in Training

It’s Time We Talked About “6 Education” ……

We’ve alluded to it for months.  It’s something we’d rather not discuss because of what it implies.  Its importance goes without saying.  But, we can’t rely on learning about it from unreliable sources or attempting it on our own.  The ramifications are too significant.  That’s why we must talk about “6 Education” to prevent any misunderstanding.

Training, focused and effective training that is, should be an element of a business plan as much as a detailed budget.  The fact is employee training can make or break a budget.  I don’t mean the cost of training, but the benefit of training.  A well designed and executed training plan has everything to do with quality and productivity.  Mishaps, whether they are close calls or injuries, cost time and money.  Trained employees working under trained supervisors have the best opportunity to be safely working.  Remember, a Safely Working Environment means 100% Safe 100% of the Time.

The tendency is to do one type of training – wall-to-wall training – the same training for everyone.  Great in concept – everyone gets the same information, but that’s all it is, information.  For training to have a chance to be effective it must be designed and delivered in a manner consistent with job responsibilities and conditions.  That means one size fits all training is not an option.  But it doesn’t have to be complicated.

The Safely Working Project has a simple approach to training that leverages the concepts described in Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Domains.  The learning domains are Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor – or more simply: knowledge, attitude and skills.  Each domain is characterized by specific characteristics that describe a desired learning outcome.  Each succeeding outcome within a domain represents an increased level of capability.  That means employees that have reached higher levels of capability are candidates for greater responsibility.  Better yet, those employees with more responsibility need increased levels of training to maximize their capabilities.

Back to our approach to training.  We have used Bloom’s Learning Domains to help define logical categories of training groups within an organization.  These categories also factor experience and responsibility.  Ultimately, Bloom’s Domains are used to establish specific learning objectives for training.  The 6 training groups are:

  • Unassigned employees – New employees
  • Assigned employees – Employees newly assigned to a specific job or department; required work area specific knowledge of activity requirements
  • Authorized employees – Employee with special training and experience to complete activities and tasks that require additional skill and responsibility
  • Leaders – A supervisor, foreman, team leader responsible for one of more employees and their activities
  • Experts – A competent person, qualified person or other necessary expertise to support on-going specialized activities and tasks
  • Managers – A person, other than a “Leader” that is responsible for coordinating overall activities and support from outside the work area

By their labels we can see a hierarchy that suggests different or increasing levels of training needed for each group.   Actually, the top of the hierarchy are the experts, not managers.  Managers need to have certain knowledge and expertise.   They might have been experts in the past, but may no longer be providing and maintaining that expertise.  Managers usually have the big picture and the ability to interact effectively with Leaders and Experts.

We will further define each training group and provide guidance on exactly what training objectives are needed in coming posts.  Remember, establishing a budget is challenging at first.  But once the structure and function is determined it serves as a template that makes the process easy to revise and amend.  The same holds for a training plan.

Your assignment is to review these links to gain a basic understanding of the Learning Domains.

There is an exam.  (optional, never mind)


©2015 The Safely Working Project & P.D. Shafer III

“Safe 6” is a registered trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.
“Safely Working” is a trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.


While we believe what The Safely Working Project is promoting is useful to all employers and safety professionals, our efforts are directed at those small businesses that can’t afford or don’t have a safety professional to facilitate workplace safety.

The Safely Working Project is an approach to workplace safety that is driven by employees and supervisors.  This is fundamentally different from the traditional Safety Program where an EHS Professional manages workplace safety.  So, instead of top down safety, Safely Working™ endeavors to succeed from the ground up. “We’re turning safety upside down.”