Training for Operational Resilience Capabilities — TORC


The problem addressed

Many industrial organizations experience that prevalent safety management approaches have reached an impasse, and that strictly compliance-oriented safety management schemes create problems by ‘trapping safety into rules’ with respect to the potential of major accidents. Industries are therefore in need of support to transcend this ‘glass ceiling’ and develop adaptive capabilities, without sacrificing the benefits of prevalent approaches.

Resilience is the main inspiration and navigator for the TORC concept which is designed to be a vehicle for sensitizing and developing resilience capabilities within organizations that also must accommodate the fundamental imperative of compliance to rules and regulations.

Keywords: tradeoffs compliance resilience

Research questions

The key research question is: How can operational resilience capabilities be created or reinforced through training activities for managers and operational personnel, addressing everyday as well as emergency situations? The objective of adding resilience as an operational capability reflects the need for additional capacities to manage variability and cope with surprise, but also embodies the awareness of resilience as a fallible practice. The exertion and management of resilience can however not evade the imperative of compliance that pervades regulations, management styles and procedures in most industries. As resilience embodies an alternative way of thinking about safety, the adoption of resilience-based adaptive principles will create friction. Hence, reaching this target demands a continuous process of reconcili­ation and reflection that may manifest differently at the operational and the managerial level, and in which TORC training is exercised on the basis of rules and procedures.

The most tangible outcome of the project will be the TORC concept and the generic and validated training framework that can be easily operationalized into practical and effective training programs.


Keywords: training

Scientific disciplines: psychology, sociology

Expected outputs

The TORC project will deliver innovative training frameworks and methods that facilitate sustained development and management of operational resilience capabilities that make safety management more adaptive and reliable under uncertain and shifting circumstances.

The expected outcomes will enable participating companies to sustain safe operation in turbulent environments and achieve a substantial degree of justified confidence in their resilient capabilities. Resilience-based training improves the capacity to deal safely with complex technologies, improves work conditions and learning, facilitates empowerment and reduce fatigue and boredom. A vision of a resilient future will generate challenging and innovative work, contributing to employment attractiveness and improved market positions. Participating companies will be more able to articulate and justify their adaptive strategies in relation to regulators, and more able to incorporate resilience in their safety principles and policies. Improved resilience capabilities will therefore be interesting and valuable for a wide range of stakeholders; regulators, owners, shareholders, management, employees, customers and suppliers. Other stakeholders may learn from reported experiences.

Keywords: training

Workplan

The project is structured around 6 work packages:

  1. TORC concept development
  2. Case study in offshore oil and gas (Norway)
  3. Case study in railways or chemicals (Netherlands)
  4. Case study in aviation (France)
  5. Evaluation and dissemination
  6. Project management

Associated deliverables

The main goal of the TORC project is to deliver an innovative training framework and method that facilitate sustained development and management of operational resilience capabilities that make safety management more adaptive and reliable under uncertain and shifting circumstances. The key research question is: How can operational resilience capabilities be created or reinforced through training activities for managers and operational personnel, addressing everyday as well as emergency situations? The objective of adding resilience as an operational capability reflects the need for additional capacities to manage variability and cope with surprise, but also embodies the awareness of resilience as a fallible practice. The exertion and management of resilience can however not evade the imperative of compliance that pervades regulations, management styles and procedures in most industries. As resilience embodies an alternative way of thinking about safety, the adoption of resilience-based adaptive principles will create friction. Hence, reaching this target demands a continuous process of reconciliation and reflection that may manifest differently at the operational and the managerial level, and in which TORC training is exercised on the basis of rules and procedures. The current document describes the most tangible outcome of the project being tested (i.e. the TORC Game) in three pilot companies in The Netherland. The game operationalized the concept of resilience into a practical and effective training program on three levels: operator, management and integrated training. The objective of work package 3 was to derive scenarios from chemical/oil and gas industry and (high speed) rail road cases, past accidents and relevant everyday operations, and to apply the TORC Game prototype in the specific operational and management cases. TNO developed the different training modules and piloted them with all three companies. For the benefit of improving resilient behaviour an integrated training was developed where both operators and managers play their own part. The scenarios played at operator level are reused during the management game; the outcome of both trainings were used as input for the integrated training in which both parties participate. The focus is on the interrelated aspects of handling resilience related problems. Different resilience strategies and resources are trained. Examples are communication, problem solving, team coordination and identifying lessons learned for the team. After Action Reviews (debriefings) and feedback loops were developed in which managers and operators provide each other the necessary feedback based on the results noted on a log poster. The TORC game was tried out with target group end users in the participating pilot companies. In all Dutch industrial settings the training worked satisfactory. Both field staff and management were able to deal with the cases to assess them according to the pre- defined steps and cope with the problems. The groups differed in the way they acted, but registration of the choices on the log poster made it possible to discuss those choices and the used resilience strategies and resources. A short summary and more detailed overview of the findings and results per pilot company can be found in chapter 3 to 5.

