Have you ever wondered what is like to share a room with industry experts you can network with while you learn about the best safety practices? Are you interested in knowing what is like to attend an ARMSA Academy course?
Well, I took the IOSH Construction and Operations Safety for Solar Power virtual course, and I am about to tell you all about it through my own experience. My name is Maria, and I am the marketing executive at ARMSA Academy.
I know what you might be thinking. Why is a marketing executive taking a course on renewable energy and how is this relevant to me?
Well, my original objective with this experience was to understand our product a little bit better, but to my surprise, I got a lot more than that out of it and so I felt that readers would appreciate an insiders view of the course:
What the course explores: An innovative approach to safety
The topics discussed in the modules are not solely focused on safety from a work activity and people standpoint. The course touches everything from legislation to leadership and risk, working through decision making across the entire asset’s construction and operations lifecycle in a very comprehensive way.
This allowed us, delegates, to deep dive into the roots of the problems and risk factors that companies and professionals face in the industry. Rather than just focusing on a traditional approach to H&S like other traditional courses do, we explored the determining factors that compromise operational control.
ARMSA’s approach is based on informed decision-making from a leadership standpoint, which results in better performance and operations. How? Through better-informed individuals and a more holistic application of intelligence, which has a direct impact on safety control and plant performance.
I want to also give you a little insight into the course, without giving away too much 😉 (Although you should consider checking it out for yourself), but here is what we accomplished::
- We explored the consequences of strategic and tactical decisions on asset performance and safety.
- How to design and execute solar projects by proactively dealing with work package and asset interfaces amidst supply chain variability.
- An appreciation of the effect of social cultures when establishing project organisations and developing safe systems of work in diverse jurisdictions.
- How to develop project tools to control and monitor opportunities and risks.
Super interesting right? Does it leave you wanting to know more? These set the foundation to make you a better and more productive professional, so I am sure you want to know more.
The delegates: A global audience
I joined a group of delegates from across the globe… Canada, South Africa, Sweden, Greece…
The role spectrum was also truly diverse amongst all the delegates. Directors, engineers, asset managers and portfolio managers! What a diverse range of opinions and experiences right?
Some of the delegates include Marc, Director of O&M at Globeleq. Angharad, Portfolio manager at EDF. Annelie, Technical Asset Manager at Alight. Alexios, Senior Asset Manager at National Energy who joined with his college Tasos, Electrical Engineer and Mike, President at Blue Arc Electrical Safety Technologies.
All those diverse backgrounds added value to many group activities and discussions across the different modules where different opinions emerged shaping the discussion. Learning from other industry professionals is truly an enriching experience.
It was incredibly interesting to learn from their individual experiences when they shared their opinions about certain topics in each module. Most of them even agreed that adopting the proposed approach to hazard identification could significantly help their performance and risk management at work.
- Marc shared his experience in training employees for planned and unplanned work.
- Mike and his extensive knowledge of electricity was especially useful when discussing hazard identification and mitigation. He also showed a passion for the PET triangle and its usability for risk assessments. For me personally, the PET triangle (a conceptual work design tool) was one of the highlights of the course.
We learnt how to use the PET triangle to design work properly in the first place, rather than to look for too many task controls.
The best part is that the discussions go beyond the course. We all connected on LinkedIn, and we are all still in touch with each other even though the course is over. They say your network is your net worth, right?
It is genuinely nice to be able to learn with such a global company, where we can integrate different approaches to problem-solving and a more diverse way of thinking.
Module structures and delivery
The modules, theory and practicals were well structured and delivered. At the beginning of each module, we had a brief recap of the previous session, to make sure that everyone understood the theory before moving into the next topic.
During each presentation, the visual graphics, case studies, exercises and explanations made everything quite simple to understand.
The concepts discussed covered everything about construction and operations safety, and the instructors, Rakesh and Khalida, presented very innovative approaches and techniques, which sparked a lot of interesting conversations amongst the delegates.
Angharad for example enjoyed one of the case studies used in Module 1 that helped her understand accident predictability better.
Alexios on the other hand was really intrigued in Module 2 by Rakesh’s explanation of the differences in 3rd party risk sharing and transfer across Europe. That triggered an interest in the topic of legislation and contractor management, for which he was curious.
Marc also enjoyed the PET triangle and his 12 years of experience in the solar power industry added value points to it.
Innovation meets education: Blended learning
Unlike traditional courses, ARMSA Academy uses a personalised online platform where you can attend the live calls, read the course manuals, do the online assessments, work on personal reflections, have discussions with other course delegates… unlike traditional courses, is not only about a book and a class but about an experience in which we immerse ourselves.
During some of the live classes, we were divided into breakout rooms. This gave us the opportunity to work on a particular exercise as a team. We all supported each other to make sure we all understood the theory so we could work together on the activity.
I had the chance to work with most of the delegates on two separate occasions, and I have to say that the discussions held amongst us were remarkably interesting. Once we were ready, we presented our work to the instructor and the rest of the delegates for feedback, which allowed us to learn in a very dynamic way.
Shoutout to Mike, Marc and Annelie for your support during these activities. It was great!
So, what are my overall thoughts about the course?
I 100% enjoyed taking this course and hearing all the feedback given by the rest of the delegates on our last call, they did too.
Coming from a marketing executive, trust me when I tell you that I have a lot more knowledge on the H&S practices in solar power now (plus I am really excited about the new IOSH certificate I hold now!). Compliments to Rakesh and Khalida for their teaching clarity and professionality.
They were clear on their approach to the course content and their explanations during the live classes.
I wish I could be more detailed on the given examples, but due to confidentiality, I prefer not to disclose any more information. I guess that you would have to experience the course to know what I am talking about, and really understand the opportunities that the ARMSA Academy course experience gives you (besides the certificate of course). You may also enjoy the level of attention I am receiving on LinkedIn having posted about this recently :).
I encourage you to learn more on how to make better decisions in construction and operations safety for solar power here
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How systemic leaders think! The ultimate networking and learning experience. © 2022 by Maria Grande – ARMSA is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0