Wednesday, August 15, 2012

IPAF Training on Operator Training

There are several important IPAF training courses in the market which cater to the various work industries. These IPAF courses are specially certified by TÜV; an international and highly reputed agency on certification which checks the course conformation to ISO 18878:2004. Some of the TÜV certified IPAF courses include the Scissor and Boom course, Scissor Lift, Cherry Picker and MEWPS Operator course. MEWPS stands for Mobile Elevating Work Platforms which is important in the building and elevation work industries.
Operator Training
This IPAF operator training program may be just one day but it is one of the most popular IPAF courses with the most attendance with over 90,000 delegates across its 500 training centers which are IPAF approved. These training centers are available across the globe to the convenience of the attendees as all nations have building and elevation industries.
The course is targeted at those who need to work at height with the use of access equipment. MEWPS would have various types of tools and machineries which must be carefully operated to ensure complete safety to the operator and those in its vicinity.
Course candidates who successfully pass this one day course are entitled to the coveted IPAF Operators Safety Guide, IPAF photo card identification and PAL Card log book as well as a certificate stating the relevant machine categories.
The validity of this certificate is 5 years; after which the candidate is encouraged to take up a refresher course for a renewed certification. The refresher course is to update the operator on new machines, legislation and techniques due to changes over time in administration and technology.
Factors of training
The Work at Height Regulations insists that MEWP operators must be competent with the necessary operator training that provides the relevant and current technical knowledge while boosting the work techniques and experience.
The legislation may differ from place to place depending on the local administration and the relevant industries at that location. IPAF qualifications on MEWP operators are widely accepted and recognized in many countries whether by the local government or the industries.
The training providers must also be IPAF approved and recognized trainers with the right facilities and expertise in conducting the IPAF training courses. They must be well equipped with the latest technology and equipment on MEWPs to ensure an up-to-date syllabus that is relevant to the industry. There should be the latest deployment of the latest training approaches, techniques, tools and machineries with the latest updates in work at height legislation.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Popular PASMA Training Courses

PASMA training courses are so well known that there is hardly any need to promote them. The various industries are well aware of these courses which are relevant to their environments; hundreds of participants are sent to undergo the various PASMA courses to equip the workers every year.
Training Courses
One of the more popular PASMA training courses is its Mobile Access Tower that includes advanced guardrail and 3T. 
This course takes only 1 day but it draws the most delegates every year. This course was designed for people who are in charge of building, moving, inspecting or dismantling of mobile access towers.

Mobile access towers are important components in any work at height jobs. There is the element of danger and risk involved; hence, only qualified and experienced individuals should perform the task. The trained person would have the appropriate technical knowledge with relevant experience to handle the task properly.
There are other relevant PASMA training for the various industries which deal with heights such as the PASMA Tower Course for Managers, the PASMA Towers on Stairs, PASMA Bridging Units and PASMA Linked Towers.
Requirement & Recognition
Securing the PASMA qualification on work at height related jobs is a requirement of the Work at Height Regulations to ensure safety and health by all individuals to all parties. The PASMA courses are well structured to cater to the needs of the industries; hence, PASMA qualifications are globally renowned.
PASMA contributes to the continuous development of standards to improve the use and maintenance as well as the inspection of mobile access towers across the globe. This standards agency liaises closely with the local Health and Safety authorities.
Training Centers
Training centers that wish to conduct PASMA courses must be accredited by PASMA. They would need to be trained and equipped with the relevant courses and facilities before being a member of PASMA to conduct the courses.
The facilitators must be constantly aware of the changes in the work at height industry to ensure an updated course syllabus that would be relevant and beneficial to the course candidates. The facilitators must also be updated on the work at height and safety legislation to ensure the right contents are delivered to the learners.
The training premise must be well equipped with the relevant pieces of tools, equipment and other resources to facilitate the training. PASMA courses are meant to cater to a small group of at most a dozen participants to ensure a positive learning environment and outcome.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Coveted Short IPAF Training Courses

