Driver Training and Social Distancing

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The building blocks for ‘new normal’ rail training
August 13, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented shock to industries across the world. The UK rail industry has been significantly hit with revenues dropping by an estimated 95%. As passenger services start to resume there are questions around how the industry will adapt to this new situation around driver training and social distancing.

The issues now facing the industry include implementing social distancing for passengers, keeping staff safe and maintaining driver competence. We’re all looking forward to lockdown measures easing, but we won’t be returning to the way things were previously. We will all need to think differently if we are to meet new challenges.

What will change for driver training? 

The practicalities of social distancing and cleaning will reduce the number of people that can access classrooms and attend courses. It will also cause significant issues for enclosed spaces such as cab simulators.

However, this poses some questions. How will this impact on the throughput of qualified drivers? What can TOCs do to maintain driver competencies and tackle skills fade? 

Increased use of remote learning will form a vital part of the solution. It complements restricted face-to-face training and makes use of a more blended learning approach by capturing assessment data remotely. There is no doubt that this approach may be a challenge to more traditional training designers but could potentially offer a solution around driver training and social distancing.

We are already having conversations around how the adoption of more immersive apps, mobile simulation and CBT will enable operators re-imagine their training processes quicker, at a socially acceptable distance. 

What changes are you considering around remote learning and how will this impact your organisation?