Training Process

Program Structure and Development

All training programs have a combination of theory and practical components, preceded by a safety and security review. Training programs offer a certain amount of classroom-based theory, followed by the opportunity to practice required skills, either in a simulated or production environment.

Training curriculum is designed with the assumption that the trainee has no prior knowledge of the subject, progressing from fundamentals to fine details. Standard program content details operator duties and responsibilities, physical demands, and safety procedures, then proceeds to process overview, equipment and controls, and operating procedures. In some cases, terminal-specific procedures are detailed.

Some training programs conclude with Training In Production, or TIP, where trainees work in the production environment under the supervision of a trainer.

All training programs are developed in conjunction with the ILWU and the employers, who cooperate to define competencies, detail safe operating procedures and establish production performance criteria. This co-operative system results in programs that combine the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure that workers are fully capable of performing their duties both competently and safely.

Competency-based Evaluation System

Simply completing a course is not an adequate measure of trainee ability - trainees must demonstrate all the required competencies in order to be given a rating.

Each competency has one or more behaviours that can be directly observed. The trainer will observe the trainee’s behaviour daily to objectively evaluate these required behaviours and to track their progress. Trainees are not expected to be ‘experts’ immediately, but must demonstrate improvement from one day to the next.


For the competency ‘equipment control’, the trainee must demonstrate the following behaviours:

  • Smooth operation – no jerking
  • Avoids obstacles, personnel and equipment
  • Slows gradually and stops smoothly and in the correct location
  • Travels with [equipment] at appropriate height

Assessments and Evaluations

Trainees will be given one or more assessments, ranging from 10 to 20 multiple choice and short answer questions, after an appropriate period of instruction. These exams test knowledge, application and critical thinking. Trainees also undergo practical evaluations which measure their practical skills in the use of the equipment.

Passing grades for both practical and theory evaluations are typically 70-80%, depending on the program.

Successful Completion

After a trainee has successfully completed their training, they will be made eligible for dispatch in that area.

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