April 29, 2020

Five key benefits of BSTR-P

Why and how the BSTR-P can help you during the COVID-19 pandemic

In April, GWO released a new standard specifically to address the looming problem of skills fade that the COVID-19 had caused for wind power workers.

Given that many countries have been locked down since the middle of March, and social distancing regulations were implemented in many regions, thousands of wind technicians were unable to travel to the training centres where they normally participate in GWO courses and refresh their vital safety skills.

Our members quickly identified the potential risk of skills fade in the workforce, as up to 1000 people per week were approaching the date they would need to refresh but with no means of doing so.

GWO launched the new Basic Safety Training Online Partial Refresher as an INTERIM solution. Here we round up five of the key benefits of the new standard for technicians and their employers:

  1. It reduces the risk of skills fade
    Learning is a continuous process grounded in experience. Only by maintaining the workforce trained and updated to the latest skills sets, can we mitigate the risk of skills fade. Therefore, it is necessary also in these unusual times to assure that training is available, following GWO’s mission statement to strive for an injury free working environment in the wind energy industry.
  2. It can be remote audited
    As a temporary measure until end of year 2020 and as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, GWO will allow certification bodies to conduct remote auditing according to IAF MD 4:2018, however with additional requirements (See the complete document for the requirements here). However, the option to use remote auditing is not available for initial audits of training providers nor of extensions to certification for new modules.
  3. It gives technicians six months more validity
    The standard does not eliminate the need for skills-based training, instead it gives employers a way to refresh their workforce's learning in the domains of knowledge and attitude, helping to reduce the potential for skills fade when the conventional BST Refresher is unavailable.
  4. It reduces risk in the workforce
    Depending on a technician’s role, there may be elements of the trainings that are practiced in the everyday workplace, while other measures are only for emergency situations. By refreshing skills with the BSTR-P standard, each course participant is ready to also perform those actions that are less frequently used but vital to ensure a safe working environment, like first aid, fire awareness or sea survival skills.
  5. An opportunity to develop virtual online classroom training
    Many training providers facing the challenges imposed by the Pandemic are considering how their teaching methods may need to adapt. The option of virtual online classroom training is one solution that could bridge the current problems in delivering training. Therefore, the BSTR-P also represents an opportunity to learn how a digital classroom environment might be integrated into a blended learning solution, diversifying the training you can offer your customers, while securing a safe work environment.

BSTR-P can be implemented by certified training providers (with a valid extension to their existing third-party certification) in its current form until 31 December 2020. It will be reviewed by GWO Committees and working groups from 1 October 2020.