Benefits of TOPCORP Training Program
The TOPCORP team contracted external evaluators to assess the effectiveness of the training for reaching its stated goals. The evaluation focused on the outcomes of the training on knowledge and skills, participant evaluation of the content and pedagogical techniques used, expectations for how the inspectors will incorporate their workshop experiences into their job performance, and recommendations for the conduct of future workshops.
Evaluation procedures included a pre- and post-test to assess knowledge change; daily assessments of the content, activities, and instructors; a holistic assessment conducted at the conclusion of the workshop; and a focus group with representative participants held during the afternoon of the last day. Nearly all of the registered participants completed every assessment.
Overall, evaluation is used by the TOPCORP team for two main purposes. First, TOPCORP team members use the results to assess whether the training has an impact on the knowledge, skills, and likely job performance of the oil and gas inspectors who participate. This assessment provides indications of program success, and justification for the investment in time and resources of the participating state and federal agencies, TOPCORP team members, their home institutions, and funding providers. Second, TOPCORP team members use the information provided through the evaluation process to shape future iterations of both the online material and face-to-face trainings. Evaluation invites the presence of a neutral third party to observe sessions, speak with participants informally, and create a confidential means by which participants can provide critical feedback that they may not wish to express to the TOPCORP team members. Investing in evaluation leads to continual program assessment, adjustment, and improvement.