Standard operating procedure or protocol (SOP) are associated with established safe and controlled working methodologies, within any sector. They pertain to work procedures, equipment operations, operations under specialized or hazardous conditions etc. Vital, tried-tested and updated ‘instruction records’ can guide a suitably trained novice to undertake critical tasks.
SOPs have become necessary for a simple reason. Skill development and its applications have diversified, manifold. We’ve moved from craft production to mass production within the span of last century. And that goes for almost every item we consume, even art.
The human mind needs to be as deft and adaptive through skill development as the mechanized assets at their disposal. Automation, mechanized tools and several different kinds of manufacturing and production technologies now populate voluminous operating manuals and handbooks.
Memory and knowing ‘how to perform a task’ most certainly runs into on-ground logical difficulties and challenges, making SOP trainings, germane.
Three-steps to accurate SOP trainings
Animation can make the SOP training more understandable and their topics, recognizable to the workforce.
Animation training video can allow the subject-matter to be opened up, allowing for a better reception and intuitive understanding to develop. The subject can be confined space training or even training for permit to work systems that are diverse, challenging yet different from one another, in principal. Animation empowers superior spatial-temporal representation for SOPs. This allows the workforce to distinguish the different threads and themes within SOP training. It prepares them to grasp and identify the core elements that author wants to present to them. Highlighted sections, different viewing angles and layer-by-layer framing keeps multiple messages intact while they are bound within a larger singular learning framework.
Animation gamified environments form the next stage, once the audiences (workforce) are warmed up. The training video moves onto the next level of learning. Here, ‘gamified’ core elements are presented to them as exercises and challenges. Replicability and memory are being tested via this exercise. Based on effectiveness of animation in e-learning, workforce finds its ‘SOP training memory’ reinforced via these short assessments. Essentially, the context is still within similar environment for their recall and application. But, testing for different conditions or incidents, makes them true to real-world scenarios.
Animation based VR/AR walkthrough and demonstrations makeup the decisive stage of SOP trainings. The workforce get a ‘feel’ for the task even before actually picking up a tool. VR/AR trainings are increasingly gaining pertinence due to their ease of deployment. The other reason being the cost-benefit ratio is tangible. VR/AR based technologies sit on top of the animation based SOP training pyramid. Core learnings can be tested within gamified environment but the understanding and application leaves room for such advanced technologies to bridge the gap.
You might think that the second and third levels or stages suggested might be slightly far-fetched. If not, then a considerable investment might be required by the organization.
However due to:
- Emerging universal platforms for development and standards (SCORM)
- Acute ‘consumer’ demands by industries world over
- Reliable animation partner agencies
Technology and its distribution is making costs irrelevant for EHS. Workforce and asset integration within a singular EHS framework has been a sought after objective. This three-stage animation based SOP training recasts such a proposed aim, in real world.
Now that we have suggested this slightly ambitious yet evidently achievable goal, the ubiquitous message delivery of animation as a tool cannot be stressed enough. The model of development and ideas can be populated as per the organization’s vision. But it is entirely up to the institutions to learn and experiment with this EHS tested approach. Rethinking to assimilate technology into the organizational operations is a major strategy, nowadays.
Maybe, on similar lines, EHS policies and practices need a revamp.