Delivering ground support equipment (GSE) driver training can offer a wide range of benefits, but is your operation evaluating how effective your training really is?
GSE Equipment Training Benefits
The correct airside equipment training can result in improved safety for drivers, on the ramp and for aircraft, along with better overall efficiency. It can also have a positive impact on equipment longevity, lowering maintenance costs and giving a greater return on equipment investment.
However, simply running some ground support equipment training is not enough to maximize the potential improvements to an airside operation.
Evaluating training effectiveness is essential
If training effectiveness is not measured, how do you know that you’re doing the right thing to improve issues in your operation? And how do you know that the training you carried out delivered the desired message effectively?
That’s why it’s important to measure the effectiveness of any of your ground handling equipment training programs.
How to measure training program effectiveness
- Define a clear objective
Start by making sure you know what outcome you’re hoping to see from this training. Unless you define this at the outset, it is impossible to measure or evaluate the effectiveness of the training delivered. For example, objectives could include reducing turnaround times by ten minutes, reducing the number of driving incidents each week, cutting fuel usage by 20%, reducing maintenance costs or increasing reporting culture in the event of incidents and near misses.
- Assess where you are now
Once you’ve defined your objective, you must look at what you’re currently doing and how you are currently performing. This creates a benchmark for comparison after training has been delivered. Knowing where you are starting from is a key step in both finding out where you need to get to and how successful you were in getting there.
- Calculate training cost
Pull together the total training cost. This can include development costs, the cost related to downtime of any equipment you’re using during training, the candidates’ and instructors’ time out the business and the cost of any additional materials. You can then compare this cost against the achieved outcome to help you assess the value of the training.
- Collect feedback
An essential part of the training evaluation process is collecting feedback on training. Let your candidates tell you what worked well, and what didn’t, and what unexpected benefits they got from the process. This doesn’t have to be a formal, time consuming process – you can send out anonymous questionnaires or ask people their opinion in an informal setting instead.
- Assess candidates
Assessing the performance of candidates is another good way to determine if the training has been successful, and if your instructor has done the job well. If you plan to do this, it’s helpful to also assess candidate performance at the start of the course so that you have a point of comparison at the end of the training. However, continued assessment of performance in the workplace provides a much more accurate indicator of behavioral change than a one-off end of course assessment.
- Observe employees in the workplace
If the standards and techniques taught during training continue to be used outside of the training environment, then this provides evidence that the training has been successful. This makes continued supervision and management of employees after ground support equipment operator training one of the most important elements of evaluation. It also means that poor behavior and standards can be challenged as early as possible, helping to avoid risks, inefficiencies and unnecessary costs in airside operations.
- Revisit and revise
Measuring training effectiveness should not be a one-time only activity. If you measure outcomes shortly after training you may not yet have achieved your objective, so it’s helpful to periodically revisit your measurements further down the line to track improvements against your defined objectives. If no improvements have been seen, or indeed the situation has worsened, then it is important to look at why. You can then adjust your training, supervision and management accordingly and start the training measurement process again.
Not sure where to start?
Our airside training consultancy services can help you find ways to plan, deliver and evaluate your ground support equipment training and ensure it adds real value to your operation.
Specialist airside equipment Instructor training is also available to help improve your ground handling standards.
Contact RTITB Airside for more information.