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AutoQuiz: When Is the Best Time to Perform Operator Training?

AutoQuiz is edited by Joel Don, ISA's social media community manager.

Today's automation industry quiz question comes from the ISA Certified Automation Professional certification program. ISA CAP certification provides a non-biased, third-party, objective assessment and confirmation of an automation professional's skills. The CAP exam is focused on direction, definition, design, development/application, deployment, documentation, and support of systems, software, and equipment used in control systems, manufacturing information systems, systems integration, and operational consulting. Click this link for information about the CAP program. The following question comes from the CAP study guide, Performance Domain V, Deployment.


When a large automation project makes significant changes to plant operations, it is BEST to perform operator training:

a) six months prior to the startup phase during control system development
b) after acceptance testing and prior to the startup phase
c) during the startup phase after water batching
d) after the startup phase is complete and the process has stabilized
e) none of the above


The best time to train operators is after acceptance testing and prior to startup. Ideally, you want to train the operators after the bulk of the changes have happened, but before they will need to implement the knowledge. This reduces confusion and also reduces the chance that training will exit operator memory. Training needs to occur before the startup phase because the operator would have to know something about the process before they could start up the plant. However, if training occurs too early, the operator will forget what he or she learned before having a chance to apply the knowledge.

The correct answer is B, after acceptance testing and prior to the startup phase.

Reference: Liptak, Instrument Engineers' Handbook: Process Software and Digital Networks, Fourth Edition

Joel Don
Joel Don
Joel Don is the community manager for ISA and is an independent content marketing, social media and public relations consultant. Prior to his work in marketing and PR, Joel served as an editor for regional newspapers and national magazines throughout the U.S. He earned a master's degree from the Medill School at Northwestern University with a focus on science, engineering and biomedical marketing communications, and a bachelor of science degree from UC San Diego.

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