IPAF offers many training courses to benefit the industries in the world. Such training is necessary to ensure the right application of tools and techniques in handling a job especially where it refers to work at heights environment.
Various relevant categories of training are available from IPAF which is a leading training accreditation center. It offers courses in Static Vertical and Static Boom as well as PAV or Push around Vertical Training besides the use of harness and MEWPS courses.
IPAF training courses are popular as they conform to the ISO 18878:2004 international standard. These courses are conducted by skilled and trained facilitators who have the relevant industry experience and IPAF accreditation.
These courses were generated in conjunction with the input from relevant industries that require the rightly trained professionals for higher work productivity.
Course syllabus
IPAF training courses would cover the various materials befitting the industry needs. There is the MEWPS operator certificate which is useful to those handling elevated mounts and platforms. Machineries are more elaborate today with the progressive technology; hence, operators of such machineries must be well versed with their functions, capabilities and dangers.
Candidates would learn how to identify the various mobile elevating work tools, equipment and platforms used. They would be taught to understand the statutory regulations and safe working procedures. Up-to-date and relevant information as well as instructions would be given to the learners on the safe use of MEWPS.
Although the course may only be one day long, there would be practical sessions with the theory. There would be sufficient machines for the candidates to identify the parts and functions so that they would be familiar with these machines at their work site later on. Candidates would be taught to inspect the mobile elevating platforms before commencing work to ensure safety and good functionality of the machinery. They would be taught how to operate these machines and tools safely while adhering to the health and safety regulations imposed on MEWPS and work at height environments.
Although it is a short course, candidates gain a lot of benefits from this IPAF course training. The experienced and skilled facilitators are present to guide the candidates on the actual use of the machineries and tools safely; they are available to enlighten candidates on doubts, queries and suggestions which would improve the candidates' performance at the work site.
Successful candidates would receive the coveted IPAF identification card and certification which allows them to operate MEWPS in work at heights environments.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Project Management Concepts Through Interview Questions for Project Managers - Part 1

The aim of this series of articles is to introduce project management concepts. Interview questions one may face for project Manager position are used as a vehicle to introduce these concepts. This is the first part of the series and introduces the preliminaries. The series is going to be in ten parts, and each article in the series will discuss five questions that you may get asked and explain the related questions. Concepts introduced should help you prepare for PMP certification that is often required for a Project Manager position.
The very first question could well be what would be the definition of a project? A project is not like the regular set of activities of an organization. For example a biscuit/cookie factory will have a set of activities defined that are required to produce a specific type of biscuit/cookie. These would be the manufacturing activities. Whereas, if it were decided to create a different kind of packaging for the product that will be taken up as a project activity. The set of activities defined to generate a new packaging will be a onetime project. However, when the packaging is created and approved, the set of activities added/existing activities modified, to create the packaging becomes part of the manufacturing process. In general, the set of activities/tasks that are taken up to create a specific result, product or a process could be defined as a project. By definition these are temporary, one-time activities unlike the everyday manufacturing activities.
If you were asked to provide some examples of a project, it could go as follows. The re-design of the cookie packaging is certainly a project. Another example would be the kind of activities that were scheduled for creating the new product, the Microsoft Surprise tablet. This is also an example of a project that may have related projects. This product project gave rise to a project for the design of the liquid magnesium deposition process for a lightweight yet very strong enclosure for the product. Designing and building a laptop with the latest and the greatest processor released by their manufacturer, creation of an airport for a city are some other examples.
What do you understand by project management? This is a question you would typically face early in the interview. When a project is launched its scope, budget allocations, and required quality levels of the outcome are defined. Necessary resource allocations are made. Risks associated are assessed. The project manager and the project team have to ensure the goals are met at the right quality levels and within the given time and budget. To do so, they need to depend on a range of knowledge and skills. Using the knowledge and the skills, to balance the often conflicting demands of projects, is project management.
The kind of activities required at the beginning of a project and when it closes will, intuitively, be different. Do projects have life-cycle phases? That is a question that is asked often in the opening set of questions. The answer is yes, of course. The kinds of activities required are quite different. The project needs to start with a planning phase that will define how the project will get done. Actually executing the plan and monitoring the progress needs to be part of the project execution phase. If progress should start drifting out of expected variations, corrective actions are required. This is part of the execution phase. Finally, there will be a set of distinct activities that take care of closing the project properly. Recording what has been learnt and modifying documents/ organization's processes accordingly is part of this phase. These documents as a whole are often referred to as an organization's process assets. These could be typically; the way estimates are done; forms to be used; specific data to be captured for a project history; etc.
Projects, Programs and Portfolios are terms often heard in context of project management. What are the differences between them? Program as mentioned beforehand, is more than one project related in some way. The design of the tablet is a program that contains at least two projects. One of them is the process development for the enclosure made of vaporized magnesium. The other project in the program would be design and development of the electronics for the system. A collection of projects taken up to achieve a set of related purposes is a portfolio. A typical fighter plane development would be a portfolio of projects that take care of the airframe, the jet engines, the armaments to go with it, etc.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Project Management Concepts Through Interview Questions for Project Managers - 4

