When it comes to control system training, you’ve undoubtedly heard this phrase said to new folks:
“In my day, you applied common horse sense, some on-the-job-training and a couple of days of following me around. After that you just ask questions. Do you have any for me now?”
Now, if I was instructing someone on how to rake leaves or sweep out the garage—the above conversation would probably work. But if you want to ensure that new engineers, operators and maintenance personnel who interact with the control system everyday are capable of doing so, then we need to teach them to be them more sophisticated.
First, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your control system architecture documented and current?
- Do you have security in place to prevent unauthorized or qualified people from accessing set points?
- Is there a clear line of sight between what you are operating and what the control system is responsible to maintain such as key performance indicators (KPI’s)?
- Do you have a train once and then run it policy or is there a need to have an annual review key users of the system?
- Is your training documented, has an owner and on a secure server or is it a wad of paper in a ring binder that still has donut and coffee stains all over the pages?
If you answered no to any or all of these questions, then it’s time for a little spring cleaning of your work processes and documentation.
Bottom line: Don’t expect new engineers to follow me around when it comes to training on the control system, but rather have a policy in place backed by accountability.