A January 12, 2017 interpretation obtained from the Alberta Government ‘Ask the Expert’ established a fact unknown to most employers, "An online course that does not identify the participant does not meet the minimum standard".
In fact, Jason Kraft, a Compliance Safety and Health Officer with the United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA), confirmed that, “when training is delivered online an employer needs to confirm that the individual taking the training is the intended recipient and that the employee did not just click play and walk away, or have others complete the training or answer comprehension testing questions for them”.
Regulators verify the training provided by employers as part of regular enforcement activities and post-incident investigations to determine both the employer’s regulatory compliance and their legal due-diligence. More recent revelations have uncovered that most of the on-line processes used by employers do not establish the identity nor confirm the participation of personnel completing the on-line course and that cheating is a commonplace.
This information shocks many employers that are spending a significant amount of money on on-line courses expecting that their efforts demonstrate both regulatory compliance and their due-diligence.
The utilization of the Internet, streaming video and advance learning management systems has allowed businesses to deliver high-impact, consistent and relevant training on-demand and without the cost of instructors, training facilities, transportation, etc.
Progressive organizations that want to retain and expand the most efficient method of personnel training have found a way to keep the benefits of on-line training and meet legal expectation by utilizing new technology developed by Integrity Advocate, a Canadian based technology company that allows workers to give access to the camera within personal computers and or mobile devices and prove their identity and participation (see one company's lessons learned video). This practice has allowed for not only existing training to be delivered in a responsible and regulatory compliant manner but has allowed for additional training previously delivered in-person to be moved on-line which has saved the organization millions while increasing their productivity.
More and more employers are turning to on-line training because of the many benefits including cost savings, convenience, and less travel time. On-line training providers are increasing the number of training courses on-line because of the need from employers. Somewhere along the way the integrity has been lost in on-line training and has simply become an obligatory aspect of many employers internal processes; processes that are unable to ensure their personnel are even taking the training. This concern has been identified by the Alberta Government, now employers and on-line training providers need to utilize the solutions available to ensure minimum standards are met.