The aim of this series of articles is to introduce project management concepts. Interview questions one may face for project Manager position, are used as a vehicle to introduce these concepts. This is the fourth part of the series and further concepts. The series is going to be in ten parts, and each article in the series will discuss five questions that you may get asked and explain the related questions. Concepts introduced should help you prepare for PMP certification that is often required for a Project Manager position.
Quite often, customers request projects. There is one document that details what the customer requires the project to achieve. What is the requirements' document, typically, known as? A statement of works or SOW is the name of the document. It contains details of the expected outcomes of the project. What product, services or result are explicitly stated in the document. Quality levels to be achieved are also included in the document. It is as detailed as possible as the SOW forms a part of the contract between the customer and the executing organization.
One of the biggest problems associated with scope management is to manage the scope creep. Change being a constant, minimizing the effect of changes in the scope is a major concern. The scope can obviously affect the scope. How does one manage scope for the least effect on the time and cost budget? Scope management starts with requirements gathering, followed by defining the scope. To ensure that the initial definition of what's to be done is accurate, the project scope needs to be broken down to as many details as possible. That ensures two things. One, the work required is defined completely and the corresponding execution time estimate is accurate. The detailed list of work is known as the work breakdown structure or the WBS. A dictionary (WBS dictionary) that may define further details is also associated with the WBS. A scope baseline is defined by the WBS and the associated WBS dictionary. Scope management also must include mechanisms to control scope creep. All the planning of a project is based on this scope baseline, and thus the plans can get messed up if the original scope does not remain well controlled.
How does the WBS affect time estimates of activities in a Project? Activities required for a project, and sub-activities required for each are defined in the WBS. The breakdown needs to go down to details such that, the activity is completely defined. No further simplification is called for. WBS dictionary contains additional details of each task. These details help arrive at effort estimate and their time estimates quite accurately. Dependencies between activities are also all spelt out in these documents.
Sometimes changes are inevitable. What one needs to watch out for, is that the changes do not cause uncontrolled consequences. How can change control be managed? Everything being interlinked, all the effects and changes necessary in project documents and plans should be updated systematically. An integrated change control process can ensure this systematic change on all the documents/plans. Document changes are made only when the change requests are approved by a review board with sufficient authority.
How does one define a milestone? Milestone is a marker on the project time schedule. This marks the point at which some clearly defined objective; a part of the expected results or services are achieved. Achievement of these milestones gives the project team a good feel of how much of the project, goals have been achieved.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Managing Resistance in Adult Learners

Just like getting enough rest, washing your hands often, and eating a healthy diet can help prevent a cold, prevention through good training design and delivery can go a long way in heading off resistance with challenging training participants.
Following is a roundup of five prevention strategiess that can help you manage resistance in the-long-time-in-their career-and-tired-of-training folks, the-law-says-I-have-to-be-here-court-ordered folks, or the my-boss-made-me-come folks.
  1. Get off the pedestal early and honor your audience: Affirm their expertise, thank them for their time, assert your intent to validate and utilize their experience and to create an environment in which they will have access to and interaction with others who do what they do so that they can exchange ideas, be refreshed in a community of their peers, extend their practice, and pick up some additional tips for their toolbox.

  2. Save your I'm a star stories for family and share your funny self-effacing stories:Avoid stories that make you look like a super star and instead share the more hair-raising, funny, boy-did-I-learn-a-lesson stories. It levels the playing field, it bonds you through shared experiences, it gives you credibility as having been around the block in your shared field, while making you more human and probably a lot more tolerable, likeable even, to your indentured audience.

  3. Create a Community Agreement: This is a more palatable version of "ground rules" because it is created together and elicited with: "What will help you be comfortable and get your needs met today? What will help us work effectively together?" As a member of the community you can add your non-negotiables as well as your promises such as, "Start and end on time", and "Take good care of yourselves," i.e. have a snack, pace, stretch, use the restroom, stand at the back even if it isn't break. Then invite everyone to be Keepers of the Agreement. Give an example that uses yourself as the violator of the agreement by saying, "So if you notice that I'm not starting or ending on time, please feel free to remind me of our agreement." The nice thing about community agreements is that someone will always suggest things like, Be open minded, Be respectful, Avoid cross-talk, so when someone isn't doing those things, you have permission to remind them of the agreement, as do others.

  4. Spend time on introductions and letting people share what they want out of the day. If you have 10-20 participants you can hear from everyone. More than that and you can ask for folks to raise their hand as you call out work contexts with which they identify themselves. For learning goals and hopes for the day, you can have them share them with the person sitting next to them and then ask for a sampling from the group so that you know what people are expecting and you can better meet their needs. If you pay careful attention (especially if you have them write them down and post them) you can direct your training, illustrations and examples in the direction of their expressed needs and desires while staying within the context of the larger, advertised training outcome.

  5. Attend to adult learner characteristics in your design: Use a variety of interactive activities, give time for folks to share their examples and expertise, deliver material through different modalities and engage at least 2 senses during every activity, and always give real-life application exercises. Adult learners want to solve a problem in their lives, enhance their status or self-esteem so you'll go a long way in preventing problems by helping the adult learners in your training accomplish these goals.