MMUA Updates In-Person Training Policy

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MMUA Updates In-Person Training Policy

January 22, 2021

Effective January 15, 2021, MMUA has revised its policy regarding in-person training. The revision was made in light of requests from members and new guidance, released Jan. 7 by the State of Minnesota, for indoor seated venues. The state guidance stipulates that:

In-person meetings and training sessions involving workers are allowed, but must be limited to as few workers as possible, and must not exceed 25 workers at one time when held indoors.

In addition:

  • Workers who can work from home must continue to do so.
  • Meetings and training sessions must be held virtually whenever possible.

In light of this new guidance, a key question to be considered is whether particular training sessions should be in-person or virtual.  The following considerations bear on this question.

  • MMUA’s training programs are nearly all safety related, so it is important that trainees have a thorough understanding and a high level of retention of the material.  Experience has shown that in-person training produces a greater level of comprehension and a higher level of retention than virtual training.  Lack of in-person training can increase the risk of accidents and injuries.
  • Safety standards are performative in nature, and the instructor typically needs to assess that students are able to perform required skills or actions according to the appropriate standards.  This is very difficult, if not impossible, to do in a virtual training environment. 
  • Often the best way to ensure both comprehension and retention is for the instructor to have students perform required skills or actions in a real world setting and observe their performance.  This is typically difficult or impossible to do in a virtual setting.
  • In many situations the opportunity to ask questions of the instructor, either during the training session or in a one-on-one conversation with the instructor, provides students with a greater level of comprehension.  An in-person training session facilitates these kinds of learning experiences.

MMUA onsite training is done under the terms of the individual city or utility’s Pandemic Preparedness Plan.  If the member has an appropriate facility and protocols in place for social distancing, mask wearing, and sanitizing, MMUA will conduct in-person training in those instances in which the member’s management determines that the value to be gained for the organization from an in-person training session outweighs any potential risks. 

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