BC Ferries, Standardized Education and Assessment

The Client

BC Ferries (BCF) is one of the largest ferry operators in the world, providing service on 25 routes to 47 terminals with a fleet of 35 vessels.  BC Ferries is an essential transportation link that connects coastal communities and facilitates the movement of people, goods and services.

The Learning Need: BC Ferries faced a unique challenge of how to consistently train new employees or existing employees moving positions.  Traditionally BCF used familiarization (i.e. job shadowing) to train employees, relying on new employees observing experienced employees to gain job, vessel and route knowledge. This approach had mixed success, and BCF required a learning solution that provided for standardized and measurable training.

The Solution

The Standardized Education and Assessment (SEA) Program was developed to address this need. SEA was created by a passionate team of stakeholders and a client leader with a strong vision of a learning culture shift at BC Ferries.  Knowledge Solutions is proud to have been instrumental in the design, development and implementation of this world class training program which puts employees at the heart of learning while contributing to a safety-first culture within this dynamic organization.

The SEA Program combines a standardized approach to job-based learning with the ability to customize training by the vessel, route and/or terminal of the learner.  The program uses a blended training approach consisting of self study, in person “hands on” practical training and a rigorous assessment framework that includes demonstrative, verbal and written components.

Knowledge Solutions worked collaboratively with the client lead, key stakeholders, and many dedicated and knowledgeable employees at BC Ferries by providing the role of project manager, instructional design, development and implementation of the curriculum.  Our work also included working closely with MarineLS to design the custom Learning Management System built to house the SEA Program. This custom LMS allows the curriculum to be uniquely generated for each position, vessel, route and terminal within the organization and is now available throughout the fleet via Remote Training Servers.  The LMS allows for the efficient delivery of the curriculum and tracking of candidate completion while ensuring ease of content maintenance.

The program was initially developed for the position of Deckhand but it’s early success led to the development of the program for all 32 operational positions within the Deck, Engineering, Catering and Terminal lines of business at BC Ferries.  BC Ferries now has over 600 SEA Trainers and all new employees or existing employee moving positions must successfully complete the SEA Training Program to be cleared to work in their position.

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