Posted: 15 May '13

Is an Online Training Ticket Acceptable?

We often get the question, "is online training acceptable at my work site?". That is a good question, and the answer is fairly straightforward. First off lets look at what the requirements for training are. The Alberta Occupational health and safety code, states that workers must be trained and competent. The legislators do not specify how training is to be conducted. Therefore, a self led, classroom based, or online format would be acceptable.

Training is great for relaying theory concepts such as the steps to take in a rescue, the steps in a first aid response, what information must be on a confined space permit, the components of a fall arrest system, or the characteristics of H2S. What training online training cannot provide is specific learner feedback, and any hands on training. In a classroom this is handled by the instructor. In an online course, this is often not possible. Training companies are recognizing this deficiency, and are beginning to provide a hybrid system, where the theory components are covered online, and then students will come in for a short hands on learning component.

Currently MI Safety Inc is developing a hybrid online/classroom based learning component. This will ensure any of the hand on/practical components/material is understood by the worker. In our online H2S course, workers will take a 3 hour online learning component, then would be able to come in for a two hour hands on learning section.

Beyond the requirement for training, the Occupational Health and Safety Code requires workers are competent. Competent means that the worker has been trained, and has a degree of practical experience with the task that allows them to safely perform with no coaching or supervision. This means that even after a workers has taken a classroom based or online training course, they still have to have mentoring time from their employer, where an experienced worker coaches them until they are ready to perform the work safely without any coaching.

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