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Reciprocal training can drive significant cost-savings

Chances are, you’ve spent time and money training an employee or contractor who already had the proper training credentials. While not all training can be standardized, there is a substantial amount of savings that can be realized through reciprocal training systems.

Reciprocal training systems help companies save time and money by eliminating redundant employee training. The system is designed to meet all OSHA requirements and is regularly updated to reflect changes in regulations and industry. Administered by third parties, these systems also incorporate secure, auditable records.

The concept of reciprocity is rooted in collective membership in a voluntary organization. Members agree to accept the training credentials that employees earned while working for another member, and in exchange the other company reciprocates. By centralizing the elements of safety training that can be standardized, reciprocal systems eliminate the waste involved in redundant retraining. In addition, an employer can be confident that every employee of a participating contractor has received the same level of training before stepping onto a site for the first time.

If an employee completes reciprocal training, his or her next employer can instantly access independent verification of that training and send that employee to the next step in the onboarding process. Employers are still responsible for any training specific to their sites and equipment, but the savings can still be significant. Since most power generation companies are required to have their rates approved by public service commissions or other government entities, the benefits offered by an efficient reciprocal program are clear.

This type of system is especially useful in densely populated areas, because they often have a relatively high concentration of power plants. In this environment, a contractor may work for multiple companies and an individual employee may work for multiple contractors. The Northeast and the Sunbelt are regions that offer significant opportunities for reciprocal safety programs to expand, cutting the cost of generating power or slowing the rate at which those costs grow.

Those that provide reciprocal training assume responsibility for verifying the identity of each trainee, ensuring that the person who receives certification credentials is the person who received the training. This can be done by either administering the content and testing in a controlled, proctored environment or through the use of specialized security software.

Reciprocal training offers owners and contractors the confidence that comes from a legally defensible, auditable system that ensures OSHA compliance. Employing a reciprocal training system will make your training regimen more efficient and speed up your hiring process while saving you money.