Certifiably well trained employees

January 1, 2005 By    

You are entering your busiest season and your employees are out driving trucks, filling and setting tanks, hooking up systems and performing gas and leak checks.

By Jay Johnston, LP/Gas Magazine Columnist
By Jay Johnston, LP/Gas Magazine Columnist

Can you document that those employees in the field have been properly trained?

It has recently come to light that less than half of Certified Employee Training Program (CETP) students ever become certified. This is not due to a high failure record. It is due to supervisors failing to return verification of learning process.

It seems to me that if you go to the time and expense of securing state-of-the-art training, the least you can do as a manager is follow through with filing the form for certification. It crosses the “t” and dots the “i”.

Trust me when I tell you that after an accident, some plaintiff attorney will try to besmirch your forgetfulness with allegations of ignorance. He will suggest: “Attending CETP without certification would be like not documenting a leak check on an out-of-gas call.”

In addition, your busy schedule is a bad excuse for that employee not to be accredited with certification for his or her hard-earned training. As with all training documentation and certification, it should be in his or her file.

I have a favor to ask all owners and managers. Please review training records for your employees who attended and passed CETP classes this past year to double-check on certification. Odds are if you don’t do it now, you never will.

My goal is to get the number attended, passed and certified up to 95 percent by March 31, 2005.

Actually, the certification deadline to turn in skills assessment evaluations for the old CETP modules was Dec. 31, 2004. This deadline was intended to encourage use of the new CETP modules, so I believe you would have a case with NPGA on petitioning for an extension. But I wouldn’t push my luck.

The future will bring many learning options for CETP, including e-learning. I believe that e-learning will facilitate training options for out state marketers. It will save money on travel, food and lodging and will be a very cost-efficient way of achieving training compliance.

That said, e-learning will be a part, not the whole, of a balanced approach to learning in the propane industry. A seasoned CETP instructor and opinionated classmates can facilitate learning that goes from the head to the heart.

There are also many short course programs available to qualify new employees as they join your company. Be it e-learning, short courses or classroom CETP, the education will fail to achieve its intended goal unless management takes that last final step towards completing the certification process.

The clock is ticking.

Jay Johnston (www.TheSafetyLeader.com) is president of Jay Johnston & Associates, Inc., a risk management firm specializing in insurance consulting, broker audits, safety audits, bid management and commitment-based safety presentations. Jay is the editor of The Safety Leader newsletter, a forum for leadership development for the propane industry and can be reached at 952-253-2710 or

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