243 is here and I just hired someone, now what?
Your 243 submission is done. But now you are hiring, are you ready to implement your plan? Here are a couple of ideas to help make the transition from planning to implementation easier.
Document your 243 Plan
If you have not done so already, you will first want to make sure you have documented your initial training requirements for 243. This may seem obvious but since the FRA portal is designed to submit individual courses, this step could be missed. You should have one document that clearly indicates who needs what training based on what you have identified for 49 CFR Part 243 (and other training requirements).
Communicate the Change to Key People
Once you have a documented plan, you will want to make sure that this information and the required changes are communicated to key people responsible for implementing that plan.
Here are a couple of points to consider:
Ensure all managers and employees who have responsibility for the onboarding and training of new hires and job promotions/transfers are included in your communication.
Clearly indicate which training programs are required for all jobs based on job title, location, etc. versus training required based on job duties. And, if you have training required by job duties, identify who is responsible for ensuring that training is assigned and completed (this is usually the frontline supervisor).
Identify the tasks that need to be completed to manage 243 and communicate who has responsibility for each task.
Emphasize that the plan could change and is a living document. Come up with a method to ensure everyone has the most current information; this may include saving it to a shared drive and implementing version control.
Once expectations are clear and everyone knows who is doing what, it is important that the organization manages compliance to ensure the plan is being followed. Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking about managing 243 training going forward,
If you use a learning management system, leverage its reporting features to create and distribute reports on a regular basis.
Create a plan to monitor changing training needs and communicate those changes to impacted stakeholders.
Create a process to ensure all training is documented in one location.
Looking for a training ally? Spark Training Solutions has provided a combination of learning technology, consulting, and content resources to ensure our short line railroads and contractors see an ROI on their training initiatives. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.