct savings of $116,480, compared to traditional training, in just eight months. The company is consistently posting savings of $250,000 per year
The equivalent of 2,104 hours of traditional training per employee has become 892 hours of e-learning per employee
Contractors are spending 42% less time in training
Direct savings of over $70,000 on salaries
Despite development costs, the company saw an average decrease of 48% in its overall training costs
In short, e-learning has enabled this aluminum smelter to significantly reduce its training budget while simultaneously maximizing the transfer of its health and safety culture to new contractors. Efficient, accessible and user-friendly e-learning has simplified the induction training process across this organization’s facilities.