The following case study details how a major equipment manufacturer accelerated the training and development of new field service technicians. As the drilling industry recovers from a significant downturn, many companies are challenged to devise better programs to quickly train and develop employee competency so that the increased skill demands can be satisfied.

In 2014, an accelerated program was developed, providing training and development that would normally take over a year, and reducing that timeframe to less than six months. The three-phased approach included formal classroom training, field based training, along with mentoring and coaching. Leveraging the existing competence assurance management system, a custom program was developed to cover 3 distinct product lines. Training was not only technically based, but was also included soft skills training such as customer service training, safety training, and mentoring from Senior Management.

The resulting accelerated program was executed for three groups of field technicians, each graduating within the prescribed six month timeframe. Each delegate achieved the targeted competency level of at least 2.1 (on a scale of 1.0 – 4.3). Management was able to reinforce the safety culture and core mission of the organization to each of these employees throughout the program. The company was able to track trainee progress, manage, and successfully coach the delegates throughout the program. Training focused on real world scenarios, helping Field Service Technicians to practice the use of various resources and tools available to learn better troubleshooting skills.

As the oilfield recovers from one of the largest downturns in history, the ability to successfully attract, train and retain qualified technicians will be crucial. Organizations that can successfully manage accelerated development programs will realize benefits in reducing training time, improving standardization and job quality, as well as a modeling of a better safety culture.

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