IPAF Mobile Elevated Working Platform training
8th February 2021
Sponge is a digital training partner to the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), globally recognised leaders in training and accreditation for the safe operation of powered-access equipment. They needed blended training delivered worldwide in multiple languages.
With the accelerated shift towards online learning, the Federation also needed to ensure that the candidates taking the training and receiving licences to operate Mobile Elevated Working Platforms (MEWPs), were properly identified. And lastly, IPAF needed a geo-aware, centralised Learning Management System that could track everyone who trains for this set of specific machine operator skills.
Challenges in developing Mobile Elevated Working Platform training
To operate an elevated work platform, like a cherry picker, adequate training and a valid Powered Access Licence (PAL Card) are the most recognised forms of qualification. This involves passing a theory test and a practical exam on an aerial lift. The MEWP training is delivered at thousands of locations all over the world every day, so IPAF needed a centralised online system that would help deliver the theory aspect of the training program. The solution had to:
- enable worldwide delivery of both face-to-face training and elearning
- be translated into multiple languages
- ensure the candidate’s identity is correct and prevent any attempt to obtain the qualification through fraudulent means
- integrate into IPAF’s existing legacy systems
- provide cutting-edge training which was genuinely engaging and effective
- measure the effectiveness of training with big data
- allow fast access to training records
Engaging, building and consolidating knowledge of MEWP operators
It was critical with so much information required that an intelligent application of the science of learning was used in the creation of both the elearning and instructor-led training courses. The goal was to:
- maximise the effectiveness of the learning and
- maximise the retention of learned knowledge and skills.
Historically information was presented in a way that often failed to take into account the burden on the candidates’ working memory. Sponge’s solution ensures that new knowledge gets effectively built on existing proficiency and that there are many opportunities to consolidate the learning throughout the training module. This helps embed operational know-how into the long-term memory of qualified operators.
The result was a three-hour theory elearning course on how to safely operate MEWPs such as scissor lifts and boom lifts. Though the use of 360 interactive video, 3D animation, audio, activities, games and quizzes, the theory training maximises trainee engagement and delivers the foundation a trainee needs to successfully complete the practical aspect of training.
The training was created in Ignite, Sponge’s elearning content authoring tool, and delivered worldwide through the state-of-the-art Learning Management System, Spark, which also monitors and reports on the MEWP operators’ training results.
Facial Recognition Solution in MEWP training
As a response to the necessity brought on by the pandemic, in 2020, sophisticated Facial Recognition, an advanced feature of Spark LMS, has been launched worldwide. Previously only available as a security measure on its MEWPs for Managers elearning course, it has been made available on all operator theory modules, due to the success achieved in the managers’ training course.
This extra security is intended to give all IPAF-approved Training Centres additional flexibility and confidence to offer distance learning as an alternative to sessions in the classroom, where maintaining distance between trainees and the instructor might be more difficult. IPAF plans to continue using this feature on all its elearning programs in the future.
IPAF’s Director of Operations
"We have seen how effective the facial recognition technology is, as it has been used in our updated and improved MEWPs for Managers training program since the beginning of 2019. It was a logical step to integrate this additional security measure into the existing aerial work platforms operator theory elearning module."
Translation solution for Mobile Elevated Working Platform training
Using our cloud-based and geo-aware LMS (Learning Management System), Sponge enabled worldwide simultaneous delivery of MEWP theory training to unlimited numbers of users in multiple languages. The rapid translation solution built into our authoring tool, Ignite, enables IPAF to expand the number of languages IPAF courses are available in.
Other advanced solutions integrated into IPAF training
Sponge created the training course that works both as an elearning module and as a downloadable offline version – for those environments where constant connection to the Internet is either impossible or difficult to maintain. As the goal is to consistently keep the quality of training high, IPAF’s MEWP training is possible to be conducted both as a self-guided elearning course and as instructor-led blended learning experience.
All our modules are completely responsive, meaning trainees that choose IPAF elearning can access it directly on mobile devices, desktops or tablets, allowing them to learn in their own time and at their own pace. The convenience of elearning has considerably increased the reach of MEWP operator training. Learning science applied in the training made sure that a rounded approach is delivered to suit all types of learners.
"The translation system is a game changer. A process that used to take up to six months now takes a few days. It is unique and highly valuable to any organisation that works internationally or that translates training for non-English speakers."
Tracking and compliance of MEWP training
We utilised big data techniques, analysing not only trainees' results but also their interactions throughout the training to ensure the continued effectiveness and improvement of the course. Should an incident occur, IPAF can now access training records from specific training centres or elearning trainees for necessary audits within hours.
Impact of Mobile Elevated Working Platform Training
Our elearning solution to this complex challenge, has enabled the association to further increase its influence in the construction and aerial work platforms industry. Sponge has utilised cutting-edge technology and modern educational theory to deliver a high-impact blended training solution for IPAF worldwide.
The goal of offering the best product to their members has been achieved – as testified by the overwhelmingly positive feedback gained from end users.
By using this technology and implementing the training, the federation will be able to assess and contribute to the safe use of power accessed platforms all over the globe, with the ultimate goal of reducing the number of workplace accidents.