Training goes underground

I read an article recently about London Underground's new training centre – a mock tube station with all the relevant components for training to be as close to real life as possible.

http://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/pm/articles/2010/01/mock-tube-station-gives-london-underground-staff-real-life-training.htm

Most of us would agree that measuring the value of training in terms of a return on investment is hard at any time but at £800,000 set up cost alone, this project is going to be really hard to evaluate.  So I wonder whether they will even bother or whether they should bother when a facility provides a service that can contribute towards saving lives. 

If not, then does that mean that no emergency service training should need to create value?  Is its value implicit?  If not, then what determines whether the cost should be justified or not?  The moral maze?

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  • 1
    Bryan Needle wrote on 22nd Jan 2010

    It is not unusual for the Rail Industry to spend large amounts on sophisticated training simulators.

    Rail is a hazardous environment and operational mistakes can be very costly, not only in monetary terms, but also in terms of life. Rail control systems are designed to be highly available and can be highly automated.

    Because of the availability of the systems, and the need under failure conditions to fall back on manual methods, unless sophisticated simulation is used, staff are unlikely to be familiar with the management of failures which, if they occur, can result in considerable loss.

    LuL and Network Rail have spent large amounts on simulators for their main control centers. If Network Rail follow up with their intention to automate and provide large flexible traffic management centers, their spending on equipment for training will increase. The loss due to failure will increase proportional to the potential "size" of the failure and hence investment is bound to follow.

    Bryan Needle - over 30 yrs experience on the development and management of rail control systems.

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About the author
Jooli Atkins (FBCS, CITP) has been involved in the IT profession for the past 25 years, mainly in Learning and Development. She is the Chair of the BCS Learning and Development Specialist Group and CITP assessor as well as being an accredited SFIA consultant, specialising in Business Change.

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