Online Environmental Management System Auditor Training

Period of Performance: 07/01/2006 - 12/31/2007

$99K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Gecco, Inc.
San Diego, CA 92127
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The specific technical question this proposed research project is designed to answer is; is the use of an online Environmental Management System (EMS) Auditor Training course an effective way to train environmental managers in proper auditing strategies? The specific aims of this research project are the following: 1) develop a prototype course for online EMS Auditor training; 2) identify and schedule a cohort of environmental managers to test the prototype; 3) assess the effectiveness of such a course by measuring participant learning and aptitude; and 4) evaluate the effectiveness of such a course and its worth as a product. EMSs have gained tremendous popularity as a tool to enable organizations to improve their environmental performance while meeting business needs. This proposed research project is based on the premise that an EMS promotes pollution prevention (P2) which in turn leads to a reduction in environmental exposures. An integral component of an EMS is the audit; therefore, organizations must have qualified audit professionals to verify the EMS is properly implemented and enables P2. The current business climate has led organizations to find more efficient ways to train their employees and online learning has emerged as a way to do this because it is convenient, practical and has been shown to reduce education and training costs. The proposed research project will employ methods associated with those of an observational study and usability test. A prototype self-paced interactive online course for EMS auditor training will be developed and tested by a cohort of environmental business professionals. Data will be collected to assess and evaluate course effectiveness. The data will be summarized via descriptive statistics and trends will be identified. Phase II will include modifying the prototype course, per Phase I findings, to a final product ready for permanent transfer to the Internet.