Procedures drive the safe and efficient operation of the company. They must be well written, clearly understood and accurate to support error-free performance. Properly written procedures give clarity to the reader, provide guidance for decision making and streamline processes.
Perhaps nowhere is this more important than in the nuclear power industry where there are numerous regulations and oversight groups continually creating and improving upon industry standards. Because of this industry imperative for sharing best practices, the Procedure Professionals Association (PPA) was created. PPA is the US nuclear industry’s collective voice and leader in procedure writing and processing. Individuals and companies in all industries, specifically those with technical procedures on how to operate and maintain a facility, can benefit from procedure writing certification by the PPA.
Successful completion of this standardized course helps companies and individuals improve their human factored procedure and work plan writing standards and training.
Are you a writer looking to improve your technical writing skills? Is your organization looking to improve your technical procedure writing? We’ll look at the benefits to both the individual and the employer.
Why an individual might seek PPA certification
Are you a job seeker looking for additional skills to advance your career? No matter the industry you’re in, obtaining PPA certification will set you apart and provide an advantage over the candidates lacking certification.
In the nuclear industry, there is a trend in procedure writing that strongly prefers, if not outright requires, PPA certification for temporary staff. In addition to temporary staffers, the competition for limited procedure writing or work planner positions is driving human resource departments to look for more qualified candidates.
Are you a plant technician, maintenance professional or operator looking to transfer into a procedure role to advance your career or get off a shift schedule? You already have the experience in how to do the work. PPA certification will give you the additional skills you need to become a world class procedure writer.
Check with your employer to see if they will cover the cost of the course, as it will benefit the bottom line when correctly written procedures prevent costly errors.
Why a company might want to send their employees for PPA certification
Reduce errors, save money. That’s true for any line of business, especially power production plants.
For any mistake made as a result of a poorly written procedure, there will be a very real cost associated with that mistake. It can be as significant as turning the wrong switch, causing a plant transient which automatically shuts down the plant unexpectedly and costs the utility up to a million dollars a day. Other mistakes may not be directly tied to a loss, rather bad PR with a regulator or the public. For example, a nuclear plant may need to demonstrate to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that they are making improvements, including PPA certification for their procedure writers, to address procedure quality issues. Providing a baseline understanding of writing procedures can reduce the number of errors in the direct performance of those procedures.
There are also many benefits to companies offering PPA certification as a professional development opportunity. Employees who receive training and professional development feel more valued and appreciated by their employers leading to less turnover. Offering a PPA certification for current maintenance, operator or training personnel can reengage and reenergize employees looking to change jobs in their field or simply looking for a way to feel more valued in their current position.
How to get PPA certified
Absolute Consulting, a GSE Systems company, is one of an elite group of companies with a PPA Certified Instructor. Our instructor, Kevin Neal, conducts PPA certification courses open to the public as well as client-specific courses at the host site which are customized to address the unique needs of each client.
PPA certification is granted upon the successful completion of the PPA Writer Certification Program. The full course is three days in length, consisting of three modules:
- Human Factors for procedure writers
- Procedure development and review
- Writer’s manual format and writing methods
Click here for more information on Absolute Consulting’s PPA certification courses.