PERC Learning Center proves beneficial to retailers

May 6, 2021 By    

I promised this column would talk about why the Propane Education & Research Council’s (PERC) Learning Center is a terrific resource for propane marketers, so I spent some time with Christopher Hanson, PERC’s Learning Center administrator; Eric Kuster, PERC’s vice president of safety, education and compliance; and Elena Scott, PERC’s manager of industry training programs.

The PERC team has given me a keener appreciation of the depth and value of PERC’s training resources and the enhancements to come. I have space to highlight only a few:

It’s easy to get started:

  • Go to and select the “Sign Up” button if you are new to the PERC training website. If that isn’t easy enough, start by selecting “Click here to watch video on how to navigate the Learning Center” for step-by-step instructions.
  • Once you are logged in, begin by clicking the drop-down menu in the top right corner of your dashboard and selecting “Resources,” then clicking “How-To Videos and User Guides.” There you will find a list of eight videos that contain step-by-step instructions to perform basic functions within the Learning Center. You can watch all eight videos in less than 80 minutes and, with the exception of the one-hour Administrator Introduction, the videos are less than three minutes in length. If you need help performing a basic function like assigning training, creating reports, or creating user accounts and passwords, start here.

It’s more than just the Certified Employee Training Program (CETP).

Once you log in to your account, you’ll notice two broad buckets of training in addition to the CETP bucket:

  • Sales training: When asked to name some of the top features of PERC’s Learning Center, “breadth of content” was one of Scott’s first reactions. Customer-facing employees have access to a broad array of content, such as “How to Talk About Propane and the Environment,” “Autogas” and more.
  • Safety and technical training: “Safety is my first passion,” Kuster says. Kuster’s passion shows in the content, which extends beyond CETP content and into day-to-day safety training such as “Handling Safety-Related Phone Calls” for customer service representatives, or “Cathodic Protection,” “Preventing Bobtail Rollovers” and “Mobile Crane Safety” for field personnel.

It’s easy to reinforce and refresh.

“Content can be accessed on an as-needed basis,” observes Kuster. “Employees can look at a small module before doing something they have not done in a while.”

We all have been there. For example, if it’s been a while since you’ve injected methanol, you can access the step-by-step procedures before tackling it again.

It’s also easy to tailor to your company’s operations.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in just two years, especially with modularization and on-demand training,” says Hanson. Scott, Kuster, Hanson and their subject matter experts have pulled together a lot of content, but they’ve done a lot more. Working with Emily Wood, PERC’s content development manager, the training content has been modularized and is function-based, which means propane marketers can carefully structure training and development to fit specific job descriptions.

Like the PERC training team, Caywood Propane is starting with basics. For us, the basics begin with making online content available to our team. An employee with what previously might have been idle time can use that time to tackle training modules as long as they have an internet connection.

We also plan to customize training to suit the needs of our business. The beauty of the PERC system is that we can start with access to basic training and programs – including instructor-led training – while we take the time to customize what we do down the road.

These are tools that previously were available only to large companies with significant financial and human resources. Now they are available to you, and there’s more to come.

Christopher Caywood is a co-owner of Caywood Propane Gas Inc. 

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