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This booklet gives an overview of the TORC approach to resilience training.

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This report provides guidelines for the preparatory work needed to implement a TORC training programme, including a description of the TORC board game developed specifically for TORC training.

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TORC: first concept elaboration
Intermediate report CC BY-SA published on 2015-06-19
This report describes a first elaboration of a conceptual approach to operational and managerial training of resilience. The TORC project aims to develop a generic training program that constitutes generic capabilities of resilient functioning in the context of a compliance-oriented safety regime. Hence, TORC aims to develop an innovative training concept that enables organizations to appreciate, nurture and improve their inherent resilient and adaptive capacities, while being under the imperative of predominantly compliance-oriented safety regulations and standards. Training is addressed both at the operational and managerial level, including guidance for the calibration of such a training program in order to adapt it to the specific organizational context (history, aspiration, constraints, etc.). The overall initial framework and thinking (rationale, objectives, training philosophy etc) as well as key concepts will be described, aiming for a parallel piloting activity in different industries and European countries. The methodological approach, including the concept and framework development based on the pilot projects, will be presented, as well as the potential contribution to the understanding of Resilience Engineering.

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TORC Impact Assessment, Framework, Methodology and Validation Roadmap (D5.1)
Intermediate report CC BY-SA published on 2016-02-07
The report describes a methodology to evaluate the impact from TORC training. The presumed impact is primarily on resilience as a positive contribution to safety, but also on the presumed indirect impact on efficiency and overall operation. The report is designed to serve as a recommendation from the joint Saf€ra project. In the current version, it reflects a joint theoretical grounding, as well as the experiences and conclusions that can be drawn exclusively from the Dutch piloting activities as concluded by TNO. The report thus also describes a TORC Impact Assessment roadmap and evaluation measures to be used in order to utilize new piloting experiences. The overall outcome is a set of validated impact assessment measures providing companies with the tools to assess the impact of their own resilience investments, and measure the outcomes of this process. This is supplemented by a methodology for conducting the assessment process and thresholds for the measures so that organisations can benchmark their performance. The inclusion of generic measures ensures that the TORC Impact Assessment methodology can be carried out in the future for other resilience interventions and that the impact of their future implementation can also be assessed – thereby ensuring the legacy of the TORC project.

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TORC: Summary of concept and experiences (D4.1)
Intermediate report CC BY-SA published on 2017-03-14
The TORC project has developed an innovative and comprehensive training concept that enables organizations to appreciate, nurture and improve their inherent resilient and adaptive capacities, while operating in an environment dominated by compliance-oriented safety regulations and standards. A key element of the training is a serious game simulation of resilience dynamics in operations. The training is aimed at both operations and management to explore the space of manoeuvre in the context of compliance. By means of an after action review in an integrated training session, the mutual experiences and perceptions of applying team and organizational resilience capabilities (strategies, resources and competences) are evaluated. The training concept allows trainees to discover rudimentary resilience capabilities based on real-life cases, experience these in a safe environment and explore an alternative action repertoire as a response to new demands triggered by changing situations. TORC allows for systemic evaluation across different levels and different time horizons. The training was validated with industry partners in rail infrastructure, oil and gas, and air traffic management and proved to be an instrument allowing operational and management teams to experiment with resilient capabilities, to jointly reflect on what they experienced, and to apply the learning to be better prepared for future challenges.

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This report summarizes the French pilot tests of the TORC training, undertaken with air traffic management professionals in Paris.

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Participating researchers

Tor Olav Grøtan (SINTEF, Norway) — project coordinator

Johan Van der Vorm (TNO, The Netherlands)

Luigi Macchi (Dédale, France)

Funding organizations

FonCSI (France)

RCN (Norway)

More details

Duration 2014-06 to 2016-12
Contact email tor.o.grotan@sintef.no
More information https://www.sintef.no/en/projects/torc-training-for-operational-resilience-capabilit/

Information last updated on 2016-10-14.

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