September 16, 2020

Standards should be simplified to enable digital delivery

Expert Series Webinar panel says quality can be maintained with correct implementation in a virtual setting

GWO standards must be simpler if they are to support the use of digital environments as a setting for safety training.

This was one of the key themes to emerge from the second episode of our GWO Expert Series Webinar focused on the auditing process and the role of auditors conducting remote audits or certifying digital delivery of training.

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed digitalisation to the top of GWO's agenda and the extraordinary worldwide situation resulted in several contingency measures. GWO introduced Digital Learning Requirements for Certification Bodies and Training Providers and the first Online Partial Refresher (BSTR-P) in April 2020.  

For this webinar, a panel of GWO members and representatives from certification bodies discussed the key issues emerging since the launch of those two post COVID-19 measures.  

Auditors Giedrius Juodis (Lloyd's Register) and Søren Hald (DNVGL) agreed that the simplification of GWO standards is key to secure clear understanding of the content and correct implementation of the guidelines. Moreover, a challenge will be building digital content, both for the training provider point of view and for the auditor point of view, who evaluates it. The message was that a business environment that is transforming and increasingly introducing digital elements, must be supported by a system of GWO requirements and standards that can guide auditors and ensure that the learning objective is achieved without compromising the quality of training.

The importance of Auditor Qualification Training

The network of GWO training providers and certification bodies is growing rapidly, and new businesses are entering the wind and training sector. The panel also confirmed that in order to ensure quality in the auditing process, AQT will be a fundamental element of connection between GWO and certification bodies. The panel said that the experience of auditors who are more familiar with the GWO auditing process will be shared in the community and that a general improvement and standardisation of reporting and evaluation will be achievable across the world.

A final theme focused on how certification bodies have been a key resource for training providers going through the GWO certification process.

In stage 1 of the audits, auditors are able to discuss and share industry best practices with training providers. In particular for new training providers certifying against GWO standards for the first time, the opportunity to be able to learn from the experience of the auditors is valuable. However, a risk was identified in the demand for auditors to take on a consultant role within this situation.

GWO member representatives Jesper Bagge Hansen (Ørsted) and Lisa Mallon (GE Renewable Energy) confirmed that GWO recognise that the impartiality of the auditor is necessary for fair auditing and future discussions about the topic will be developed to analyse the role of the auditor in the GWO framework.

GWO Expert Series Webinar continues in the next weeks with more episodes on the topic of digitalisation and training. Register now for the next GWO events here.