The new age of assurance, inspection and training
Irca Global has partnered with Australian firm, Risk Free Workplace (RFW), to introduce a fully integrated, virtual, technical assurance inspection and training solution to the South African market
The next generation of training and technical assurance and inspection tools and techniques is here, with Irca Global at the helm. The company has joined forces with Australian company RFW to introduce its cutting-edge, e-learning and technical assurance and inspection tools to the South African market.
Irca holds distribution rights for RFW, which will be offered through its various global branches, while, conversely, RFW bought the license agreement for Irca Australia.
“The new RFW division fills a gap in the South African market,” says Irca business optimisation manager Justin Nash. “Everything is contained and integrated within one system.” And Nash does mean everything …
Let’s first, though, look at what’s on offer. The RFW solution offers two different tools – one for inspection and technical assurance, and another for training and proficiency certification. Known as Audit Advantage, the technical assurance and inspection tool is differentiated from others of this kind by a number of innovative features. Chief among these is the ability to produce immediate, real-time reports.
This is made possible by the use of a touchscreen tablet, onto which Audit Advantage is loaded. Findings are pre-populated for easy selection and the system gives remedial action, with associated costs, in the report. The audit can be done to any company or international standard and the auditor can also create and combine standards.
Nash says it takes about four hours to learn Audit Advantage and a mere ten minutes to set up on site. “It’s very user-friendly and it saves time and money – everything is done by the time the auditor leaves the site,” he smiles.
The program is even designed to go so far as to allow the animation of each subject, with its associated points of non-conformance, to further aid understanding and decision-making. This is done by Irca as a value-added offering.
This leads us neatly on to the second, really exciting aspect of the RFW package – e-learning. This high-tech approach to training is creating much excitement, according to Nash, and it’s easy to understand why.
“Your normal training is simply awareness,” explains Nash. “Most people offer competency training, but, by using all the different steps within the program, we take you to proficiency.”
This is done by starting off with a basic e-learning course (awareness), followed by a move to virtual-reality training and simulation (competency), before the system finally allows for the monitoring of the worker via a paperless assessment to prove proficiency.
The e-learning platform is built on the SIRRUS management system, incorporating the Censeo paperless assessment tool, and is fully Scorm (the international collection of standards for e-learning) compliant.
SIRRUS is what makes the tool so unique. It allows for voice-overs, stylised and photo-realistic animation (that allows a person to be animated to give the virtual lesson), film, photography and motion graphics to be incorporated into the training. Through these types of animation, incidents can be re-enacted for lessons learned, training material can be developed or fatal risks can be animated. These then get loaded onto the SIRRUS system, however, any video the client has can be used too. This allows the training to take place in a fully customisable virtual environment.
“Familiarisation is important,” notes Nash. “So, for example, I can put someone in a mine and teach them how to operate their machinery in the (practically identical) underground environment. With the photo-realism we can place people (co-workers or supervisors) into the scenarios and make something go wrong to show what can happen to them if they don’t work safely.”
Nash points out that this is also cheaper and more effective than buying a remote for all the various equipment workers might encounter. “We can design the control panels for each type of machine into the software,” he elaborates.
Once the e-learning is complete, Censeo then allows for assessment with audio, photo and video recording of activities.
But, as they say in the classics, wait, there’s more! “SIRRUS can be fully integrated into any system,” explains Nash. “It’s different from other platforms in that it doesn’t only do the e-learning and paperless assessment …”
The system offers contractor validation and site access control (where people are only granted access to certain areas once they have completed the training and are deemed proficient); integration with alcohol testing units, which automatically registers against an employees record when they are tested; the ability to allow refresher courses, risk assessments or reporting of near-misses at remote kiosks; or even connection to PPE vending machines, where it registers against employee cost codes that items have been drawn out.
In Audit Advantage, Irca has a product that allows the ability to calibrate fact-based inspections with a uniformity of requirements to global standardisation and consistency, while SIRRUS allows the company to provide accessible, industry-leading training and development through innovative and engaging multimedia solutions. Welcome to the future of training and technical assurance and inspection!