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Oil Spill Management Workshop - A Trainer's Perspective

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Oil Spill Management Workshop - A Trainers Perspective

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of leading the delivery of an Oil Spill Management Workshop (IMO Level 3 equivalent) in Singapore.  Considered a green horn in Training, I thought to myself, how will I be able to engage with, and more importantly how will I be able to add value to the experiential learning of the participants.  Adding to the complexity of engagement is the professional background of the participants. I would say the diversity of the participants’ culture is another layer of challenge but suffice to say, that will be a topic of another blog.  There were five participants who attended the Workshop. I would have to say the participants represented a variety of backgrounds – two participants from the shipping industry, one from oil and gas downstream, another from oil and gas upstream and the final participant was from a Tier 2 response company.       


The participants’ introduction and setting of expectation is worth gold for me.  This gives me a glimpse of the participants’ needs, aspirations and experience for the Workshop.  I always make a point of reviewing the participants’ profiles prior to delivery of any course but nothing beats the up close introductions of the participants.  I take mental notes from this interaction and make adjustments on the delivery, where needed.      


The participants were very active for the whole duration of the Workshop.  They shared their experiences with each other which I always appreciate as Trainer – this offers me a different perspective of a certain topic.  The feedback of the participants indicates that they found the Workshop useful for their job functions, an eye opener for some participants on the gravity of oil spill incidents and more importantly, they enjoyed the exercises and activities of the Workshop.    


On reflection, I attribute the success of the Workshop to what I have learnt so far as a Trainer. I recognise that delegates attend training courses not only to learn concepts new to them, but more so to understand issues that they may potentially face in an unfortunate event of an oil spill and hoping that a solution or two may be available or touched upon during the course of the training.  The interaction during the Workshop was outstanding.  Through this interaction, I am convinced that the participants have their “a-ha” moments in the Workshop.  This reminds me of a quote in a favourite movie of mine – “What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient... highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate.”                  

Author Bio(s)

Norman Ramos

Principal Trainer and Consultant

Norman has more than 19 years combined experience in crisis and incident management, oil spill response and preparedness, including training. He has delivered and participated in incident management system (IMS) and crisis management training and exercises, respectively, within Asia-Pacific. He holds Expert Certification in Crisis Management.

Holding a Masters in Environmental Management from the National University of Singapore (NUS), his interests lie in the intersection of oiled wildlife preparedness and response and implementation of IMS in oil spill incidents. Furthermore, he is interested in developing and implementing large-scale exercises on incident and crisis management.